Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Tekem, the language (aka deriving verbs from nouns)

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 16, 2001, 3:27
Eric Christopherson wrote:

>On Thu, May 03, 2001 at 12:44:25PM -0400, David Peterson wrote: >> Ah, I'm learning Hawaiian right now. And though it has twelve
>> it actually has all of the following sounds: >> >> k p w v A e i o u E a(schwa-type sound) l h n j ? m >> >> Oh, and by the way. I've come to the conclusion that Hawaiian is the >> greatest and most perfect language in all the world for all time, ever,
>> ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, without excpetion. Aloha ea!
I agree, though I know very little of it. All Polynesian languages IMO are very attractive. And gramatically interesting.
> >Hey, on a slightly related note, I've been wondering for quite a while how >the word Hawaii is actually pronounced in Hawaiian. I keep seeing it
>(more and more) <Hawai'i>, which makes me wonder if there's a /?/ between >the two /i/s but not between the /a/ and /i/. Also, I often hear it as >/hA"wA?i/, which annoys me a bit because I think both /i/s are supposed to >be pronounced. But that's just hearsay on my part.
We had a go-round on this around a year ago, and I think the upshot was that "Hawaii" is the official spelling, though _Hawai'i_ more accurately reflects the correct pronunciation, and is the favored spelling of the native-Hawaiian movement. Historically, the word reflects PN *sava iki 'little sava (a place name)'; there actually is a Savaiki somewhere in central Polynesia (near Tonga/Samoa?), but it's unlikely to be the "homeland"; even less convincing, the surely spurious connection made by some amateurs with Java-- the sound correspondences are fine, but again it's unlikely the Polynesians, much less the Hawaiians, came from there. It would be nice if David would share some of his Haw. knowledge-- I'd be curious to know about the status of /?/, which isn't always indicated in the writing (predictable in some cases I think, e.g. between like vowels?); similarly, how are the long or double vowels indicated nowadays? The 19th C. missionary script was not very satisfactory, and I seem to recall that it's been brought up to date, what with attempts to encourage young people to learn and speak the language. As to his list of sounds, I suspect that the _phonemes_ are 13: p k m n w h l ?, a e i o u. Leaving out /?/, that makes 12 letters. Written "w" is [v]-like, probably labiodental approximant, not fricative. Intervocalic /u/ is often pronounced [w], as in "Maui"; probably [j] is reduced /i/ in the same environment. What if anything conditions the pronunciations e vs. E, and the schwa-like sound? Those are news to me.


John Cowan <cowan@...>Hawaii (was: Tekem)