Grammar and Vocabulary of the Lau Language eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 84 pages of information about Grammar and Vocabulary of the Lau Language.


(a) Demonstrative:  Singular, na, si; ta, te, ke; maae; fe.  Plural, gi; mwai, ote.

(b) Personal:  a, ni.

Na denotes a, any, the, and is put to more general use than the corresponding nga in Sa’a; na is used with both singular and plural:  na noni the body; na sasigamu your brethren.  The conjunction ma (=and) coalesces with na; mana Mwela and the Son. Na is used with the interrogative taa what.

2. Si is more definite and particular in meaning than na and denotes a part, a piece, any; it is more or less equivalent to me’i in Sa’a:  si doo ne the thing; gamelu ka ania si taa what are we to eat? si ere a firestick; si doo gu saea na that which I said; na may be prefixed:  na si baea taa ne what words? si can not be used of the plural.

3. Ta means a certain one, every, at all, just, only, and is the same as the numeral ta one:  ta may precede the article fe; ta fe uo every hill, ni may follow tatani aiai some, other. ta may mean only:  ta ro ai only two people; ta may be used with the numerals, ta ro mwane two men; ta ro tangale penny 200 pence.

Te has practically the same meanings as tate geni sarii a maiden; te taifilia he alone; te aiai falaete one person only. Te is used of units (as ata in Sa’a), te fiu fe doo only seven things; te ai ma te ai one by one; too te ai singly. Si may follow both ta and teta si fou a certain rock, te si na doo everything; te may be used as equivalent to the conjunction and:  te na Mwela and the Son.

Ke is used as teke si gula iidimani a small piece; ro kesi kurui bata two small pieces of money. Ke and si may be combined and used with tee langi asia na teke si doo there is nothing at all.

4. Maae is compounded of maa eye, one, and e the construct form, and means one, a; maae is used with fera country, dangi day, rodo night, oru wind; maae fera a village, maaedangi a day, maaerodo darkness.

5. Qe is used with certain nouns:  qe afe a widow, qe ia a fish, qe oru a widow; na may be prefixed:  na qe ia gi the fishes.

6. Fe is used of things spherical in shape and denotes a unit:  fe bread a loaf, fe bubulu a star; also fe gale bola a young pigeon, fe rade a reed; fe is used of one of a series:  fe rodo a night, fe asua a day; fe is also used as a multiplicative:  fe fiu ade doo taala seven cases of wrong-doing; na or ta or te may precede.

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Grammar and Vocabulary of the Lau Language from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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