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A Grammar and Dictionary of the Samoan Language, with English and Samoan vocabulary


page 32


The pronoun is put in the nominative absolute for emphasis, and is then repeated with the verb; as ʻa ʻo ʻoe, ia ʻe fai atu, but as for you, you say. The possessive pronoun precedes the noun; as ʻo lona fale, his house. In quoting the words of another, the person of the pronouns is usually changed from the indirect to the direct; as ʻUa fai mai ʻo ia ʻOu te alu, He told me that I should go; very seldom ʻUa fai mai ʻo ia, ʻE te alu ʻoe, He told me, You go.

When it follows the verb, the ʻo of the nominative is usually dropped; ʻUa sese i matou nei, We are in fault. On the contrary, it is always used with ia, third person singular. E le toe sau lava ʻo ia, He will not come again. Euphony seems to direct this usage.

The relative is often understood in Samoan: ʻO le laʻau lea na aʻu liaʻiina, That is the plant I pulled up. In this case the passive termination seems to supply the place of ai. More commonly it is expressed by ai: ʻO le mea lava lenei na aʻu manaʻo ai, This is the thing which I wanted.

ʻO le mea lea, therefore, and se a le mea, wherefore, are always followed by ai after the verb; as ʻO le mea lea na aʻu sau ai, That is why I came.

The interrogative pronoun is much used instead of direct negation: ʻOu te alu ʻo le a? What should I go for? instead of, I will not go; E iloa e ai? Who knows? I don't. The interrogative pronoun ʻo ai is used in asking a person's name: ʻO ai lona igoa? lit.: Who is his name?