LINGram 30: Grammar and Vocabulary of the Samoan Language

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Grammar and Vocabulary of the Samoan Language

H. Neffgen

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.

The Samoan alphabet is comprised of only fourteen letters—five vowels, a, e, i, o, u, and nine consonants, f, g, l, m, n, p, s, t, v; d and b are never used; h, k, and r only occurring in words of foreign origin, as auro, gold; areto, bread; ki, key. 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 bcing sometimes strung one after the other throughout an entire sentence. For example: fa'a, to cause, and 'uma, quite, all; fa'a'uma, to finish, terminate; fia, to be willing; inu, to drink; fiainu, to be thirsty; and so on (adopted from the introduction).

Contents: Pronunciation, word system (noun, adjective, pronouns, the verb, numerals, etc.), selections for reading, remarks on some of the points of similarity between the Samoan and the Tahitian and Maori languages, vocabulary. This re-edition has been published as no. 30 in the LINCOM Gramatica (LINGram) series (originally published 1918, London, written in English, translated from German by Arnold B. Stock).

ISBN 9783862900299. LINCOM Gramatica 30. 160pp. 2010.

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