By George Pratt
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Additional resources for A Samoan Dictionary: With A Short Grammar Of The Samoan Dialect
No syllable can consist of more than three letters, one consonant and two vowels, the two vowels making a diphthong; as fai, mai, tau. Roots are sometimes monosyllabic, but mostly dissyllabic. Polysyllabic words are nearly all derived or compound words; as nofogata from nofo and gata, difficult of access; ta‘igaafi, from ta‘i, to attend to the fire, and afi, fire, the hearth. Accent The general rule is that the accent is on the penultima, but to this there are exceptions. Many words ending in a long vowel take the accent on the ultima; as ma‘elega, zealous; ‘ona, to be intoxicated; faigata, difficult.
It mostly follows active verbs: Seu lou va‘a i le mea nei, steer your canoe to this place. It is also used in sentences which require the addition of the verb to be, or to have, in translating them; ‘ua ia te ia le mea, the property is to him; that is, he has it. VocativeThis is indicated by e. Sometimes it retains the article; le ali‘i e; but, most commonly it is omitted. AblativeThe ablative is governed by mai, nai, ai, from; i, into; e, from, mostly with persons. Proper names are declined as the plural form of the common noun.
Or it denotes ability; as mafai, to be able; ‘ua ma manava, he can breathe. The full form, however, is much better, ‘Ua mafai ona manava. ”–Codringtom, p. 137. The prefix ga expresses equality or companionship; as gatusa, to be equal; gatasi, to be together; gasolo, to glide along. It occurs only in the dual and plural numbers. All these forms are declined in the same way as the simple primitive verb. The Verb “To Be”The verb to be is expressed by the verbal particles:– ‘O a‘u ‘o le tagata, I am a man.