A Grammar and Dictionary of the Samoan Language, with English and Samoan vocabulary
Some adjectives are primitive, as umi, long; poto, wise. Some formed from nouns by the addition of a, like y in English; as word, wordy; thus, ʻeleʻele, dirt; ʻeleʻelea, dirty; palapala, mud; palapala, muddy. Others are formed by doubling the noun; as pona, a knot; ponapona, knotty; fatu, a stone; fatufatua, stony. Others are formed by prefixing faʻa to the noun; as ʻo le tu faʻasamoa, a Samoan custom. Like ly in English, the faʻa often expresses similitude; ʻo le amio faʻapuaʻa, swinish conduct. In one or two cases a is prefixed; as apulupulu, sticky, from pulu, resin; avanoa, open; from va and noa.
Verbs are also used as adjectives: ʻo le ala faigata, a difficult road; ʻo le vai tafe, a river, flowing water; ʻo le laʻau ola, a live tree; also the passive: ʻo le aliʻi mataʻutia.
Ma is the prefix of condition, sae, to tear; masae, torn; as, ʻO le iʻe masae, torn cloth; Goto, to sink; magoto, sunk; ʻo le vaʻa magoto, a sunken canoe.
A kind of compound adjective is formed by the union of a noun with an adjective; as ʻo le tagata lima malosi, a strong man, lit. the stronghanded man; ʻo le tagata loto vaivai, a weak-spirited man.
Nouns denoting the materials out of which things are made are used as adjectives: ʻo le mama auro, a gold ring; ʻo le fale maʻa, a stone house. Or they may be reckoned as nouns in the genitive. (See Syntax.)
Adjectives expressive of colours are mostly reduplicated words; as sinasina, white; uliuli, black; samasama, yellow; ʻenaʻena, brown; mumu, red, etc.; but when they follow a noun they are usually found in their simple form; as ʻo le ʻie sina, white cloth; ʻo le puaʻa uli, a black pig. The plural is sometimes distinguished by doubling the first syllable; as sina, white; plural, sisina; tele, great; pl. tetele. In compound words the first syllable of the root is doubled; as maualuga, high; pl. maualuluga. Occasionally the reciprocal form is used as a plural; as lele, flying; ʻo manu felelei, flying creatures, birds.
Comparison is generally effected by using two adjectives, both in the positive state; thus e lelei lenei, ʻa e leaga lena, this is good—but that is bad, not in itself, but in comparison with the other; e umi lenei, a e puupuu lena, this is long, that is short.
The superlative is formed by the addition of an adverb, such as matua, tasi, sili, silisiliʻese aʻiaʻi, naʻua; as ʻua lelei tasi, it alone is good—that is, nothing equals it. ʻUa matua silisili ona lelei, it is very exceedingly good; ʻua tele naʻua, it is very great. Silisili ese, highest, ese, differing from all others.
Naua has often the meaning of “too much”; ua tele naua, it is greater than is required.
The cardinals are:—
E tasi, one.
E lua, two.
E tolu, three.
E fa, four.
E lima, five.
E ono, six.
E fitu, seven.
E valu, eight.page 9
E iva, nine.
E sefulu, ten.
E sefulu ma le tasi, eleven.
E sefulu ma le lua, twelve.
E luafulu. or e lua sefulu, twenty.
E tolugafulu, thirty.
E fagafulu, forty.
E limagafulu, fifty.
E onogafulu, sixty.
E fitugafulu, seventy.
E valugafulu, eighty.
E ivagafulu, ninety.
E selau, one hundred.
E lua lau, two hundred.
E tolugalau, three hundred.
E afe, one thousand.
E lua afe, two thousand.
E tolugaafe, three thousand.
E mano, ten thousand.
E mano is the utmost limit. The natives do not say, e lua mano, but all beyond mano is manomano, ilu; that is, innumerable.
Hazlewood, in his Fijian Grammar, regards the particle e as a kind of article. It would seem rather to be the verbal particle, because the numerals take ua and sa, instead of e; as, ua valu, there are eight. When joined to nouns of time e is omitted before the numeral: ʻE po fitu, seven nights, but, E fitu o matou po, our nights are seven.
“Numerals in the Melanesian languages are used as nouns, adjectives, and verbs.” (Codrington, p. 237.) E sefulu, it is tenned; here it is a verb.
ʻO le muamua, or ʻo le uluaʻi, first.
ʻO le lua, second.
ʻO le tolu, third, etc.
Months are counted differently after the second—
ʻO le toluga masina, the third month.
O le faga masina, the fourth month, etc., up to the ninth, after which the ordinary counting is followed.
The numeral adverbs, once, twice, etc., are expressed by atu; as O le atu tasi, once; ʻO le atu lua, twice, etc.
Another method is by prefixing faʻa; as Ua ʻou sau faʻalua, I have come twice.
Distributives are formed by prefixing taʻi; as taʻitasi, one by one, one at a time; taʻilima, five each, or by fives. Toʻa is added in counting persons; as taʻitoʻalua, two at a time, or in pairs.
Thicknesses of things doubled, or folds, are expressed by prefixing to the cardinal number sautua; as sautualua, doubled; sautuatolu, threefold, etc.
Very many things are counted each in its own peculiar way. A knowledge of this is absolutely necessary, as being always used by the natives, and also to prevent mistakes; thus, to say, ʻo iʻa e lualau, instead of meaning two hundred, would mean only two.
The following are the principal forms:—
Men are counted by prefixing toʻa: e toʻatasi, one; e toʻatinoagafulu, ten.
Young pigs and cocoa-nuts by affixing oa, or in couples; as e luaoa, four; e fagaoa, eight. The odd one being expressed separately; thus, o popo e onogaoa ma le popo e tasi, thirteen.page 10
Cocoa-nuts by the score; thus, e seaea, twenty; e luaea, forty; e tolugaea, sixty.
Fowls, broadfruit, and some shell-fish; e tasi, one (as often with other things); e luafua, two; e tolugafua, three; e fuagafulu, ten; e fualua, twenty; e fuaselau, one hundred.
Crayfish; when ten, e tuʻeagafulu; tuʻelua, twenty.
Fish; e lualau, two; e tolugalau, three; e lauagafulu, ten; e laulua, twenty; e lauselau, one hundred; e laulualau, two hundred; e lauafe, one thousand.
Bonito (not called iʻa by Samoans, except on Tutuila); ʻo atu e luatino, two bonitos; e tinoagafulu, ten.
Taro, e luamata, two; e matagafulu, ten; e matalua, twenty, etc.
Yams; units as cocoa-nuts, tens as bananas: ʻO ufi a ʻaulua, twenty yams, lit. twenty stems.
Bananas; le ʻaufaʻi, one bunch (or stem); e luaʻau, two bunches; e ʻauagafulu, ten; e ʻaulua, twenty.
Masi, in round cakes or balls (potoi); e potoiagafulu, ten; in flat cakes, afiagafulu, ten.
Native-made dishes (cooked in leaves); e faʻaʻofuagafulu, ten; ʻofulua, twenty.