Kōrero: Speech and accent

Mobile Disc Recording Unit

Mobile Disc Recording Unit

In 1946 the National Broadcasting Service set up the Mobile Disc Recording Unit, whose purpose was to collect the reminiscences of 19th-century settlers. One unintended but highly useful consequence of this project was a record of the evolution of New Zealand pronunciation, which University of Canterbury researchers have studied. They found that people born in the 1850s and 1860s had accents similar to their parents, but those born in the 1870s and 1880s had a more uniform accent – it was similar to that of people living in other regions and with different ethnic origins. This is the unit van, which travelled along the west coast of the North Island between Whanganui and Waitara, and through the Waikato region, Thames valley, Coromandel and Otago.

Using this item

Sound Archives / Ngā Taonga Kōrero

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Elizabeth Gordon, 'Speech and accent - Early New Zealand speech', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/photograph/40123/mobile-disc-recording-unit (accessed 21 August 2019)

Story by Elizabeth Gordon, published 5 Sep 2013