The Utterance, the Body and the Law: Seeking an Approach to Concretizing the Sacredness of Maori Language

Carl Mika

Abstract


In what possible ways does the sacredness of a language have application in an everyday, concrete sense - in a contemporary context? If we want to discuss the sacredness of language, can we conceptualise such sacrality in anything other than an abstracted form? I will consider some places where a proposed sacredness of the Maori language might come to bear, and will particularly question its usage within the process of the law. My primary aim in this article is to conceive of ways, however hypothetical, by which the sacredness within Maori language might be removed from its current role of discursive entity and into the active life of the speaker. Thus Maori language, even in its colonized form, may once more take its own place within the spheres of the practical and the sacred at the same time.

Keywords


sacred language Maori

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11157/sites-vol4iss2id79