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From J. Stanley Gardiner (1898), "The Natives of Rotuma," Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 27:519.


Having been advised that a specimen of the language would be of considerable interest, I now give a list of upwards of three hundred words. Of numerals and pronouns I am also giving the Fijian and Samoan equivalents, and of such words out of my general list as seem to me to bear any relationship to Fijian, Samoan, or both languages. I am greatly indebted to Mr. Leefe, the Commissioner of Rotuma, an excellent Fijian scholar, for any merit the list may have. The Rotuman was written down by me first from the interpreter; the Fijian being then carefully added, the Fijian list was handed over to Gideoni, an ordained Wesleyan minister, a native of Rotuma, and by him translated into Rotuman, under Mr. Leefe's supervision. The Samoan list I compiled later from the Rev. George Pratt's dictionary, and by the aid of two Samoans in Fiji. I divided the list into words bearing a relationship to one another, in all eleven sections; the numbers in front of the words compared with Samoan and Fijian refer to these. The words chosen refer for the most part to objects of everyday use; others were to assist me in my inquiries about different points, as relationship, superstitions, etc.; and still others were merely for the purpose of comparison. When the list was being compiled, it was never intended for publication in such an incomplete form.




Basic Vocabulary



Sea and Land

The Human Body




The Canoe




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