Kōrero: Speech and accent

Samuel McBurney

The first person to record and describe pronunciation in New Zealand was Samuel McBurney, a Scottish singing teacher and educationalist who emigrated to Australia in 1881. McBurney went on a lecture tour of Australia, New Zealand and North America in 1887, and during his time in New Zealand he noted the characteristics of pronunciation. His observations were published in part five of Alexander Ellis's book On early English pronunciation (1889). Listen to linguistics scholar Elizabeth Gordon explain some of McBurney’s findings.

Using this item

History of Music Education in Australia
Photograph by Eden Studios

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.

Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (Interview Elizabeth Gordon, 1984/Reference ID35988)

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/speech/40119/samuel-mcburney (accessed 18 August 2019)

Story by Elizabeth Gordon, published 5 Sep 2013