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Learning Tongan

Posted: 2005-08-29, 22:21
by Ariki
OK!

I'll do it!

I'll buy Churchward's grammar guide on how to speak Tongan.

Happy?

:P

Posted: 2005-09-02, 14:19
by ego
Try Shumway's "Intensive Course in Tongan" also. Awesome book. If you find any Tongan to practice tell me :P

Posted: 2005-09-03, 4:41
by Ariki
Well Churchward's book looks very, very, very difficult to understand (I haven't bought it yet - I'm just looking at a copy I got from the library).

I haven't seen Shumway's grammar book yet.

One thing that makes me wary, that if these are the two 'best' books I can find about Tongan, I am going to struggle really hard (I believe all grammar books should be 'user friendly').

Posted: 2005-09-12, 12:15
by ego
Come on!! You are a Poly and a lingofreak and finding "Tongan Grammar" hard?? I don't believe you, you just have to give a better look. I found it quite user friendly. Shumway's book is also very "user friendly".. When you start? I am looking forward to speak Tongan with you :burning:

Posted: 2005-09-13, 1:05
by Ariki
Come on!! You are a Poly and a lingofreak and finding "Tongan Grammar" hard?? I don't believe you, you just have to give a better look. I found it quite user friendly. Shumway's book is also very "user friendly".. When you start? I am looking forward to speak Tongan with you


The grammar itself isn't that hard - it's just the way it is explained. Māori and Cook Islands Māori grammar is explained very, very differently in a way that is user friendly.

Posted: 2005-09-13, 6:16
by Ariki
I feel part of the problem may be, is that they may be using grammar terms which aren't used in describing Māori language grammar (Cook Islands/New Zealand/Tahitian). To give an example, I've yet to see any grammar talk about 'datives' (don't worry, I know what a dative is :D) as they do in one Rapa Nui phrase book.

Posted: 2005-09-13, 11:15
by ego
Dative in Rapa Nui? Cases in Polynesian languages? I would like to know more

Posted: 2005-09-30, 5:56
by Ariki
Yes, of course there are cases. The cases however, are not as numerous as other languages. For example -

I marks the direct object.

Ka kai au i te manu - I must eat the bird.

Hai marks the instrumental case e.g. -

He kai au hai to`oku rima - I ate with my hand

Subject case is generally 0, that is, unmarked -

Ka haere mai koe! - You must come!

Location case, is generally, by default, marked by i (past and present), ai (future), ō (from), mai (from), ki (to). These are the markers that I know that are location case markers.

I runga au - I was above.
Mai raro au - I have come from below
Ai reira tātou - We will be at that aforementioned place
Kihē? - To where?
Ōhē mai koe? - Where are you from?

These are some examples in Rapa Nui.

Dative and ablative don't apply in the majority of Polynesian languages, because 'i' always marks the direct object, even if you do switch with the subject (to make a VOS sentence), the meaning is still the same.

Posted: 2005-10-06, 8:45
by ego
Oh ok, I just thought you meant cases accompanied by words changes.

Posted: 2005-10-06, 11:16
by Ariki
Oh ok, I just thought you meant cases accompanied by words changes.


For Eastern Polynesian languages, all the grammar is with in the 'phrase' not the word, which is why there is little change in the morphology of words.

So, there are cases, and these are determined by the particles at the start of the phrase.