Hilary Laracy

Doctor of Philosophy, (Humanities)
Study Completed: 2018
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
apostrophe’s. A study of the apostrophe in New Zealand today; its use, attitudes towards its use and its place in a historical continuum.

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

This study tells the story of the apostrophe from its origins to its use in New Zealand today, with a glimpse into the future. In a two-part study, Mrs Laracy first examined the relevant literature and early manuscripts to trace the apostrophe from its origins in Greek over 2,000 years ago, through French and into English in the mid-16th century. Its use, however, was erratic and it was some time before the English apostrophe was set into the rules we know today. The study of contemporary apostrophe use employed a mixed methods design to show how personal attributes, educational policy, technological change and increasing exposure to nonstandard use all influence modern attitudes and practices. It also considers the implications of these findings for the future of the apostrophe. This study makes many contributions to our knowledge, which it brings together in the first comprehensive work on the apostrophe.

Dr Arianna Berardi-Wiltshire
Dr Peter Petrucci

Contact us Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey