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PUBLISHED WEEKLY, AT HONOLULU, OAIIU, SANDWICH ISLANDS.
. J. JAKVES, Editor.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1810.
Vol. 1. No. 26.
COM MUNI C AT K I).
The Dialect of Samoa, (the
Navigator's Islands,) compared with the
Malay. By T. Heath, Manono, Samoa.
Continued from page f)(.
On first inspecting the Malay alphabet,
nd comparing it with any 'one-of the
Polynesian dialects, one. is apt to think
iore is an immense dmcrence; but if we
all in aid three or four of the latter, we
hall find that, taken together, they have
early all the Malay sounds. Deducting
ie slight modifications of the same sound,
ich as g hard and gh, and k and kh, and
io two or three forms of the sibilant, for
hicli the Malay bus distinct letters, and
!so the mixed sounds ( and , the Sa-
loa and Tonga groups alone have the
.... I 4.1.1 i 11 4 I 1
accessary souuus. -uu men. as loan uiese
Lore complex sounds above excepted, it
ippears that they were derived from the '
With regard to pronunciation, we
;nov that the Polynesian abounds in!
owel sounds, and that every syllable!
mils in a vowel. Open av Malay book,
Hid we find crowds of consonants ; but
rt us hear Mr. Marsden. After noticing
he adoption of the Arabic alphabet, he
ays, "But many of its peculiar sounds,
md especially the gutterals, being little
uited to the soft pronunciation- of the
ast insular languages, they arc never to
)c found in the angiography of indigen
his Malay words, and even to those
Arabic terms which the Malays have bor-
owed, they give a smoothness of utter-
luce which nearly prevents their being
ecoginzed by an Arabian ear. He else-
jvhere speaks of the short vowel (that is
, o, &,c, the sound varying in dilicrcnt
pialects,) "which terminates a great' pro
portion of the whole; mass of words."
find says that although many words, as
written, end in the hard sound expressed
ly fco)t,(thc hard k.) "They are common-
y pronounced with a soft vowel sound, as
uiidu for tunduk.
We begin with the noun, because that
Mr. M.'s order. The article will 'bo
liotieed under the head of "demonstrative
"A numerous description of words pre
ent themselves, which in their primitive
p crude state, are not confined to one
articular part of speech, but arc common
otvvo or more." So it is in Samoa, and,
believe, all the Polynesian dialects.
"Nouns in this (the Malay) language
:aunot properly be said to possess the dis-
mctions of gender, number or case. Jor
an they m Samoa. All the distinctions are
xpresscd by prepositions and articles or
thcr particles. In Malay jantan is the male
d betina the female of animals in general,
s kuda jantan,a horse, kuda betina,a mare.
n ftamoao le 'ino tane, ma le ino fafme.
fane is male and fafine female. There
re indeed a few exceptions, as o le toe-
fnna, an old man, o le loo niAtua, an old
'Vonmn. So in Malay, lakilaki is man,
'nalc, perampuan, woman, female.
''Number is not denoted by any variety
n termination, but by separate words."
With the exception soon to bo mentioned
Ww is tne case in Samoa and all the oth-
f Polynesian dialects the writer has ex
mined. But in Malay "an indefinite
iurai of a peculiar kind is sometimes
employed which consists in a duplication j
of the noun, as batubatu, stones. IVw
in Samoa duplication is common in verbs,
and occurs in many adjectives, as maulu
ga, high, plural inaualuluga; nimo, far,
niinonimo, very far ; paogata, profligate,
plural paogatata ; but it is very randy,
used in nouns, and is then rather an in
lensitive than a plural form, as, in answer
to the question, "Who are in the house?"
they will say', "Nao alii alii lava, only
chiefs, chiefs only.
"The opinion may indeed be hazarded
that in this (the Malay) language the noun
in its simple state, without any accompa
nying term to limit or extend its significa
tioif, is more properly to be considered as
plural than singular." What, Mr. M.
says may be hazarded as an opinion as to
the Malay, is a certain' fact in Samoa.
Tangata means men in general, puaa pig's,
and so of all the rest. If we wish to
limit the number by speaking of a crowd,
&lc, we have appropriate ' prefixes, as
mon tangata, the multitude, o le an fata
ina, the class of servants. . And if we
wish to speak but of one we have defin
ite and indefinite articles to prefix, as o le
tangata, the man, o le la tangata, , that
man ; se tangata, or o le tasi tangata, a
certain man. So, ui tangata, some men,
tangata e toatclc, many men. To the
simple word however, as a general plural,
it is not uncommon to add tuna, or tuna
lawa, all, even all. Hence (that is from
the simple noun being the general plural)
Mr. M. thinks "has arisen the practice of
denoting the individuullity of sensible
objects by specific terms accompanying
the numeral," This is common to the
Malay and the Samoan. He compares it
to counting cattle in England by the
"head," e. g. twenty head of cattle. Ma
lay pisang lima puah, five -plantains;
niata sabiji, one eye, pa pan tiga bilah,
three planks. Samoa, lau agafulu o i'a,
ten fish, lau lua, 20; uaJima gaoa niu,
ten cocoa nuts ; the same term gaoa for
yams; matagafulu o talo, ten pieces-of
talo ; fuagafulu o ''ulu, ten bread fruit.
The words lau, gaoa, mala, and fua are
peculiarly appropriated to the several
"The modifications of Malay nouns
are effected by means of prepositions."
So are those of Samoa, the prepositions
answering to tho English of, to, in, upon,
&c. In the form of the accusative they
at once agree and differ. The Malay
says, pasangapi, light the fin1, without an
intervening preposition. The" Samoan
conveys the same sense either with or
without a preposition, as tafu. le afi, or
tafu i le afi.
"The only change which the form of
nouns undergoes (in cither language) is
as derivatives. And there is no little simi
larity in the method of formation altho'
the prefixes and affixes differ. Malay
nouns are formed from adjectives by pre
fixing ka, and annexing an, as rendah,
low, ka-rendah-an, lowncss In Samoa
a similar result is obtained by prefixing
faa, or o le, and annexing nga, us from
lelei, good, worthy, faa-lclei-nga, worth,
or honor, or reconciliation.
"So also (in Malay) from verbs," as
nauti, to wait, ka-nanti-an, expectation;
and so also in Samoan, as taufetuli, to run
a race, o le taufetuli-nga, a race. There
are also other prefixes in Malay which serv e
the same purpose as the ka, viz: per, and
its varieties, as adu, to sleep, per-adu-an,
a sleeping place. The prefix o le, in Sa
moa answers this, as moo to sleep, o le
moo nga, a sleeping place. Some of these
prefixes (in Malay) express the place
w here the action is performed, some the
agent by whom the action is performed.
So they do in Samoa. It is thus that, in
Malay, per differs from ka and, in Sa
moa, o le, from faa.
In both languages derivatives are deriv
ed from derivatives, and certain deriva
tives from other derivatives.
These arc not, in either language, sub
ject to variation of case, gender or num
ber. They are, in both, connected with
the noun by position only, and, in simple
construction, always follow it. But when
in a corresponding English phrase, the
verb substantive intervenes, then the qual
ifying word is, in both, made to precede
the noun. Malay, baik orang itu, good
man (person) that. Samoan, E lelei ia
mea, good those things.
They may be formed in Malay, by pre
fixing the particle ber$ as ber bulu, feath
ered, from bulu feathers. They may, al
so, be so formed in Samoa, by the prefix
ua, as from fulu a feather, ua fulufulu lea
manu, that bird is feathered. So from
loi, an ant, ua loia, is ant-ed ; from naniti
a musquito, ua naniu le fale nci, this house
The comparison of adjectives is effect
ed in a mannertvery similar, by prefixing
or affixing words and particles to the pos
itive or by doubling the adjective. But
in some of the examples a prefix in Malay
would be represented by an affix in Sa
In Malay the cardinals arc expressed
by the simple word without prefix. It is
difVerent in Samoa. The. Malay would
say lima, five ; we should say e lima, or
(when the act of counting is past) ua li
ma. But. to the ordinals each language
has a prefix. Malay, ka dua, Samoa, o
le lua. Malay, ka-sepuluh, the tenth,
Samoa, o le sefulu. In counting inter
mediate numbers as from 20 to JjO, Slc,
each dialect has its peculiarities. .
Of the personal pronouns, aku or ku,
is used for both singular and plural of the
first person, but its plural use is rare. In
Tonga the first person singular nomin
ative is also o aku, in Samoa, o a'u, with
a slight gutteral substitute for the k. In
certain cases in Malay it is changed to da
ku, nkan daku, to me ; so in Samoa we
have ia le a'u, to me. There are three
other words used in Malay for the first
person, but the) are only nouns denoting
servitude, &c, as We say in English,
"your humble servant." Of the Malay
first person plural, kita includes the per
son addressed, kami includes the person
addressed. It is well known that tatou
and matou do just the same thing.
Malay angkau, (contracted kau) thou
Samoa singular oe, plural outou.
Tonga singular, koe.
The Samoan possessive of this pronoun
(singular) is o'u and a'u. Hawaiian ko'n
and ka'u. , '
Malay iya, he, she, it. Samoan ia,
(pronounced iya) he, she, it. As a neu
ter it is frequently plural.
In the possessive form (says Mr. M.)
the iya undergoes an-entire change, as
kapala nia, his head. So it docs in Sa
moa, lona ulu, his head.
For the third person plural, Malay, iya
is also sometimes used, but as more com
monly expressed by orang, persons. For
this most of the Polynesian have ratou or
Pronouns De.monstative, or Defin
ite, ifc c '
This class Mr. M. makes to include the
definite article, together with relatives and
interrogatives, which in the Malay, as in
most languages, are foj the most part tho
same words employed in a relative or in
terrogative, instead of a demonstrative
sense. Malay, iang, that, which,' those,
who, whom, the. Samoa, o le, or simply
le, he who, plural o e, they who, or who ;
ia, those (persons or things.) Malay, itu,
that, those, the, as orang itu, that man.
Samoa, o le a, plural ia ; as o le tagata
lea, that man, o mea ia, those things. If
at a distance, le na, or le la, to which the
use of the Malay itu, appears very simi
Malay, ini, this, these, as bulan ini,
this month. This is very much like the
Polynesian nci, denoting present time or
place, or what is near the speaker. O lo
fale nci, this house, here.
Malay, a pa, what, which ; as apa itu,
what is that? Samoa, Sc a ? O le a ? Po
a? What, iVlc. Se a lea mea? What
thing is that? Malay, se apa. Mr. M.
says is the preceding interrogative per
sonified, by means of a particle common
ly prefixed to proper names ; who, whom,
which ; as se apa man, who chuscs ?
This would seem to be much like the Sa
moan se,' meaning some, any, &c. O ai
ea se filifili? who is some one (who is the
inan) who chuscs? In Samoa, Jiowcvcr,
this particle is not prefixed to proper
names. The o is so, as the sign of the
nominative case, as o lesu, Jesus.
In Malay mana. the adverb where is
idiomatically used for who, cvc, and deu
for self." The Samoa has nothing accord
ing with these. But the 'Malay iya itu,
that is to say, is very much like the Sa
moa, o le mea lava lea, or o lea lava, or
oia lava, that is the very thing, these very
The Malay indefinite article, sa, is a
contraction of the numeral of unity.
The Samoan has also so, sa, nisi, and oth
er indefinites probably contracted from
the same numeral.
To lo continued.
The following interesting tradition we pub
lish with great pleasure, and shall be grate
ful to any person who will send us similar
favors. There are many stories of this na
ture, new und interesting, which are extant
only in the mouths of the natives, but aro
well worthy of preservation. It is from
them that much of the early history of
the islar.ds can be learned, and to tho fu
ture literati of Hawaii they will be invaluable,
as forming the rudiments of many a talo of
romance, which will east halo of interest
over such traditionary spots, which nothing
vAiiQ can bestow.
Mr. Editor, Having obtained some frag
ments of the hiatoi-y of a clan of cannibal,