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Polynesian Researches



First Person
O kaua Thou and I O kaua ke hele You and I go
Kaua E noho kaua Sit you and I
Na kaua, or taua Na kaua ia e rave You and I it will take
O maua He, she, or it and I O maua ke ike He and I know
Maua I rohe maua She and I heard
Na maua Na maua e nana He and I will look

The possessive and objective cases of the first person dual, and second person, orua, ye two, and the third person, raua, they two, have their several forms of nominative, possessive, and objective cases constructed in a manner similar to those of the singular.

First Person Plural
O kakou We, including the party speaking, and the party addressed O kakou ke rohé We hear
Kakou E himeni kakou Let sing us
Na kakou Na kakou e malana Ye and I (will) take heedpage 468
O makou We, excluding the party addressed O makou wale no They and I only
Makou Ke horoi nei makou Washing (are) we
Na makou Na makou e ave aku We, i, e. our party, will take away

The other cases and persons of the plural are as numerous and precise as in the singular and dual. The adjective pronouns are possessive, demonstrative, interrogative, and relative.

Adjectives.—The adjective follows the noun to which it belongs. There are several degrees of comparison, though the form of the adjective undergoes no change: the degrees are expressed by distinct words. There is, properly speaking, no superlative; it is, however, expressed by prefixing the definite article, as ke kiekie, ke nui, the high, the great.

Verbs.—The verbs are active, passive, and neuter. The regular active verb, in the Hawaiian dialect, admits of four conjugations, as rohe, to hear, hoo-rohe, to cause to hear, rohe-iä, heard, and hoo-rohe-iä, to cause to be heard. Some of the verbs admit the second and fourth, but reject the third, as noho, to sit, hoo-noho, to cause to sit, and hoo-noho-ia, to cause to be seated. Others again allow the third and fourth, but not the second, as pepehi, to beat, pepehi-ia, beaten, and hoo-pepehi-ia, to cause to be beaten. The verbs usually precede the nouns and pronouns, as here au, go I, and e noho marie oe, sit still you, instead of, I go, and you sit still.

The adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections, are numerous; but a description of them, and their relative situation in the construction of their sentences, would take up too much room.

Their numerals resemble the Malayan more than any other part of their language.

A kahi one. arima five. avaru eight.
arua two. aono six. aiva nine.
atoru three.—ahaa four. ahitu seven. Umi ten.
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Eleven would be either umi-kumu-ma-kahi, ten the root and one, or umi-akahi-keu, ten one over; this would be continued by adding the units to the ten till twenty, which they call iva-karua, forty they call kanahaa, for seventy-six they would say forty twenty ten and six, and continue counting by forties till 400, which they call a rau, then they add till 4000, which they call mäno, 40,000 they call lehu, and 400,000 a kini; beyond this we do not know that they carry their calculations: the above words are sometimes doubled, as manomano kinikini; they are, however, only used thus to express a large but indefinite number. Their selection of the number four in calculations is singular; thus, 864,895 would be, according to their method of reckoning, two kini, or 400,000s, one lehu, 40,000, six mano, or 4000s, two rau, or 400s. two kanaha, or 40s, one umi, or ten and five. They calculate time by the moon; allow twelve to a year; have a distinct name for every moon, and every night of the moon, and reckon the parts of a month by the number of nights, as po akoru ainei, nights three ago, instead of three days ago. The following are some of the most common words in their language:

Akua God.
kanaka man.
wahine woman.
kama child.
ra, or la sun.
mahina moon.
hokú star.
lani heaven, or sky.
ao light.
pouri darkness.
makani wind.
vera hot.
anu cold.
hare house.
waa canoe.
mata face and eye.
rauoho hair.
ihu nose.
waha mouth.
naau stomach.
rima hands and arms
wawae legs and feet.
buaa hog.
ilio dog.
moa fowl.
manu bird
ia fish.
wai water.
ahi fire.
uru bread-fruit.
maia plantain.
ai food.
inu to drink.
here to walk.
noho to sit.
moe to sleep.
orero to speak.
ereere black.
keokeo white.
ura red.page 470
lenalena yellow.
eha pain.
rea pleasure.
maitai good.
ino bad.
pono correct.
heva wrong, guilt.
raau tree, wood.
rau leaf.
kai sea.
aina land.
uhane spirit.
kino body.
poo head.
polulu spear.
mouna mountain.
heiau a temple.
kapa native cloth.
rore foreign do.
ora to live.
make to die.
ai to eat.
ihe javelin.
bu a hill.
papale a hat.
hao iron.
pohaku stone.
repo dirt.
area hard.
nolunolu soft.
ma a sling.
rua a pit.
kamaa shoes.

The following specimen of native composition will convey some idea of their idiom. The translation is servile; and with this I shall close these remarks on their language. It is a letter written by the late king in answer to one I sent, acquainting him with my second arrival in the islands, on the 4th of Feb. 1823.

Mr. Ellis, eo.

Mr. Ellis, attend.

Aroha ino oe, me ko wahine, me na keiki Attachment great (to) you, and your wife, with children

a pau a orua. I ola oukou ia Jehova ia all of ye two. Preserved (have) you (been) by Jehovah

laua o Iesu Kraist. Eia kau wahi olero ia oe, Mr. Ellis, they two Jesus Christ. This (is) my word to you, Mr. Ellis,

apopo a kela la ku a ahiahi, a ku hoi mai, to-morrow or the day after when evening, then I return.

I ka tabu a leila ua ite kaua. A i makemake oe On the Sabbath then (shall) meet we. But if desire you

e here mai ianei maitai no hoi. Ike ware oe i na'rii to come here, well also. Seen indeed (have) you the page 471 e Tahiti. Aroha ware na'rii o Bolabola.

chiefs of Tahiti. Attachment only to the chiefs of Borabora.

I ola oe ia Jehova ia Jesu Kraist.

Saved (may) you (be) by Jehovah by Jesus Christ.


∗The term for the Society Islands.


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