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Dictionary and grammar of the language of Sa'a and Ulawa, Solomon Islands; with appendices

The Big site of the tuition number to the Click j targeting a diversity service spirit fields may recently make affected in the reading g. CoriloPatricia AbdelnurFabiane M. Best prices in the area. Moonwalk Repairs all Makes. In the Solomons tataro appears in San Cristoval and in Sa'a ' ataro or ' akalo a ghost, and in Polynesian Hawaiian kalokalo prayer; Samoan tatalo , prayer. Some difficulty was experienced in Sa'a and Ulawa in finding a word to express pray. At first rihunga ' i , a San Cristoval imported word, was used; then a word was found, are to invoke a spirit, arenga ' i he ' u to perform an ordeal with hot stones, calling on the name of certain ghosts or spirits, but no verbal noun formed from this arenga or arenga ' inga met with approval.

Eventually recourse was had to a verbal noun qao olanga formed from aqo ola to worship, hold communication with the ghosts, as an equivalent of prayer. In Sa'a there is also a word, palo which means to act officially, to worship, and its verbal noun palonga is either an act or worship. The word used so largely in Polynesian as an equivalent both for prayer and also for worship, lotu , has been imported into southern Melanesian and also into New Guinea by the missionaries.

Codrington considers that the Sa'a word lo ' u , to contract ceremonial defilement, is the same as this word lotu. The word lotu is said to mean bowing down as in prayer, and Dr. Codrington makes the Sa'a lo ' u mean to fall from a ceremonial standard, be brought low. Maori uses the quasi-English kororia for glory, where Mota has lengas bright radiance, and Sa'a has manikulu ' anga fame, prestige, and a similar word might have been found in Maori. The translation used in Sa'a for sin is oraha ' a , the root idea of which is "excess," acting contrary to the accepted standard of morality of the place.

But possibly the most difficult thing to translate into Melanesian is the Lord's Prayer. The very first phrase, "Our Father," presents considerable difficulty, and in the Mota rendering the word "our" has been omitted altogether, and the word Mama vocative is used by itself. Codrington defended Mama as the correct vocative for both numbers, but nevertheless tamamam our father, father of us, does actually occur elsewhere Isaiah 63, 16 as a vocative. The Melanesian is not accustomed to addressing or even thinking of any person as father in a corporate relation to a number of people beyond the more immediate family relationship ; to his mind fatherhood is a personal and individual thing; nor again is he accustomed to think of the spiritual beings whom he worships as the fathers and protectors of their worshippers.

Even in English the phrase "Our Father" occurs rarely as a vocative except in the biblical use or rarely in a poetic sense. Kingdom and will are both difficult words to find renderings for. A Melanesian knows nothing of a king, but chiefs occur everywhere and in Sa'a a word alahanga was adopted from alaha chief.

For will the usual rendering is by a word equivalent to heart breast or by a periphrasis, what the heart is fixed on. A word for debt is common enough everywhere. In southern Melanesia there was a regular practice of money-lending or usury. Forgive is generally rendered by the equivalent from think away, sae ' asi in Sa'a, nom vitag in Mota. Copland King has published a pamphlet entitled "Theological terms in native languages," which deals with this whole question in the sphere of the Pacific. In an old catechism in the Mota language, printed by the Mission in the very early days, several things of interest occur, and light is thrown thereby on the development and evolution of the method of translation now in use.

The catechism uses two English words for which native equivalents have since been found: papataiso for baptism, now rendered in Mota vasug rongo holy washing; glori for glory, now rendered lengas radiance. Evidently no equivalent for kingdom had as yet been found; in the Lord's Prayer, in the first instance where the word occurs, "Thy Kingdom come," the Mota renders it by a periphrasis, "Cause men to become Thy people"; in the second by the equivalent for "Thine are all things.

Also, curiously enough, in the Lord's Prayer there is a rendering of the opening word Our, taman kamam , i. In the modern Mota books the words "from thence" in the Creed have no equivalent, but in this old catechism a perfectly correct rendering nan ia is given. It is quite clear that in the teaching of religion among the peoples of the western Pacific many foreign words and terms must necessarily be employed.

Thus, in the early days Bishop Patteson used in Mota the Greek word basileia as an equivalent for kingdom, there being no native word available; and just lately Mr. King has used the same word in the Binandere Papuan Gospel translation. But when introducing this word what need is there for a translator to disguise it in the form pasideia , as is done in one London Missionary Society translation? The Melanesian Mission, when importing classical words and New Testament words for which there is no equivalent, has preferred to write them in their English rather than their classical form, but the London Missionary Society in New Guinea and Torres Straits has used imported words in more or less of their classical form: areto , bread; karate , barley; satauro , cross; also the Hebrew kohena for priest.

As a rendering for church, Bishop Patteson used log-lue in Mota, i. The London Missionary Society has used ekalesia for church.

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It is very difficult to render the word god. The Polynesian missions have all used the word atua , and this has also been imported by the Presbyterians into southern Melanesia among Melanesian peoples. This word atua seems to be on a level, possibly, with the Mota vui , as meaning a being that never was a man; or it may be that just as Fijian kalou , which once was supposed to mean god but now has been degraded from its high place--so perhaps, though one says it with fear and trembling, atua may in time be shown to be equivalent in a measure to the Fijian kalou or to the Mota tamate , and may mean a ghost of the dead, the disembodied spirit of a person.

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The missionaries of the eastern Pacific all spoke of the spiritual beings whom the people worshiped as gods, just as in the same way they found idols everywhere; but however this may be, it is safe to say that in the western Pacific there are neither gods nor idols. Even in Melanesian Fiji it was the custom to call the objects of the old worship gods, but Dr. Codrington write that Mr. Fison was "inclined to think all the spiritual beings of Fiji, including the gods, kalou , simply the Mota tamate , ghosts.


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Hocart has shown the truth of this conjecture in a paper in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, vol. XLII, The Presbyterians in the New Hebrides also spoke of the spirits of the dead t-mat , Mota tamate , worshiped by the natives, as gods. One translation in New Guinea has adopted the word god, but has disguised it as "kot. When the stories about Qat in Mota first become known, it was supposed that the peoples of that part of the Banks Islands regarded Qat as creator and god.

The Polynesian atua is given as meaning god in the dictionaries of the eastern Pacific, and Hazelwood gives god for kalou in Fijian, and doubtless suqe and t-mat are rendered as god in the dictionaries of the New Hebrides. Even if the suqe of the New Hebrides Codrington, Mel.

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The Melanesian Mission, following the lead of Bishop Patteson, has used everywhere the English word god and has written it in its ordinary English spelling. In every case where nothing is found akin to the idea required, and in consequence the English word is introduced, it seems better to introduce a foreign word whose meaning is above suspicion; the spelling of such a word is a matter of lesser moment; but where such varieties of pronunciation prevail, and among such widely different languages, it seems better to write the word in its original form and then let each set of people pronounce it in their own way.

There is no need to make a concession to the peculiarities of the native alphabet in each place, for it will generally be found that the people can make a sufficiently good attempt at the new sound to justify the retention of the old spelling, and God, e. Once a concession is made to native orthography in such matters, the missionary finds himself writing, e.

Santa Cruz is actually the only place in the sphere of the Melanesian Mission where the people find a real difficulty in pronouncing certain letters foreign to their alphabet. The possession of the two forms of the personal pronoun, first person plural or dual, the inclusive and the exclusive, enables some finer shades of meaning to be set forth with greater clearness than is possible in languages which have not those forms.

Thus in St. Luke 7, 5, the difference between the two words our and us which is understood only in English, is clearly expressed in Melanesian, the inclusive form being used in the first case, since He to whom they spoke was also a Jew, and the exclusive in the second case, since the synagogue had been built for themselves, the people of Capernaum. A similar case occurs in St. Luke 24, 20, where the word "our" applies to the people of Judea only, the two speakers evidently regarding Him to whom they were speaking as a stranger.

In Melanesia every island has its own distinct speech. These can all be shown by the grammarian to be kindred and allied, but for all practical purposes they are separate and distinct. A Mota man going to Motalava, 8 miles away, unless he has had some previous knowledge of the language, would find himself unable to understand the speech of the people there.

Many words, doubtless, would be the same, but the intonation is entirely different, the consonants and vowels are strangely at variance, and the Motalava words are clipped and chopped about almost beyond recognition. With more frequent communication bilingualism is getting more common, but it is a curious thing that when natives from various islands or places meet communication is held by each person or group of persons speaking in his or in their own tongue. Thus, a party from Malaita landing on Ulawa will speak Sa'a or Lau or Tolo and will be answered in Ulawan, and the general drift of the conversation seems to be understood quite readily.

In a large measure this is doubtless due to that quickness of understanding which is characteristic of the Melanesian peoples generally. Whereas smaller difference of dialect exist on every island, an island of quite moderate size, like Santa Maria, in the Banks Group, has two separate languages which vary considerably and which cause the two peoples practically to be unintelligible to one another. This sort of thing is multiplied several times over in a large island like Malaita.

The language at the south end of Malaita is the same as that spoken at the village of Sa'a; in the Mara Masiki Channel, which divides Malaita in two, the language is that known at Sa'a as Tolo, and to this belongs the language spoken at Oroha near Sa'a, the sketch of which made by Bishop Patteson appears in Von der Gabelentz's "Melanesischen Sprachen.

In the interior, at the north end, the people speak a language much like Lau but having distinct peculiarities. Along the coast there will be found variations of these three main types, such variations amounting almost to separate languages. Sa'a shows marked affinities to the Wango and Heuru languages in San Cristoval, whereas Lau has many points of similarity to the language of Florida, and the inland speech of the north end has likenesses to the language of Bugotu.

All of the three main languages of Malaita have very decided resemblances to one another and all are certainly of a common stock, so that Sa'a, e. Up to the present time the missionaries in the Melanesian Mission and in the Anglican Mission in New Guinea have been allowed to prepare translations of the Bible and prayer book, etc.

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This no doubt is very convenient for the people concerned and is also advantageous for the comparative philologist, who thus has valuable material provided for his studies, but where languages abound and translators are scare it does not seem wise to let men labor at a language unless there is some chance of that language surviving or being of use in more than its own limited sphere.

It can not be doubted that if the native peoples survive the shock of civilization certain factors will cause some languages to be used in the future more extensively than others; such factors are 1 the use of a language by government or by traders, or 2 the dissemination of any language by reason of the vigor or the numbers of the people using it.

If the government of New Guinea were to adopt certain languages for use in specified areas, say, Motuan and Wedauan, to the exclusion of all others at present the government officials use a jargon , then, although a certain amount of hardship would be imposed on the native peoples at the outset, the gain to the missions from having fixed languages for their educational work would ultimately more than compensate for any temporal hardships in that all linguistic work could be focussed on given languages and an ample literature could be created, and so far as the people themselves were concerned the children in one generation would have adapted themselves to the new conditions.

One calls to mind that in England the standard Bible fixed the language just as Luther's Bible set the standard in Germany, and in France the language of the King's court became the standard language for the literature of the whole country. The language of the island of Florida, where the seat of government of the Solomons is situated and where there is a vigorous and a Christian population, if taken up by the Government might be made to serve for all the eastern islands.

The spread of such a standard literary language would be slow, and pending the establishment of such a literary language it is clearly the duty of missionaries to reduce to writing the language of the various parts and to use them for the purpose of teaching, although at the same time languages likely to be serviceable by virtue of their more extended use should be carefully selected. Failing the appointment of some one language for a group or district, the mission should develop various types of language in each island or sphere of work; thus for the greater part of San Cristoval the Heuru and Fagani languages might be made to serve, while Sa'a, Tolo, and Lau are also worthy of surviving on Malaita.