The Oxford English Grammar

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The Oxford English Grammar

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This book is addressed primarily to native speakers of English and others who use English as their first language. It is a comprehensive account of present-day English that is chiefly focused on the standard varieties of American and British English, but it also refers frequently to non-standard varieties and it draws on the history of the language to illuminate and explain features of English of today. It offers a description of the language and is not intended to prescribe or proscribe.

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  1. The Oxford
  3. OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS Great Clarendon Street, Oxford 0x2 6DP Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide in Oxford New York Auckland Bangkok Buenos Aires Cape Town Chennai Oar es Salaam Delhi Hong Kong Istanbul Karachi Kolkata Kuala Lumpur Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Mumbai Nairobi Sao Paulo Shanghai Taipei Tokyo Toronto Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries Published in the United States by Oxford University Press Inc., New York © Sidney Greenbaum 1996 The moral rights of the author have been asserted Database right Oxford University Press (maker) First published by Oxford University Press 1996 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this book in any other binding or cover and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Data available ISBN 0-19-861250-8 10 9 8 7 Printed in Great Britain by TJ International Ltd.. Padstow, Cornwall
  5. Preface This book is addressed primarily to native speakers of English and others who use English as their first language. It is a comprehensive account of present-day English that is chiefly focused on the standard varieties of American and British English, but it also refers frequently to non-standard varieties and it draws on the history of the language to illuminate and explain features of English of today. It offers a description of the language and is not intended to prescribe or proscribe. This work is unique in its coverage for native speakers of the language. It is written to be accessible to non-specialists, but students of the English language and related subjects will also find it of interest and value. It serves as a reference work and can also be used as a textbook. Each chapter is prefaced by a list of contents and a summary of the chapter. You may wish to read through a whole chapter or to consult particular sections. The Glossary at the end of the book will provide you with succinct explanations of terms that are frequently used in the book. In writing this book, I have drawn on my many years of experience in teaching, research, and writing. I have taught English language in a range of institutions and to different age-groups: at primary schools, at a secondary (grammar) school, at a college of further education, and at universities. My university teaching has encompassed a British university, universities in the United States, and a university in a country where English is a foreign language. I have been in English language research for over thirty years, and have directed a research unit (the Survey of English Usage) for the last twelve years. My books have ranged over various types of writing: monographs, reference works (including co-authorship of the standard reference grammar of English), textbooks, and books addressed to the general public. Numerous citations appear in this book. Many of them come from American and British newspapers, magazines, and books. Most are taken from two sources: ICE-GB (the British million-word component of the International Corpus of English, drawing on language used in the period 1990-3) and the Wall Street Journal (about three million words from this American newspaper for 1989, provided in a CD-ROM by the Association for Computational Linguistics Data Collection Initiative). ICE-GB was tagged and parsed with the assistance of programs devised by the TOSCA Research Group (University of Nijmegen) under the direction of Professor Ian Aarts. ICE-GB was compiled and computerized, with extensive mark-up, by researchers at the Survey of English Usage, who also undertook substantial manual work on the outputs of the TOSCA programs as well as manual pre-editing for parsing. The following Survey researchers were involved in the creation of ICE-GB or in the subsequent grammatical processing: Judith Broadbent, Justin Buckley, Yanka Gavin, Marie Gibney, Ine Mortelmans, Gerald Nelson, Ni Yibin, Andrew Rosta, Oonagh Sayce, Laura Tollfree, Ian Warner,
  6. PREFACE Vlad Zegarac. I am especially grateful to Gerald Nelson for overseeing the compilation of ICE-GB and the grammatical processing. He is also responsible for drawing up the annotated list of sources for ICE-GB texts in the Appendix. The work on ICE-GB was supported in the main by grants from the Economic and Social Research Council (grant R000 23 2077), the Leverhulme Trust, and the Michael Marks Charitable Trust. Financial support was also received from the Sir Sigmund Sternberg Foundation and Pearson Pic. I am indebted to Akiva Quinn and Nick Porter, colleagues at the Survey, for ICECUP, a software concordance and search package, which I used extensively for searching ICE-GB for words and grammatical tags. I am also much indebted to Alex Chengyu Fang, another colleague at the Survey, for the application of two programs that he created: AUTASYS was used for tagging the Wall Street Journal Corpus, and so gave me access to grammatical information from an American corpus, and TQuery was invaluable for searching for structures in the parsed corpus. Thanks are due to a number of colleagues for their comments on one or more draft chapters: Judith Broadbent, Justin Buckley, Alex Chengyu Fang, Gerald Nelson, Ni Yibin, Andrew Rosta, Jan Svartvik, Vlad Zegarac. I am also grateful to Marie Gibney for typing the drafts.
  7. Contents List of Tables and Figures x Pronunciation Table xi Abbreviations and Symbols xiii Explanations of Corpora Citations xiv 1 The English Language 1 2 The Scope and Nature of Grammar 21 3 An Outline of Grammar 39 4 Word Classes 88 5 The Grammar of Phrases 203 6 Sentences and Clauses 305 7 Text 363 8 Words and their Meanings 394 9 The Formation of Words 435 10 Sounds and Tunes 477 11 Punctuation 503 12 Spelling 556 Notes 577 Appendix: Sources of Citations in ICE-GB 601 Glossary 615 Index 637
  8. List of Tables Table 4.18.1 Classes of irregular verbs 127 Table 4.34.1 Primary pronouns 166 Table 4.34.2 Archaic second person forms 168 Table 4.44.1 Primary indefinite pronouns and determiners 193 Table 8.3.1 Brown, LOB, and ICE-GB rankings of the fifty most frequent words in present-day English 403 Table 9.37.1 Lexically conditioned allomorphs in verbs 472 Table 10.3.1 English consonants 482 List of Figures Figure 2.5.1 Tree diagram 30 Figure 5.2.1 Structure of a noun phrase 209 Figure 5.2.2 Premodifiers and NP heads 210 Figure 5.2.3 Postmodifiers and NP head: Sentence [3] 210 Figure 5.2.4 Postmodifiers and NP head: Sentence [4] 211 Figure 5.39.1 Structure of an adjective phrase 288 Figure 5.43.1 Structure of an adverb phrase 295 Figure 5.47.1 Structure of a prepositional phrase 300 Figure 6.2.1 Co-ordination of two main clauses: Sentence [1] 312 Figure 6.2.2 Co-ordination of three main clauses: Sentence [2] 312 Figure 6.4.1 Subordinate clause within a main clause: Sentence [5] 316 Figure 6.4.2 Co-ordination of final subordinate clauses: Sentence [6] 316 Figure 6.4.3 Co-ordination of initial subordinate clauses: Sentence [7] 316 Figure 6.4.4 Subordination within subordination: Sentence [8] 317 Figure 6.4.5 Co-ordination within co-ordination: Sentence [9] 317 Figure 6.4.6 Initial subordinate clause linked to two main clauses: Sentence [10] 317 Figure 6.4.7 Final subordinate clause linked to two main clauses: Sentence [13] 318 Figure 6.4.8 Parenthetic and-clause containing co-ordination of subordinate clauses: Sentence [14] 318 Figure 6.4.9 Embedded relative clause: Sentence [16] 319 Figure 6.4.10 Embedded co-ordinated clauses functioning as noun phrase complements: Sentence [17] 319 Figure 6.4.11 Four to-infinitive clauses in asyndetic co-ordination: Sentence [18] 320 Figure 9.2.1 Structure of a complex word 440 Figure 10.6.1 Vowel chart 486
  9. Pronunciation Table Consonants voiceless P pen s Sit t top J she k cat tj chip f few h he e thin voiced b but m man d dog n n g get ring V van 1 leg 5 this r red z zoo w we 3 vision j yes d3 Jar Vowels a cat 3 ago a: arm (RP) arm (GA) AI my £ bed ao how a: (RP) her ei (RP) e: (GA) day 3(GA) her so (RP) o: (GA) no i sit s: hair (RP) hair (GA) i: see is (RP) i (GA) near (RP) near (GA) D(RP)Q:(GA) hot 31 boy o: saw ua (RP) o (GA) poor (RP) poor (GA) A run AI3 (RP) Al (GA) tire (RP) tire (GA) u put aus (RP) au (GA) sour (RP) sour (GA) u: too The pronunciation symbols follow those used in The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary and in the latest edition of The Concise Oxford Dictionary. RP (Received Pronunciation) is an accent that is typical of educated speakers of British English, though by no means all educated speakers use it. GA (General American) is an abstraction from what is typical of English pronunciation in the United States in contrast to RP. Most of the differences for vowels between RP and GA are due to the [r] being separately pronounced in GA after a vowel. For
  10. PRONUNCIATION TABLE more detailed discussion of the pronunciation of consonants and vowels, see 10.3-8. Syllabic consonants (consonants that constitute a syllable by themselves) are marked by a subscript vertical line: 1, n. Primary stress is marked by (') before the syllable, and secondary stress by (,) before the syllable: 'capitalize. See 10.10-12. The ends of tone units are marked by vertical lines, and the nuclear syllable is in capitals: UnFORtunately| I've caught a COLD| The direction of the tone is shown by an arrow before the nuclear syllable. See 10.15 f.
  11. Abbreviations and Symbols A adverbial GA General American ICE-GB British corpus of ICE (International Corpus of English) M main clause NP noun phrase O object P predicative PP prepositional phrase RP Received Pronunciation S subject sub subordinate clause V verb () comment or explanation after citation; optional letter(s) or word(s) [] comment or explanation within citation; phonetic transcription // phonemic transcription (cf. 9.36) {} morphemic transcription (cf. 9.38); alternatives, e.g.: a piece of 1 f bread a bit of / \ information
  12. Explanations of Corpora Citations All citations preserve the original wording. If anything is omitted (to avoid irrelevant distractions), the omission is indicated by [...]. A few citations come from the American component of ICE (International Corpus of English). They are cited by references beginning ICE-USA-SIA and are direct (face-to-face) conversations. Citations from the Wall Street Journal are for issues published in 1989. References consist of three sets of digits, for example 890929-0070-49. The first set indicates the date by year, month, and day; the second set is the identity number for the item; the third set identifies the sentence. Citations for ICE-GB, the British component of ICE, are for language used during the years 1990-3. Pauses are indicated by , a short pause (the equivalent of a single syllable uttered at the speaker's tempo), and by , a long pause (the equivalent of two or more syllables uttered at the speaker's tempo). Citation references for ICE-GB begin either'S' (spoken texts) or 'W (written texts). The major divisions within these two categories are: SI dialogue S1A private conversations SIB/ public dialogues S2 monologue S2A unscripted monologues S2B scripted monologues Wl non-printed writing W1A student essays W1B letters W2 printed writing W2A informational (learned) W2B informational (popular) W2C informational (reportage) W2D instructional W2E persuasive (press editorials) W2F creative (novels/stories) There are 500 texts (samples) in ICE-GB, each text containing about 2,000 words, for a total of about one million words. The spoken texts number 300. Fifty of the spoken texts are scripted (written down and read aloud); the scripted texts are transcribed from the spoken recordings. Many of the texts are composite; that is, they are composed of several subtexts (shorter samples), such as a text comprising a number of personal letters.
  13. EXPLANATIONS OF CORPORA CITATIONS Citation references for ICE-GB consist of three sets, for example SlB-046-63. The first set is the major category, in this instance a public dialogue (SIB); the second set is for the identity number of the text, which in this instance is a broadcast interview (in the subcategory S1B-041 to S1B-050), the third set is for the number of the text unit. The basic unit for reference in each text is the text unit. In written texts, the text unit corresponds to the orthographic sentence. In spoken texts, it is the approximate equivalent of the orthographic sentence, though there may be more than one equivalent in writing and sometimes a spoken text unit is grammatically incomplete. A list of the sources of all texts, including any subtexts, in ICE-GB appears in the Appendix at the end of the book.
  14. Chapter 1 The English Language Summary English throughout the world (1.1-6) 1.1 English internationally 3 1.4 The spread of English in second- 1.2 The spread of English in the British language countries 8 Isles 4 1.5 English pidgins and Creoles 11 1.3 The spread of English In other first- 1.6 English as an international language countries 6 language 12 The standard language (1.7-10) 1.7 Standard English 14 1.9 Correct English 16 1.8 Variation In standard English 15 1.10 Good English 17
  15. Chapter 1 Summary English is used in most countries of the world as a first language, a second language (for communication between inhabitants), or a foreign language. It is essentially a Germanic language introduced by invading tribes from the European continent into what later became known as England. It spread from there throughout the British Isles and subsequently to the United States and other territories colonized by the British, almost all of which are now independent countries. Since the end of the Second World War English has been the foremost language for international communication. The standard varieties of American and British English have influenced those of other countries where English is a first language and they have generally been the models taught to foreign learners. In the past they have also been the models for English as a second language, but in recent decades some second- language countries have begun to develop their own standard varieties. Standard English is remarkably homogeneous across national boundaries, particularly in the written language. It admits less variation than non-standard varieties. Its repertoire offers choices according to type of activity engaged in through language, medium of communication, and degree of formality. Correct English is conformity to the norms of standard English. Good English is good use of the resources of the language: language used effectively and ethically. Sensitivity to the feelings of others requires avoidance of offensive and discriminatory language.
  16. English throughout the World 1.1 English The geographical spread of English is unique among the languages of the internationally world, not only in our time but throughout history. English is the majority first language in twenty-three countries. It is an official language or a joint official language in about fifty other countries, where it is used in addition to the indigenous first languages for a variety of public and personal functions. It is also used as a second language, though without official status, in countries such as Bangladesh and Malaysia. Countries where English is a first or second language are located in all five continents. The total population of these countries amounts to around 2.5 billion, about 49 per cent of the world's population. Where English is a first or second language, it is used internally for communication between nationals of the same country. In addition, English is used extensively as a foreign language for international communication by people who do not ordinarily employ it when speaking or writing to their compatriots.1 The number of first-language speakers of English has been estimated at well over 300 million, of whom over 216 million live in the United States. The United Kingdom has about 53 million, Canada over 17 million, and Australia about 14 million. Countries where English is a majority first language may have large percentages of bilingual speakers and speakers for whom English is a second language. For example, Canada has a large minority of unilingual French speakers (nearly 17 per cent) as well as an almost equal percentage of speakers who are bilingual in French and English. Most countries with second-language speakers of English are former British colonies, such as India and Nigeria. English has been retained as an official language in the majority of these countries after independence because none of the indigenous languages was accepted by all citizens as the sole national language. As an official second language, English is used in a variety of public functions: in government, in the law courts, in broadcasting, in the press, and in education. In many African and Asian countries it serves as the means of interpersonal communication between speakers of different indigenous languages. Because of both its national and its international reach, English is often used for literature, sometimes in forms that draw heavily on local colloquial forms of English. Writers and politicians in some African and Asian countries are ambivalent about the role of English: English may be viewed as an imperialist language, imposed by colonial oppressors and impeding the role of indigenous languages, or as the language of liberation and nationalism in countries divided by tribal loyalties. The problem in calculating the numbers of second-language speakers is
  17. THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE how to decide who counts as a speaker of the language. Should we include in our totals those who have a rudimentary knowledge of vocabulary and grammar but can make themselves understood only in certain types of exchanges—for example, giving street directions or offering goods for sale? If so, we might recognize as second-language speakers perhaps most of the 2.5 billion that live in countries where English is used as a second language. On the other hand, conservative estimates, requiring much greater competence in the language, tend to put the number at about 300 million. A similar problem arises in calculating the numbers of users of English as a foreign language. Estimates have ranged wildly—from 100 million to 600 million. English is extensively studied as a foreign language. It is a compulsory subject or the preferred optional language in most countries where it is not a first or second language. It has been estimated that over 150 million children are studying English as a foreign language in primary or secondary schools. Many millions of foreigners listen to BBC broadcasts in English, and many millions follow the BBC English lessons on radio and television. 'Follow Me', the BBC English by_Television 60-programme course for beginners, produced in 1979 with a consortium of European television stations, has been shown in over 80 countries. It attracted vast audiences in countries throughout the world in the 1980s, and in China alone it had an estimated audience of over 50 million. Over half a million visitors, mostly from the European continent, currently visit the United Kingdom each year to study English as a foreign language. A poll conducted in December 1992 showed that English is the most popular language in the European Union (then called the European Community) among young people (aged 15 to 24), and while 34 per cent of that age group spoke English in 1987 the figure in 1990 had risen to 42 per cent. A European Commission report for 1991-2 showed that 83 per cent of secondary school students in the European Union were learning English as a second language, compared with just 32 per cent learning French, the nearest competitor. 1.2 The spread of From the middle of the fifth century and for the next hundred years, waves of English in the invading tribes from the European continent—Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Frisians—brought their Germanic dialects to Britain, settling in the country British Isles and driving the Celtic-speaking Britons westward to Wales and Cornwall. Isolated from other Germanic speakers, the settlers came to acknowledge their dialects as belonging to a separate common language that they called English.2 Germanic is a branch of the Indo-European family of languages, from which have descended—among others—Latin and its Romance derivatives, Greek, Celtic, and Sanskrit. The Germanic dialects of the settlers belonged to West Germanic, the parent language also of modern German, Dutch, Flemish,
  18. ENGLISH THROUGHOUT THE WORLD and Frisian. From the middle of the ninth century England suffered large incursions by Danish Vikings, intent on settling as well as plundering. Their Scandinavian language belonged to North Germanic. The Danes came close to capturing the whole country, but were defeated overwhelmingly by the English under the leadership of King Alfred the Great. The Treaty of Wedmore signedin the same year (878) confined the Danes to the east of a line roughly from London to Chester, an area known as the Danelaw. There were further Danish invasions in the late ninth century, and finally from 1014 to 1042 the whole of England was ruled by Danish kings. The Scandinavian language introduced a considerable number of common loanwords into English and contributed to present dialectal differences in the north and east of the country. Much of the population in those areas must have been bilingual and it has been suggested that bilingualism may have hastened the reduction of inflections in English since the stems of words were often similar in the two Germanic languages. In 1066 William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, invaded England and became its king. The Norman conquest established a French-speaking ruling class. French was the language of the royal court, the nobility, the church leaders, parliament, the law courts, and the schools. Most of the population continued to speak English, but bilingualism became common. Bilingualism resulted in an enormous influx of French words into English. From the late fourteenth century English displaced French for most purposes, and during the next century a standard English language emerged to meet the needs of the central bureaucracy, the printers, and the educators. Latin, however, was the language of learning throughout the Middle Ages—as in the rest of Europe— and remained so in England as late as the seventeenth century. English arrived early in Scotland. By the seventh century the northern English kingdom of Bernicia had extended its territory—and its dialect—into what is now Southern Scotland. This dialect is the source of Scots, an ancient dialect of English that may be viewed as parallel with Modern English in their common derivation from Old English. By the middle of the sixteenth century Scots was becoming influenced by English in word forms and spellings, a process encouraged by the use of English Bibles in Scotland in the absence of a Scots Bible. When James VI of Scotland succeeded Queen Elizabeth I in 1603 to become James I of England, combining the thrones of the two kingdoms, there was a quickening of the pace of adoption of English in Scotland for writing and by the gentry for speech. The final blow to Scots as the standard dialect of Scotland was the Act of Union in 1707, when the two kingdoms were formally united. Despite attempts at reviving Scots, it remains restricted mainly to literary uses and to some rural speech. It has, however, influenced Scottish English, the standard variety of English in Scotland. About 80,000 people speak Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic language that is confined to the West Highlands and the Western Isles of Scotland, but nearly all of them are bilingual in Gaelic and English. Wales was England's first colony. It was ruled from England as a [ principality from the beginning of the fourteenth century, and was
  19. THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE incorporated into England by the Acts of Union of 1535 and 1543, which promoted the use of English for official purposes. The standard variety of English in Wales is thought to be identical with that in England. There are, however, distinctive Welsh English accents. According to a 1991 census, over half a million inhabitants of Wales above the age of 3 (19 per cent) speak Welsh, a Celtic language, most of whom are bilingual in Welsh and English. As a result of current education policies, the number of Welsh speakers among the young is now increasing. English was permanently introduced into Ireland when the Normans invaded the country during the twelfth century and settled French and English speakers in the eastern coastal region, though many of their descendants adopted Irish (or Irish Gaelic), the Celtic language of the native inhabitants. In the sixteenth century the Tudor monarchs began a policy of bringing to Ireland large numbers of English settlers, and later also Scottish settlers, to displace the Irish from their land. By 1800 English was the language of half the population. The famines of 1846-8 led to mass emigration from Ireland, most of those who emigrated being Irish speakers, the poorer part of the population. During the nineteenth century English was promoted in the Catholic education system in opposition to the use of Irish by Protestant proselytizing societies. Despite attempts since independence to revive the use of Irish in the Republic of Ireland, there are few Irish monolinguals and perhaps only 2 per cent of the population use Irish regularly. The United Kingdom, but particularly England, has a high proportion of speakers of immigrant languages. A 1981 survey, covering all pupils in primary and secondary schools under the control of the Inner London Education Authority, found that nearly 45,000 pupils (about 14 per cent) spoke a language at home other than English or in addition to English. The five most frequently reported languages, in order of frequency, were Bengali, Turkish, Greek, Spanish, and Gujerati.3 British-born descendants of Caribbean immigrants, mostly from Jamaica, may speak a variety of English (related to Jamaican Creole) that has been termed British Black English.4 1.3 The spread of Beginning in the early seventeenth century, the English language was English in other transported beyond the British Isles by traders, soldiers, and settlers. During the next two centuries Britain acquired territories throughout the world. In first-language some of these territories, British settlers were sufficiently numerous to countries dominate the country linguistically as well as in other respects, so that the indigenous population came to adopt English as their first or second language. More importantly for the future of English, the numbers of the early settlers were swelled enormously by waves of immigration and even when the newcomers brought another language their descendants generally spoke
  20. ENGLISH THROUGHOUT THE WORLD 7 English as their first language. All the major countries outside the British Isles where English is the dominant language have succeeded in assimilating linguistically their immigrants from non-English-speaking countries: the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The first permanent English settlements were established in the New World, beginning with the founding of Jamestown in 1607. The colonial period came to an end when the American colonies rejected British rule in the War of Independence (1776-83). Both before and after their independence, the Americans acquired territories that were occupied by speakers of other languages—Amerindian languages, Dutch, French, and Spanish. These have influenced American English, together with the languages of immigrants in lateoperiods—notably German and Yiddish. It is estimated that over 27 million United States residents speak a language other than English at home, about half of whom use Spanish. Every year over half a million new immigrants enter the United States, most of them from non-English-speaking countries and most of them Spanish speakers. Political independence of the United States led to cultural—including linguistic—independence, and hence to the growth of a separate standard American English that no longer looked to Britain for its norms. Though regional differences in pronunciation are conspicuous, American English is more homogeneous than British English in vocabulary and grammar, because of its shorter history and because of past migrations across the American continent and present easy mobility. As a result, dialect differences have not had as great an opportunity to become established and there has been much mixing of regional dialects. Black English, originally restricted regionally as well as ethnically, is used by most black speakers in a range of standard and non-standard varieties.5 Canada became a British possession in 1763, wrested from the French. After the American War of Independence, large numbers of loyalists settled in Canada, followed during the next century by waves of immigrants from the United States and the British Isles. Canada has a large minority of unilingual French speakers (nearly 17 per cent), concentrated in the province of Quebec, as well as an almost equal percentage of bilingual speakers in French and English, which are the joint official languages of Canada. Virtually all Canadians speak English or French, apart from some rural indigenous or immigrant communities. In 1770 Captain James Cook claimed the eastern coast of Australia for Britain. Soon afterwards, penal colonies were established to which convicts were transported from Britain. Until after the Second World War, immigration from Asian countries was restricted and most immigrants were English-speaking. Many of the Aborigines (the indigenous population before British colonization), who number fewer than 200,000, speak only English. The first British settlement in New Zealand was in 1792. New Zealand became part of New South Wales and then after 1840 a British colony in its own right. Most settlers have been English-speaking. The indigenous Maori language, spoken by about 300,000, has official status in the courts.
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