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H Neffgen.

Grammar and vocabulary of the Samoan language, together with remarks on some of the points of similarity between the Samoan and the Tahitian and Maori languages online

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'•^ LIBRARY ■■■•'';



CORNELL UNIVERSITY LIBRARY





99 324




Cornell University
Library



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the Cornell University Library.

There are no known copyright restrictions in
the United States on the use of the text.



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924102199324



In compliance with current

Copyright law, Cornell University

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replacement volume on paper

that meets the ANSI Standard

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2005







djarnell Hnioecaity ffilhrarg

3tljara, Ncid linrb



BOUGHT WITH THE INCOME OF THE

SAGE ENDOWMENT FUND



THE GIFT OF



HENRY W. SAGE

1891



Grammar and Vocabulary



OF THE



Samoan Language

Together with Remarks on some of the Points of

Similarity between the Samoan and the Tahitian

and Maori Languages



By

H. NEFFGEN

Translated from the German by
ARNOLD B. STOCK



London :
KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER & Co., Ltd.

Broadway House, 68-74, Carter Lane, E.C.

1918



si^^^'



31-sl



PRINTED -N GREAT BRITAIN BY TUH ANCHOR PKESg LTD. TJPTREE ESSEX



CONTENTS

PAGB

INTEODUCTION - - - 1

PRONUNCUTION - - 3
WORD SYSTEM

Akticle - - 5

Noun ... . . 5

Declension - - - 5

Adjective - - 7

compaeative 8

Superlative - 9

Pkonouns, Personal - - 11

Possessive - 14

Relative 1 6

Interrogative - 20

Indefinite 20

Reflexive - - 21

The Verb - - 21

The Optative Mood - - 27

The Subjunctive Mood - 28

The Infinitive Mood - 28

The Participle 29

The Medium Form 32

Irregular Verbs 32

The Auxiliary Verbs - 33

The Compound Verbs - 34



iv. Contents



The Cardinal Numerals




.


PAG£

37


The Ordinal Numerals






38


Fractions






39


Multiplication Numerals






39


. The Prepositions






39


Adverbs op Place






41


Adverbs of Time






42


Other Adverbs




-


42


Conjunctions






42


Words only Used with Eeference to Chiefs


43


Syntax, and Eules applying to it




44


The Adjective






49


Interrogative Sentences






52


SELECTIONS FOR READING






54


REMARKS ON SOME OF THE


POINTS


OF




SIMILARITY BETWEEN THE SAMOAN AND




THE TAHITIAN AND MAORI


LANGUAGES




Tahitian






82


Maori






92


Selections for Reading








Tahitian






98


Maori






99


VOCABULARY








English-Samoan






100


Samoan-English




-


124


Words in General Use Systematically




Arranged






146



GRAMMAR

OF THE

SAMOAN LANGUAGE
INTRODUCTION

The Samoan is a branch of the Malay-Polynesian language,
which is spread over the whole island world of the Pacific
Ocean from Madagascar to South America, and is to be
found (with its various dialects) in the Melanesian, Malayan,
and Polynesian groups of islands. It is one of the numerous
Polynesian tongues which are in use over the eastern and
south-eastern area of Malay-Polynesia, extending, roughly,
from New Zealand to the Hawaiian Islands.

From the standpoint of grammar the Polynesian
languages cannot be regarded as strong, and few letters of
the alphabet are utilized. D and B are never used ;
H, K, and 5 are of rare occurrence, and then only in
words that have been introduced. All words have a vowel
termination, and their etymological forms are constructed
by the employment of particles attached to the roots,
thereby forming agglutinative or polysynthetic words, the
particles being sometimes strung one after the other
throughout an entire sentence. For example : ja!a,
to cause, and ^uma, quite, all •,fa'a'uma, to finish, terminate ;
fia, to be willing ; inu, to drink ; fiainu, to be thirsty ;
fa'a, to induce ; o'o, to go ; fa'ao'o, to lead, and
so on.



2 INTEODUCTION

Tlie Samoan alphabet is comprised of only fourteen
letters — five vowels, a, e, i, o, u, and nine consonants,
f, g, 1, m, n, p, s, t, V, — h, k, and r only occurring in words
of foreign origin, as auro, gold ; areto, bread ; ki, key.
The language now contains many introduced words, more
or less distorted by added vowels and substituted con-
sonants, in order to enable the native to articulate them.



PRONUNCIATION
VOWELS

A is pronounced like a in father
E „ „ „ a „ fate

I ,, „ „ i „ niacliine

O „ „ „ o „ note

U „ „ „ u „ flute

Diphthongs are a little more strongly accentuated than
in English, and each vowel is pronounced separately.
When written, however, the diacritical sign — ' — is used,
etymological considerations making this necessary. In
place of the (') there was formerly a consonant, which now
has gone out of use. Ex. : pua'a, pig (pud-a) ; i'o,
there (i-o) ; ii'u, fist (ii'-u).

CONSONANTS

F is pronounced the same as in English.

G has the sound of ng in singer, and is never strongly
enunciated like the ng in younger. Ex. : tagi, weep, cry
— tangi ; geno, beckon — ngeno.

L, m, n, p, s, and v all have the same pronunciation as
in English.

T is always sounded as in English, except in a few
places in Samoa, where it resembles k, due, presumably,
to the influence of a foreign tongue at some remote period.
This is not to be regarded as a rule, but merely a pro-
vincialism.

There are no double consonants in Samoan, but every

3



4 PRONUNCIATION

consonant is followed by a vowel, even in foreign proper
names. Ex. : Peteru, Peter.

Every word terminates with a vowel, thereby con-
tributing greatly to the softness and beauty of the language.

Proper names are the only words written with a capital
letter.

The penultimate syllable is the one on which the
accent most usually falls, but sometimes it may be placed
on the last or second from last, in which cases it is shown
by a stroke over the vowel to be accented. Ex. : tania,
boy ; tama, father ; tamaha, fellow ; manaia, pretty.

Most words begin with f, 1, m, p, or "t.

So far as the grammar and syntax of the language are
concerned they are reflected in the character of the Samoan,
who is amiable, honest, and friendly. He is lazy, though,
and will make a promise readily enough, but the fulfilment
of it is another matter. He is of a forgiving nature. His
flighty and pleasure-loving di^sposition is the most notice-
able of his characteristics, and this shows itself particularly
in his language. Instead of confining himself to any
particular rules in the matter of speech, it seems to be the
custom to babble on regardless of sense, according to our
notions, and it often occurs that in one sentence a word
may be repeated which has quite another meaning when
employed a second time. AU peculiarities which appear
in his language are attributable to the Samoan's sunny,
happy-go-lucky disposition, together with an inborn
remissness and unreUability. In many cases there are no
means of distinguishing between Active and Passive :
nine particles go to the formation of the latter, but no
special rules can be laid down for their use. This renders
it a little perplexing for the student at first, but in general
the language cannot be said to present many difficulties.



WORD SYSTEM

ARTICLE

The definite article is expressed by 'o le (pronounced
oh lay) and the indefinite by se. Ex. : 'o le fale, the
house ; 'o le i'e, the cloth ; se teine, a girl. When it is
wished to emphasize the indefinite article, tasi, one, is often
placed before the noun, but in this case the definite article
is used with it. Ex. : 'o le tasi tangata, a man. Frequently
le is used alone instead of 'o le when speaking of a thing
in a general way, but when the definite article appears as
the first word in, or at the very beginning of, a sentence,
'o le should always be employed.

NOUN

There is only one gender, properly speaking, in Samoan,
and no grammatical distinction between man and woman,
but in referring to animals, which are considered inferior
beings, the sex, where it is necessary, is distinguished by
the words ^off, male, and fdfine, female.

The definite article, 'o le, precedes all nouns in the
singular number, and 'o those in the plural, but when a
thing is referred to in a general way this is also dispensed
with. Ex. : 'o le mdile, the dog ; 'o mdile, the dogs ;
mdile, dogs. The dual number is rendered by 'o la mdile,
the two dogs, or both the dogs.

DECLENSION

As is the case in English, there is no proper declension
of the noun in the Samoan language, but it is formed by
the use of prepositions.

5



6 » WORD SYSTEM

Singular

Ex. : Nom. 'o lefale, tlie house.

Gen. le, or a lefale, of the house.

Dat. mo, or ma lefale, to the house, for, or,

with the house.
Ace. i lefale, the house, in the house.
Voc. lefale e !, house !

The plural is formed in exactly the same manner, but
that le is dropped out. Either form of the genitive
singular can be used — o le or a le. The mo and ma of the
dative are also interchangeable, and the use of either can
be left to the pleasure of the speaker, but should a particle
precede the preposition, mo follows and not ma.

In the accusative the preposition i appears before the
noun. This has the meaning of in. The accusative often
appears in Samoan where in a European language another
case would be used, but this will be dealt with later.
The i is changed into ia before proper names and personal
pronouns. Ex. : ia te 'oe, thee ; ia Tui (name).

If a word in the accusative should directly follow a
verb the i is dropped and le only remains. Ex. : ina
tuli'ese le tamdha !, drive the fellow away ! It is seldom,
however, that the Samoan will be found to use the full
accusative case.

In the vocative the 'o is not used, but an e follows the
word. Ex. : le alii el, Sir ! Often the entire article,
'o le, is abandoned. Ex. : sole e !, friend ! ; tamo, e !,
father ! This is very general. The above rules also
apply to the plural.

In regard to persons and things alluded to in a collective
sense the word 'au is oft«n employed. It is always used



WORD SYSTEM ^ 7

in the plural, and is best translated by folk, people. Ex. : si "f
'o le 'au itso, brethren, community (brother-folk) ; va'a,
ship ; 'auva'a, sailors (ship-folk) ; 'o le 'auupega, warriors
(people of the arms).

ADJECTIVE

The Samoan adjective is always placed after the noun
it qualifies, either directly following, or in combination
with an e, and, like the noun, is invariable, except when it
is used — which often happens — as a verb. In this case,
now and then, a change takes place in the plural. Ex. :
'o le 'ie mumu, the red cloth ; 'o le mauga maualuga, the
high mountain ; 'o le tama itiiti, the little child ; 'o tagata
leaga, the wicked men.

There are adjectives of root origin, such a,s fou, new,
lelei, beautiful, and those that are derived and originate
from other parts of speech, either by the addition of
particles or the amalgamation of several words. Ex. :
'o le ma! a, the stone ; ma'a'a, stony ; 'o le 'ele 'ele, the dirt ;
'ele 'ele 'a, dirty ; matapua'a, ugly (derived from mata,
face, and pua'a, pig) ; mata'u, avaricious (derived from
mata and 'u, angry, peevish appearance). As aheady
mentioned, verbs can take the place of adjectives and are
treated as such, these words having a plural formation.
Ex. : vai, water ; tafe, flow ; vaitafe, the river, flowing
water ; fetu, star ; lele, to fly ; fetulele, the shooting-star.

A substantive can also take the place of an adjective.
Ex. : 'ie, cloth ; mdmoe, sheep ; 'ie mdmoe, blanket,
coverlet ; fale 'ie, house of cloth, tent.

Adjectives which denote colour are reduplicated.
Ex. : mumu, red (from mu, to burn) ; sinasina, white
(from sina, to be white) ; samasama, yellow (from sama,



8 WORD SYSTEM

to dye). When these adjectives stand alone the redupli-
cated form is used, but if directly qualifying a noun, they
lose it. Ex. : 'o le 'ofu sina, the white dress. Bufc, e
samasama le fuga lea, this flower is yellow (it is yellow the
flower this).

In the case of several adjectives being used with a
noun, the first one follows it directly and the others are
connected by means of the conjunction ma (and), and the
article le. Ex. : 'o le tasi tagata mdnaia ma le auklei, a
distinguished and handsome man ; 'o le papa mafolafola
ma le malemole, a level and smooth rock ; 'o fdnau e leaga
ma lefa' atitipa, the children are wicked and dirty.



COMPARATIVE

The Samoan has no method of comparing the adjective
such as we have in English. He often employs two
adjectives, one of which may have a contrary meaning to
the other. The following examples will best explain.
Ex. : e mxitalelei le mea lenei 'a e matapua'a le mea lea,
this is more beautiful than . . . matalelei, beautiful ;
le mea lenei, this ; 'a, but ; matapua'a, ugly ; le mea lea,
that. This is beautiful, but that is ugly. E lelei ona 5 i
mdtou 'a e leaga ona nonofo, it is better to go than remain.
Really, it is good for us to go (o), but it is bad for us to
remain.

There is also another means of denoting comparison
when dealing with persons or things. Sili, silisili, very ;
matud, sure ; atili, enormous ; lava (placed after), very ;
aupito, excessively. When these are placed in apodosis
(the consequent clause of a sentence) the compared noun
takes the accusative form (denoted by the loss of the 'o



WORD SYSTEM 9

in the article, 'o le). Ex. : e sili tele le mauga i lefale, the
mountain is bigger than the house. Tele, big ; 'o le mauga,
the mountain.

Note. — In Samoan the subject usually takes second
place, in which case the article 'o is almost always omitted.
Ex. : 'ua e sili mMua le tama lenei i lend, this boy is older
than that one. But you can also say : e matua le tama
lenei 'a e itiiti lend, this boy is old, but that one is young
(itiiti). The latter turn of phrase can, however, only be
used to express contrast : good-bad ; polite-bad-mannered.
The Samoan would mostly use the former method of
expressing himself in the above examples, especially as it
sounds better and fewer words are necessary.



SUPERLATIVE

The superlative is formed by the aid of adverbs, which
are placed sometimes before and sometimes after. Matud,
sili, silisili appear before, and lava, tasi, na'ud after the
accompanjdng adjective. Ex. : mattod tele, or tele lava,
very large ; 'o le silisili tele, the very highest ; 'o le awpito
itiiti ifdnau, the smallest of the children. Eor very big,
the Samoan simply uses the word sili, which is then placed
after the noun and serves as an adjective. If a superlative
is employed in a comparative sense the object may be
either in the genitive or — ^more often — in the accusative.
Ex. : 'o le sili iake 'outou, the greatest amongst you.
la te 'outou is the accusative of 'o 'outou, you. '0 le
aupito itiiti o 'ou use, the smallest of my brothers. o'u
is the genitive plural of lo'u, my.

Should the superlative form of the adjective be used
with a noun the particle e is inserted.



10 WOED SYSTEM

Very often the Samoan will not employ the com-
parative, particnlarly if no confusion or mistake as to
meaning is likely to arise.



'o/m.


coat


ma.


and


tamaloa.


fellow


fulu.


hair, feathers


fafine,


woman


solnfanua


, horse


alii.


gentlemarij chief


mama,


ring


tupu.


Idng


itiiti.


little


tama.


boy, child


amioionu.


, honest, just


fama,


father


uliuli.


black


Una,


mother


filiga,


industrious


pafe.


lazy


nine.


sleep


oil.


to die, dead


mataivi.


blind



Note. — ^The auxiliary verb to he is generally not
expressed in Samoan, except when it is used in conjunction
with personal pronouns, but this wUl be discussed in its
proper place.

Verbs do not vary from their root-formation in the
singular.

'TJa is the word used to distinguish transitive verbs in
both their present and past tenses. Ex.: 'ua moe le
tind, the mother sleeps ; 'ua td le tamdloa ia ie a'u, the
fellow struck me.



Exercise

Translate into English : 'o le tanid o Is tama. — 'ua
amiotonu le alii. — \ia oti le solofanua. — e matua ina le
mataivi le teine. — 'ua e uliuli 'o fulu a le teine. — 'ua filiga le
tama lenei 'a e pai'e 'o lea. — 'o le mama o le alii. — 'o le
solofanua o le tupu. — 'ua itiiti le tama lea.

Into Samoan : The men are lazy. — The father of the
king is dead. — The coat of the boy is white. — The horse is
very big {tele lava). — The man is bigger than the boy. —



WOED SYSTEM 11

The mother of the children. — The just king. — The horse of
the man is small and black. — The boy of the king is
industrious.



PRONOUNS

PERSONAL PRONOUNS

The use of these is very simple, and they are declined in
the same way as substantives. It is only to be noted
that in the accusative ia is used instead of i, and that
between ia and the pronoun, te is inserted for the sake of
euphony.

The first and third persons have a euphonic i before the
pronoun in dual and plural.

Besides the singular and plural numbers there is also a
dual, which is only employed vfhen spealdng of two persons.
Ex. : 'o 'oe, thou ; 'o oulua, you two, both of you ; 'o
'outou, you (several).

There are two forms of the first persons in both dual and
plural, the use of which is determined by whether the
person addressed is excluded or not. ■ Ex. : 'o a'u, I ;
'o i tdiiM, we two (you and I ; dual), inclusive of the person
addressed ; and 'o i mdua, we two (not you ; dual), ex-
clusive of the person addressed ; 'o i tdtou, we all (plural),
inclusive ; 'o i mdtou, we [not including you I am now talk-
ing to ; plural), exclusive.

The personal pronouns are :

SINGULAR

'o a'M, or 'OM, or ta, I

'o "oe, thou

'o ia, he, she, it



12



WORD SYSTEM



DUAL



'o i tdua, or ia,
'o i maua, or ntd,
'o 'oulua,
'o i laua, or la.



we two (inclusive)
we two (exclusive)
you two

they two



'o i latou,
U) i mdimi,
'o ^outou,
'o i latou.



PLURAL



we (inclusive)
we (exclusive)
you
they



Declension of Pronouns

It might be mentioned that an ablative case can be
formed by the use of the preposition e, by, through.



Nom.

Gen.

Dat.

Ace.

Abl.



FIRST PERSON SINGULAR



'o a'u, Um, ia,

'o 'au, or a a'u,

ITU) a'u, ma a'u (mo'u, or ma'u),

ia te a'u,

e a'u.



of me, mine

to me

me

by me, through me



Dual



Nom. 'o i tdua,

Gen. o i tdua,

Dat. tru) i tdua.

Ace. ia te i tdua,

Abl. e i tdua,

Nom. 'o i mdua.

Gen. o i mdua,

Dat. mo i mdua.

Ace. ia te i mdua,

Abl. e i mdua.



we two (inclusive
of us two ( „
to us two ( ,,
us two ( „
by us two ( „

we two (exclusive
of us two ( „
to us two ( ,,
us two ( ,,
by us two (



Plural



Nom.

Gen.

Dat.

Ace.

Abl.



"o i tdtou,
o i tdtou,
mo i tdtou,
ia te i tdtou,
e i tdtou,



we
of us
to us
us
by us (



(inclusive
( =.
( M
( ..



WORD SYSTEM



13



Nom.

Gen.

Dat.

Ace.

Abl.



'o I maUm,
o i mStou,



we (exclusive
ofus (



mo i matou, to us (
ia te i mdUm, us (
e i matou, by us (



SECOND PERSON SINGULAR



Nom.

Gen.

Dat.

Aec.

Abl.



'o 'oe, thou
o 'oe, of thee
mo 'oc, to thee
ia te oe, thee
le 'oe, by thee



Nom.

Gen.

Dat.

Ace.

Abl.



Dual

'o 'oulua, you two
o 'oulua, of you two
mo 'oulua, to you two
ia te 'oulua, you two
e 'oulua, by you two



Nom.

Gen.

Dat.

Ace.

Abl.



Plural

'o 'ouiou,
o 'outou,
TOO 'outou.



you
of you
„^ uu,^u,, to you
ia te 'outou, you
e 'outou, Ji-" "



by you



Often tou is substituted for 'outou and Imi for 'oulua at
the pleasure of the speaker, presumably for euphonic
reasons.



Singular
'o icC, he she, it.



THIRD PERSON

Dual
o' i Idua, they two.



Plural
'o I Idtou, they.



The declension is exactly similar to that of the first
person. In regard to the second person, the singular, 'o 'oe,
is used when speaking to a single individual, and not the
second person plural, as in English.

If so or sa is placed before a personal pronoun in the
dual and pliiral it signifies owe of . . . Ex. : so tdtou,
one of us ; so Idtou, one of them.

The Samoan has a peculiar mode of expression which
is foreign to all other kindred languages, and consists in
conveying the thoughts or acts of two different persons by



U WORD SYSTEM

the dual, and, should more than two people be alluded to,
by the plural. This idiosyncrasy is best illustrated by one
or two examples. Ex. : I and the father is not rendered
by 'o a'u ma le tamd, but by 'o i mdua ma le tama, which
means, we two and the father. I stay with you (two),
'ua tdtou te nonofo ma i mdua ; literally, we stay with us
together. Will you go with the chief ? lua te 5 ea ma le
alii nei? The answer would be. Yes, I am going with
him ; ona tali ai lea 'o ia : ma te 6. Will you go with me ?
pe e te fia sau td te o ? Yes, I am going with Joe, td te d.

Curious modes of expression such as the above often
occur and add somewhat to the difficulty of the language,
but reading will soon accustom one to them. 'Ua 'ou te
(nofo) ia te 'oulua can be rendered, I stay with you (two) ;
but this way of using it is not very often heard.

The formation of the possessive pronoun is much the
same. If it is desired to convey the idea of being with
anyone, as, for example, " The child is with me," the
pronoun is placed between 'o and le of the article. It would
not be correct to say, 'o le tama e ia te a'u, but, e 'o ia te
au le tama. Ex. : pe e 'o ia te 'outou le tagata ? e leai, e
le 'i 'inei 'o ia f, is the man with you ? no, he is not bere.

POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS

The possessive pronouns are formed from the corre-
sponding personal pronouns by placing them before the
respective definite articles and omitting the e of the article '
and the 'o of the pronouns. Ex. : 'o o'u, or 'o a'u, I.

Le 'o o'tt = Zo'm ; Ze'o a'u = ld!u, my

Se (y'u = so'm ; se a'u = sa u, my (one of mine)

Lota, or lata, my, is seldom come across.
The rest of the possessive pronouns are :



WORD SYSTEM 15

SINGULAR

Lou, Idu, thine (seldom, lo o'«, to'oe)
Lona, lana, his

Lo iaua, our (two) (inclusive ; dual). Lo mdua, la mdua (ex-
clusive ; dual)

Lo taiou, our (inclusive ; plural)
Lo matou, our (exclusive ; plural)
Lo \)ulua, la 'oulua, your (two) (dual)
Lo 'outou, la Umtou, your (plural)
Lo Iaua, la Idua, their (two) (dual)
Lo Idtou, la Idtou, their (plural)

PLURAL

O'u, a^u, my

Ou, au, thy

Ona, ana, his

O, or a mdua, our (dual)

O, or a taiou, our (inclusive ; plural)

O, or a matou, our (exclusive ; plural)

O, or a 'oulua, your (dual)

O, or a 'outou, your (plural)

O, or (z Zawa, their (dual)

O, or a Idtou, their (plural)

The forms so'u and sa'w are very rarely used. But of
those given above with an optional o or a sound, such as
lo'u, loUj lo 'oe, it wiU be found that the use of the o is
more customary, ^x. : o'u mata, my eyes.

The forms lo tdua, lo taiou are only used when the
person addressed is included. Ex. : In spealdng to several
people who are in the same house with me, I might say :
'ua lelei lo tdtoufale, our house is beautiful ; but if I used
the same phrase to a person in the opposite house, I should
say : 'via lelei lo matou fale. If the same remark were
made to only one person, who was with me in my house, it
would be : 'ua lelei lo tdua fale, our (both) house is
beautiful. ,

Possessive pronouns always precede the words they
accompany. Ex. : lo matou tama ; lona avd (wife) ;
ona uso (brothers), etc.



16 WORD SYSTEM

DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUNS

SINGULAR

'o lenei, this
'o lea, lens, that
'o lea lava, that (of), the one

PLURAL

ia, nei, these
na, those
naZaua, those (of)

'0 lea lava does duty as an answer : Yes ; all right ;
very good.

The demonstrative pronouns can be employed sub-
stantively and adjectively. In tbe first case they stand
alone, and in the latter before the word with which they
are used. Ex. : 'o I'ou atalii lend, that is my son ; 'ou te
le iloa lava lea tagata, I do not know this man ; i htiei itu,
on this side ; i lea aso ma lea aso, on this day and that
day (every day, daily).

The word nei, this, is often strengthened by the addition
of 'o i Idtou nei, but this is only used substantively. AU this
is translated by nei mea 'uma, literally, these things all.

RELATIVE PRONOUNS

These are :

'O le, who, which
'O e, which (pluial)

Their use is a little complicated, and best demonstrated
by a few examples.

In many cases the relative pronoun is not employed,
the reason being that the Samoan is averse to the dependent
sentence. If he wished to say : " The man whom I have
seen," he would put it thus : 'o le tamdloa na iloa 'o au,


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Online LibraryH NeffgenGrammar and vocabulary of the Samoan language, together with remarks on some of the points of similarity between the Samoan and the Tahitian and Maori languages → online text (page 1 of 12)