meaning of O'ahu(the island)?

Moderators: aaakknu, atalarikt

TheManu
Posts: 23
Joined: 2008-04-10, 20:31
Real Name: TheManu
Gender: male
Location: US
Country: US United States (United States)

meaning of O'ahu(the island)?

Postby TheManu » 2008-04-10, 20:38

what does O'ahu mean in english?

TheManu
Posts: 23
Joined: 2008-04-10, 20:31
Real Name: TheManu
Gender: male
Location: US
Country: US United States (United States)

Postby TheManu » 2008-04-14, 9:35

After reading the "Niihau" thread, it seems that the meaning of the island names(most of them) and how they were named are lost.

here is what Te Rangi Hiroa had to say about O'ahu in
"RECORDING OF POLYNESIAN TEXTS AND PROPER NAMES"

Complications have occurred in some names through the particle o (Maori, ko) having been incorrectly incorporated with the name. An example occurs in the Cook spelling of Otaheetee ('o Tahiti). The Hawaiian spelling of the island of Oahu represents the grammatical construction of'o Ahu. The Tahiti spelling has been corrected, but Oahu remains and cannot be changed.

Ahu the original name?

interested in any opinions on that.

User avatar
Ariki
Posts: 2410
Joined: 2004-10-01, 14:53
Real Name: Tāne
Gender: male
Country: NZ New Zealand (New Zealand / Aotearoa)

Postby Ariki » 2008-04-14, 9:58

here is what Te Rangi Hiroa had to say about O'ahu in
"RECORDING OF POLYNESIAN TEXTS AND PROPER NAMES"

Complications have occurred in some names through the particle o (Maori, ko) having been incorrectly incorporated with the name. An example occurs in the Cook spelling of Otaheetee ('o Tahiti). The Hawaiian spelling of the island of Oahu represents the grammatical construction of'o Ahu. The Tahiti spelling has been corrected, but Oahu remains and cannot be changed.


Well Te Rangi Hiroa could be right but then again he could be completely wrong.

I'll check out the 19th century Hawaiian language newspapers. Either way even if it turns out to be preposition 'O technically all place names start with that preposition when they are being described. Hard to describe what I mean but as a speaker of a Polynesian language place names can't occur without a preposition.
Linguicide IS genocide. :)

He ingoa ōpaki a Riki; he ingoa ōkawa a Ariki.

Riki is an informal name; Ariki is a formal name.

User avatar
Ariki
Posts: 2410
Joined: 2004-10-01, 14:53
Real Name: Tāne
Gender: male
Country: NZ New Zealand (New Zealand / Aotearoa)

Postby Ariki » 2008-04-14, 10:16

Ok, well doing a brief search on the newspapers shows that native speakers of Hawaiian did not consider it erroneous that the O is there before 'Ahu.

Perhaps it could be that O'ahu is part of a longer name. Some Maori place names that start with O are part of a longer name.


If you want to read the Hawaiian language newspapers just go to this link -

http://nupepa.org/gsdl2.5/cgi-bin/nupep ... =&d=&l=haw
Linguicide IS genocide. :)

He ingoa ōpaki a Riki; he ingoa ōkawa a Ariki.

Riki is an informal name; Ariki is a formal name.

Mamo
Posts: 555
Joined: 2006-06-14, 21:56
Gender: male
Country: US United States (United States)

Postby Mamo » 2008-04-14, 10:34

TheManu wrote:After reading the "Niihau" thread, it seems that the meaning of the island names(most of them) and how they were named are lost.

here is what Te Rangi Hiroa had to say about O'ahu in
"RECORDING OF POLYNESIAN TEXTS AND PROPER NAMES"

Complications have occurred in some names through the particle o (Maori, ko) having been incorrectly incorporated with the name. An example occurs in the Cook spelling of Otaheetee ('o Tahiti). The Hawaiian spelling of the island of Oahu represents the grammatical construction of'o Ahu. The Tahiti spelling has been corrected, but Oahu remains and cannot be changed.

Ahu the original name?

interested in any opinions on that.


It might be possible, but I don't think that the name O'ahu is a complication resulting from the nominative particle becoming fixed to the beginning of 'Ahu, because other sited problems like the example of "Otaheetee" are problems that occurred for European explorers, not for Hawaiians, and the 'o did not become fixed to the other Hawaiian island names. We do not find that the other island names have become Ohawai'i, Omaui, Omoloka'i, Okaua'i, Oni'ihau, Okaho'olawe, or Olāna'i. If O'ahu is used to talk about a single person from O'ahu, the noun phrase would be "ke O'ahu." Determiners cannot precede the nominative particle in Hawaiian, so it is unlikely that the "o" is the nominative particle. O'ahu can be preceded by all prepositions (iā, i, ma, me, kō, kā, o, a, no, na, e [agentive] etc.) without the "o" disappearing, while the nominative particle cannot be preceded by prepositions. O'ahu can come after the vocative "e," too, where the following noun phrase would not be preceded by the nominative particle in Hawaiian. When O'ahu is in the subject position, it is preceded by the nominative marker 'o, as 'o O'ahu. The nominative marker 'o cannot precede another nominative marker 'o in Hawaiian.

In the Kumulipo, where only initial names appear with "o," and the other proper nouns do not, we find this:
2043. Puni Kauai, puni Oahu
2044. I Kahulu'u ka ewe i Waikane ka piko
2045. Ha'ule i Hakipu'u i Kualoa
2046. O Maui-a-ka-malo
2047. O ka ho'okala kupua o ka moku
2048. He moku--no

So, in this chant, where "o" does not occur in front of proper nouns unless they are initial in the phrase or in sentence structures that require it like the "X lāua 'o Y" pattern, O'ahu is still O'ahu, and not 'Ahu.

TheManu
Posts: 23
Joined: 2008-04-10, 20:31
Real Name: TheManu
Gender: male
Location: US
Country: US United States (United States)

Postby TheManu » 2008-04-14, 23:47

Mamo wrote:
TheManu wrote:After reading the "Niihau" thread, it seems that the meaning of the island names(most of them) and how they were named are lost.

here is what Te Rangi Hiroa had to say about O'ahu in
"RECORDING OF POLYNESIAN TEXTS AND PROPER NAMES"

Complications have occurred in some names through the particle o (Maori, ko) having been incorrectly incorporated with the name. An example occurs in the Cook spelling of Otaheetee ('o Tahiti). The Hawaiian spelling of the island of Oahu represents the grammatical construction of'o Ahu. The Tahiti spelling has been corrected, but Oahu remains and cannot be changed.

Ahu the original name?

interested in any opinions on that.


...example of "Otaheetee" are problems that occurred for European explorers, not for Hawaiians...


errors of European explorers and missionaries could have easily been transplanted in the language via the introduction of a written language and standardized alphabet.

Mamo
Posts: 555
Joined: 2006-06-14, 21:56
Gender: male
Country: US United States (United States)

Postby Mamo » 2008-04-15, 0:09

TheManu wrote:
Mamo wrote:
TheManu wrote:After reading the "Niihau" thread, it seems that the meaning of the island names(most of them) and how they were named are lost.

here is what Te Rangi Hiroa had to say about O'ahu in
"RECORDING OF POLYNESIAN TEXTS AND PROPER NAMES"

Complications have occurred in some names through the particle o (Maori, ko) having been incorrectly incorporated with the name. An example occurs in the Cook spelling of Otaheetee ('o Tahiti). The Hawaiian spelling of the island of Oahu represents the grammatical construction of'o Ahu. The Tahiti spelling has been corrected, but Oahu remains and cannot be changed.

Ahu the original name?

interested in any opinions on that.


...example of "Otaheetee" are problems that occurred for European explorers, not for Hawaiians...


errors of European explorers and missionaries could have easily been transplanted in the language via the introduction of a written language and standardized alphabet.


There is no evidence of the nominative "o" becoming fixed to any Hawaiian names. Coupled with the grammatical explanation above, it is highly unlikely that the nominative "o" became attached to O'ahu. If you choose to believe the opposite, it makes no difference to me or to anyone else. Have fun inventing etymologies for words in the Hawaiian language. I'm looking forward to some more. ;)

User avatar
Ariki
Posts: 2410
Joined: 2004-10-01, 14:53
Real Name: Tāne
Gender: male
Country: NZ New Zealand (New Zealand / Aotearoa)

Postby Ariki » 2008-04-15, 2:33

I'll check out the 19th century Hawaiian language newspapers. Either way even if it turns out to be preposition 'O technically all place names start with that preposition when they are being described. Hard to describe what I mean but as a speaker of a Polynesian language place names can't occur without a preposition.


I just want to add more to what I've written - they can occur without a preposition in poetry and chants.

Cheers Mamo. I was too lazy to explain that. So TheManu, as our resident Hawaiian language expert has said, if the O in O'ahu was a preposition then it wouldn't co-occur with determiners when describing people e.g. Ke O'ahu or with other prepositions in phrases such as Ua ho'i mai 'oia mai O'ahu mai (where mai before O'ahu is a preposition meaning "from").

errors of European explorers and missionaries could have easily been transplanted in the language via the introduction of a written language and standardized alphabet.


Name one Polynesian language where that has happened because I know for a fact that no Polynesian language has been that influenced by missionaries or outsiders. I'm sorry but saying what you're saying makes our ancestors sound incompetent in their own languages.
Linguicide IS genocide. :)

He ingoa ōpaki a Riki; he ingoa ōkawa a Ariki.

Riki is an informal name; Ariki is a formal name.

TheManu
Posts: 23
Joined: 2008-04-10, 20:31
Real Name: TheManu
Gender: male
Location: US
Country: US United States (United States)

Postby TheManu » 2008-04-15, 2:59

I did say "could have".
riki wrote:
TheManu wrote:errors of European explorers and missionaries could have easily been transplanted in the language via the introduction of a written language and standardized alphabet.


... because I know for a fact that no Polynesian language has been that influenced by missionaries or outsiders.


obviously outsiders did have considerable influence on the language & culture which is why the Hawaiian language nearly died.

Mamo
Posts: 555
Joined: 2006-06-14, 21:56
Gender: male
Country: US United States (United States)

Postby Mamo » 2008-04-15, 7:08

TheManu wrote:I did say "could have".
riki wrote:
TheManu wrote:errors of European explorers and missionaries could have easily been transplanted in the language via the introduction of a written language and standardized alphabet.


... because I know for a fact that no Polynesian language has been that influenced by missionaries or outsiders.


obviously outsiders did have considerable influence on the language & culture which is why the Hawaiian language nearly died.


Back on topic, the point that needs to be addressed is whether or not influence from outsiders resulted in a change from the alleged 'Ahu to O'ahu, with the "o" being the nominative marker fixed to the beginning of the word. I've provided several points against it.

Mamo wrote:
TheManu wrote:After reading the "Niihau" thread, it seems that the meaning of the island names(most of them) and how they were named are lost.

here is what Te Rangi Hiroa had to say about O'ahu in
"RECORDING OF POLYNESIAN TEXTS AND PROPER NAMES"

Complications have occurred in some names through the particle o (Maori, ko) having been incorrectly incorporated with the name. An example occurs in the Cook spelling of Otaheetee ('o Tahiti). The Hawaiian spelling of the island of Oahu represents the grammatical construction of'o Ahu. The Tahiti spelling has been corrected, but Oahu remains and cannot be changed.

Ahu the original name?

interested in any opinions on that.


It might be possible, but I don't think that the name O'ahu is a complication resulting from the nominative particle becoming fixed to the beginning of 'Ahu, because other sited problems like the example of "Otaheetee" are problems that occurred for European explorers, not for Hawaiians, and the 'o did not become fixed to the other Hawaiian island names. We do not find that the other island names have become Ohawai'i, Omaui, Omoloka'i, Okaua'i, Oni'ihau, Okaho'olawe, or Olāna'i. If O'ahu is used to talk about a single person from O'ahu, the noun phrase would be "ke O'ahu." Determiners cannot precede the nominative particle in Hawaiian, so it is unlikely that the "o" is the nominative particle. O'ahu can be preceded by all prepositions (iā, i, ma, me, kō, kā, o, a, no, na, e [agentive] etc.) without the "o" disappearing, while the nominative particle cannot be preceded by prepositions. O'ahu can come after the vocative "e," too, where the following noun phrase would not be preceded by the nominative particle in Hawaiian. When O'ahu is in the subject position, it is preceded by the nominative marker 'o, as 'o O'ahu. The nominative marker 'o cannot precede another nominative marker 'o in Hawaiian.

In the Kumulipo, where only initial names appear with "o," and the other proper nouns do not, we find this:
2043. Puni Kauai, puni Oahu
2044. I Kahulu'u ka ewe i Waikane ka piko
2045. Ha'ule i Hakipu'u i Kualoa
2046. O Maui-a-ka-malo
2047. O ka ho'okala kupua o ka moku
2048. He moku--no

So, in this chant, where "o" does not occur in front of proper nouns unless they are initial in the phrase or in sentence structures that require it like the "X lāua 'o Y" pattern, O'ahu is still O'ahu, and not 'Ahu.


But, if you choose to think differently, I won't change your mind. Your truth is so powerful that it defies the trends and rules of Hawaiian grammar. Good luck in all of that. :shock:

TheManu
Posts: 23
Joined: 2008-04-10, 20:31
Real Name: TheManu
Gender: male
Location: US
Country: US United States (United States)

Postby TheManu » 2008-04-15, 7:46

I believe you are confused Mamo, never in this thread did I put forth any "truth" nor did I ever try to pass off any thing as such. Carefully read my posts again.

This is what you said earlier..."It might be possible..." and then you offered good evidence countering that. No where did I disagree with. I just offered a possibility as well. Remember Mamo, you can't say definitively either way because you don't even know what O'ahu means or how the island was named.

Don't get so defensive Mamo...please reread the thread again and examine every response. I come in peace. ;)

User avatar
Ariki
Posts: 2410
Joined: 2004-10-01, 14:53
Real Name: Tāne
Gender: male
Country: NZ New Zealand (New Zealand / Aotearoa)

Postby Ariki » 2008-04-15, 7:55

obviously outsiders did have considerable influence on the language & culture which is why the Hawaiian language nearly died.


No Polynesian language in the Polynesian triangle has been that influenced to have its grammar changed or place names changed in speech and writing.

Don't try and change the topic like that TheManu.

This is what you said earlier..."It might be possible..." and then you offered good evidence countering that. No where did I disagree with. I just offered a possibility as well. Remember Mamo, you can't say definitively either way because you don't even know what O'ahu means or how the island was named.


Mamo's possibility is closer to being the truth though. Mamo is a native Hawaiian. He speaks Hawaiian. He has studied 19th century Hawaiian literature. He is as good as it gets around here. To say he is not certain is like saying Moses can't be quite certain of what the 5th commandment is.

'O O'ahu kekahi mokupuni o ka lahui o Hawai'i. That throws the whole O in O'ahu is 'O thing out.

TheManu, which Polynesian languages can you converse in?
Linguicide IS genocide. :)

He ingoa ōpaki a Riki; he ingoa ōkawa a Ariki.

Riki is an informal name; Ariki is a formal name.

Mamo
Posts: 555
Joined: 2006-06-14, 21:56
Gender: male
Country: US United States (United States)

Postby Mamo » 2008-04-17, 9:24

TheManu wrote:Remember Mamo, you can't say definitively either way because you don't even know what O'ahu means or how the island was named.


Although I can't say that it's 100% impossible, given that this alleged sound change is not present in the other place names, and therefore does not suggest that it is a feature of the Hawaiian language, even post contact, in addition to my grammatical explanations above, it is highly unlikely that the present "O'ahu" is derived from the nominative "o" becoming fixed to 'Ahu.

TheManu
Posts: 23
Joined: 2008-04-10, 20:31
Real Name: TheManu
Gender: male
Location: US
Country: US United States (United States)

Postby TheManu » 2008-04-26, 20:20

Mamo wrote:
TheManu wrote:Remember Mamo, you can't say definitively either way because you don't even know what O'ahu means or how the island was named.


Although I can't say that it's 100% impossible, given that this alleged sound change is not present in the other place names, and therefore does not suggest that it is a feature of the Hawaiian language, even post contact, in addition to my grammatical explanations above, it is highly unlikely that the present "O'ahu" is derived from the nominative "o" becoming fixed to 'Ahu.


Thats better grasshopper. You're learning now Mamo. ;)

Nero

Postby Nero » 2008-04-26, 20:36

TheManu wrote:You're learning now Mamo.


Quid est hoc? :evil:
Quid est pensum tuum, O Mamo, de illo discipulo superbo?
Sua electio verborum non mihi placet.

He aha kēia? :evil:
He aha kou mana‘o, e Mamo, i kēnā haumana ha'aheo?
A'ole makemake au i kona leo.

User avatar
Nohola
Posts: 79
Joined: 2006-08-22, 20:49
Real Name: Kalani
Gender: male
Location: Kuaihelani

Re: meaning of O'ahu(the island)?

Postby Nohola » 2008-09-16, 19:48

TheManu wrote:what does O'ahu mean in english?

Many of the island names' meanings have been lost. I know that Oahu was the daughter of Hawaiiloa, hanai'd to Lua, hence the name of the island Oahualua. Not that it helps w/ your question, but wanted to add that cultural tidbit in.
He manao oiwi!

E hoi e pee i ke opu weuweu me he moho la. E ao o hai ka pua o ka mauu ia oe


Return to “Australian, Austronesian and Papuan Languages”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest