Citation
Notes on the Maori-Polynesian comparative dictionary of Mr. E. Tregear

Material Information

Title:
Notes on the Maori-Polynesian comparative dictionary of Mr. E. Tregear being a paper read before the Nelson Philosophical Society
Abbreviated Title:
April 11th, May 16th, and Dec. 12th, 1892
Creator:
Atkinson, A. S. (Arthur S.), 1833-1902
Place of Publication:
Nelson
Publisher:
Bond, Finney, and Co.,
Publication Date:
Language:
Multiple languages
engmul
Physical Description:
69 pages; 22 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Maori language -- Dictionaries ( lcsh )
Polynesian languages -- Polyglot ( lcsh )
Tregear, Edward, -- 1846-1931 ( lcsh )
Reo Māori
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
dictionary ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
Oceania -- New Zealand
Ao-o-Kiwa -- Aotearoa
Coordinates:
-42 x 174

Notes

General Note:
VIAF (Name Authority) : Atkinson, A. S. (Arthur S.), 1833-1902 : URI http://viaf.org/viaf/93691113

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SOAS University of London
Holding Location:
SOAS University of London
Rights Management:
This item is licensed with the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commerical License. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge the author and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.
Resource Identifier:
IE Mao 410 / 776 ( soas classmark )

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Full Text
THE MAORI-POLYNESIAN
COMPARATIVE DICTIONARY,
OF
Mr. E. TRE GEAR, F.R.G.S., F.R.H.S.,
M.A.I.G.B., M.Ph.S., &c., &c.

J
By
A. S. ATKINSON.

4
BEING

i




NOTES
ON
THE MAORI-POLYNESIAN
COMPARATIVE DICTIONARY,
OF
Mr. E. TREGEAR, F.R.G.S., F.R.H.S.,
M.A.I.G.B., M.Ph.S., &c., &c.
By
A. S. ATKINSON.
BEING
A PAPER READ BEFORE THE NELSON PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY,
April 11th, May 16th, and Dec. 12th, 1892.
NELSON
BOND, FINNEY, AND CO., PRINTERS, ‘ COLONIST OFFICE,’ WAIMEA-STREET,
1893.




NOTES
ON
“ THE MAORI-POLYNESIAN
COMPARATIVE DICTIONARY.”*
has been said of some books, that difficult as they may
have been to write they were as difficult to review. But
this is a dangerous plea for the amateur reviewer with
which to cover his own shortcomings, since it might well
9 be replied, a priori, that a master of his subject may write
even easily, what an outsider with a reasonable suspicion of his
own ignorance, would find great difficulty, and without such a
suspicion great peril, in criticising And there is moreover, in the
case of Mr Tregear’s Dictionary, the practical answer, that
several critics, all presumably more or less learned, did in fact
review it, and were able to ascertain and declare its merits within
a very short time of its publication. Even more than this—
sufficient as we must suppose their investigation to have been,
most of them did not apparently find, in a book of some 700
pages, any defect to which it was worth calling the serious
attention of those they were addressing.
Nevertheless, cost what it may, I must confess that I have
felt great difficulty, indeed many difficulties, in dealing with this
book, although, instead of an adequate review for which I am
not qualified, I have undertaken only to comment upon certain
parts and aspects of it. That I have left other parts and aspects
unnoticed, or but little noticed, is according to the conditions
on which I undertook this paper.
Mr. Tregear presents his work to us as two-fold. + It is
intended to serve as a Maori dictionary in the ordinary sense,
but with many additional words, and with certain new features—
notably the inclusion of mythological persons and places, a
manifest improvement : and it is also as he puts it somewhat
♦The Maori Polynesian Comparative Dictionary. By Edward Tregear
F.R.G.S., F.R.H.S., &c. Wellington—Lyon & Blair.
fSee circular advertisement issued with the book.


2
generally, “philological”; but this is explained'to mean that
“ for the first time the student of Maori wiil be enabled to
“ ascertain the original value of a native word by comparing it
“ with its sister words in the other dialects of the Polynesian
“language; a reader may now readily ascertain whether the
“New Zealander has kept the primitive sense of a word, or
“ whether it has received a local warp.” That is a good deal, the
more especially as the author’s help to the reader is merely the
collocation of so many contemporary words. But more than that
—with only the same help—“the European student will by
“ means of this lexicon be in a position to compare the Oceanic
“ tongues with the languages of the great continents, as the
“ grouping together of vital words permits the most uncorrupted
“ form to be discriminated and adopted.”
The book, then, if it fulfils the high aims of its author,
may be called two works in one, a Maori dictionary and a
comparative dictionary of Maori and other Oceanic languages.
To do either of these as it should be done, might well occupy
several competent men for several years. If Mr. Tregear,
single-handed and as a bye-work, in the leisure of a few years,
has done both and done them well, it will be agreed that he has
made not only a big book, but under the circumstances, a
great one. The crucial question is as to its quality ; and to
this I will shortly return.
Of the difficulties he met with in the Maori part of his
dictionary Mr. Tregear does not say much, but his clerical labours
alone must have been severe if he had as a beginning to copy
out “ the 7000 words, with their meanings, which have hitherto
been included in the authentic lists”: the last curious phrase
being, I presume, a delicate euphemism for Archdeacon William’s
Dictionary, though including no doubt the two or three hundred
valuable words given in Dr. Shortland’s works. Hardships
of this kind seldom, luckily, fall to the lot of even the most
hapless author. Yet this was a small part of the merely
mechanical labour involved, to say nothing of the higher kinds.
In a paper (Trans. N.Z.I. xxiii. 532) published apparently about
the time of the completion of the work, Mr. Tregear has occasion
to mention his own “ untiring industry,” and the candid reader
will justify the compliment.
As to the difficulty of the 1 comparative ’ part of his task,
Mr. Tregear speaks with entire frankness of its stupendous
character. “Several attempts,” he says (p. ix.) “have been
“made to produce a Comparative Polynesian Dictionary, but so
“ gigantic was the labour, so enormous the mass of material, that
“the compilers have shrunk back appalled in the initiatory
“ stages of the work, and all that remains of their efforts has
“been a few imperfect and unreliable pages of vocabulary


3
“ scattered here and there through books treating of the Malayan
“ and Pacific Islands.”
It may be appropriate here to interject that if the foregoing
is a fair account of the quality of the work of Mr. Tregear’s
predecessors, our regret at the smallness of its quantity will be
itself as small. But one is tempted to ask, who were these early
compilers, as pusillanimous as they were rash, who on the very
threshold of a great work shrank back appalled into their native
obscurity, terrified, as it seems, into silence at the mere sight of
what they had undertaken ? Mr. Tregear is not of their kind,
but, from a feeling of delicacy no doubt, does not name them;
and I only refer to them from fear lest they should be identified
with others of a very diffierent kind whose works indeed are the
only ones I happen to possess containing some short comparative
vocabularies of Oceanic languages, travellers I mean, and
missionaries, such as Oapt. Cook (and his assistants), J. Craufurd,
the Rev. G. Turner, A. R. Wallace, and last but not least, Dr.
Codrington ; men who, though having other objects in view,
have in fact acted as pioneers of learning, going where alone
particular forms of knowledge were to be had at firsthand, and
bringing back, amongst much else of value, what they could of
this kind ; thus supplying to the comparative philologist, a more
or less substantial part of his material.
But, passing that by, and willingly admitting what is indeed
too obvious for discussion—the great labour involved in a work
of this kind—I will return to the preliminary question I proposed,
a question all important to the New Zealand student, and to the
foreign scholar, who would use Mr. Tregear’s Dictionary as a
work of reference: can it be taken as trustworthy, and
authoritative ? Does it, as far as it goes, present to us genuine
well-arranged knowledge, and nothing else ? and does it fairly
represent the work and views of the highest Maori, Polynesian,
and Oceanic scholarship ?
This evidently implies and suggests the further question :—
Is Mr. Tregear duly qualified for the high work he has
undertaken ?
The question may seem unnecessary—I hope not invidious
—to those who are acquainted with Mr. Tregear , especially to
those who, like the members of our Metropolitan Scientific
Society, may be said to have already answered it in the
affirmative, and—may I say?—with acclamation, bestowing
upon him their highest honour about the time of the publication
of his Dictionary, and at the end of his year of office putting on
record a special commendation of his book. But though myself
only a student of Maori, not a Maori scholar, still less a
Polynesian scholar, I claim a strong interest in the progress o£


4
Maori and Polynesian scholarship, and in that interest, I think,
the question should be asked and fully considered.
Now, whatever other qualifications besides industry Mr.
Tregear may have or may want, he is certainly an enthusiast.
If he has not hitherto been known in connection with questions of
exact scholarship in Maori or other Oceanic languages, he has long
been known as keenly interested in certain Polynesian questions
which he has prosecuted—in his own way no doubt, and with
varying success—but always with enthusiasm. And this
enthusiastic temper of mind by its very nature induces him to
take a large and generous view of the importance of the work he
is upon, and, incidentally, of his own share in it. Remembering
this, the reader will perhaps be able to see clearly, and to justify,
certain points in the book which might otherwise seem obscure,
or even open to animadversion.
Indeed, the note of enthusiasm, as I may call it, is struck in
the very first word in the book if we may take it as beginning
with the title-page. It is common, I believe, among lexicographers
to use the indefinite article in the title of their dictionaries ; to
take a New Zealand instance, Bishop and Archdeacon Williams
call theirs “ A Dictionary of the New Zealand Language ” ;
treating it as one of a class, although at the time of its
publication, the rest of the class may have had only a potential
existence. But this practice, derived merely perhaps from a
blind literary instinct, does not hinder Mr. Tregear from taking
an independent view of his own work, as one by itself, requiring
therefore the definite article: it is called accordingly “ The
Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary,” and when fully
examined, I believe, it will be found to have characteristics
entitling it to be called unique.
And in the same way as Mr. Tregear’s work is not a
dictionary, but the dictionary; so Mr. Tregear is not an author
of it—one of three or more—one who has built on the foundation,
or enlarged the building of others, but the author, who alone in
any true sense can claim, and therefore whose name alone
receives, a place on the title-page.
It must not, however, be inferred from this that Mr. Tregear
is under no obligation to others, or that he makes no
acknowledgment of his obligations. In his Preface (p. xii.) he
says :—“I have to thank certain authors for the advantages I
“ have received from their works, and without which I should
“ have been unable to present my dictionary in so complete a
“ form. First of these valuable books is Williams’ New Zealand
“ Dictionary. Although I have made considerable additions to
“ the stock of Maori words, the work of Bishop and Archdeacon
“ Williams (father and son) has been the basis of my structure,
“ as it has been for many years the authority and reference for
“ all Maori and English translators. Its fidelity and usefulness


5
“is so widely recognised that no word of praise from me would
“ raise it in public estimation.”
He then names a large number of other authors and friends
to whom thanks are due, and concludes with a merited
compliment to his publisher, Mr. J. R. Blair. “ To his
enterprise,” he says, “ I owe the fact that I am able to present
“ a technical book bristling with typographical difficulties in a
“ manner the accuracy of which is a credit to the publishing
“ firm and to this young colony.” The modest list of corrigenda
issued with the book supports this view, since it shows only ten
words wrong in 699 closely printed pages ; and though that
list will, as I believe, have to be multiplied many times in
the Maori part alone, the compliment is well deserved ; the
errors which are fairly numerous throughout the book, seem
to be rarely those of its printer.
I will pause here a moment to say that, if I understand him
rightly, it is easy to confirm the truth of Mr. Tregear’s statement
just quoted, that without the advantages derived from the works
of the authors whom he thanks he would have been “ unable to
to present his Dictionary in so complete a form.” Seeing that
without these he would have wanted practically all his Maori
words, by far the greater part of all his other Polynesian and his
Melanesian words, practically all his Polynesian and Melanesian
mythology, not to mention other things, say perhaps 95 per cent,
of his book, it is evident, unless I have seriously mistaken the
position, that in saying without all this his dictionary would not
have been so complete, he was well within the truth.
The acknowledgment, however, of obligation to other
authors mentioned above, is subject to a most material
qualification, which puzzled me greatly, but which, no doubt,
is referrible to the same enthusiastic view of the whole matter of
which I have spoken. In an earlier part of the Preface than
that quoted Mr. Tregear, in a few forcible words defines the
nature if not the extent of his indebtedness to others. He says
(p. x.; the italics are mine) :—“ Farther on I have thanked
“ those authors and those friends from whom I have received
“assistance. This refers to the raw material only. In collecting
“ the vocabularies, in searching for comparisons, in making
“ quotations for examples, in the compilation, in the whole of the
“philological and literary work 1 have been unassisted.1 ’
Evidently then, those who have contributed only the raw
material, whatever the mere quantity of this may have been,
could not reasonably expect to rank with the one man who has
done all the skilled work in the book, all the philological and
literary work it contains ; whose skill and learning, that is, have
converted the crude mass into the artistic article we have in the
Dictionary; nor, therefore, can they or any of them complain
that their names do not appear with his on the title-page • This


6
view has, it seems, been tacitly countenanced if not consciously
acquiesedinby those learned writers and speakers who in the Press
and before scientific societies have given most laudatory notices
of Mr. Tregear’s book without so much as a reference to that of
Bishop and Archdeacon Williams. Otherwise they could hardly
have avoided mention of a work which has supplied, and
commonly by the simplest of all literary processes, the great
bulk of all the Maori words and meanings Mr. Tregear has given
us in the corresponding part of his work. Or is it possible that
these learned critics, or some of them, had not yet gone so far
in their study of the Maori language as to know of the existence
of the only Maori dictionary
One word more upon the title-page. When I found
as it seemed to me, partly from Mr. Tregear’s admission,
partly from comparison of the two books in many places,
that he had in his enthusiasm borrowed and reprinted the
whole of Archdeacon Williams’ Dictionary, which, as I
suppose, seemed suitable, all the words, very nearly all the
meanings, and some of the examples, I confess I was surprised ;
the more especially as I had heard it reported, some two
or three years before, that Archdeacon Williams was
himself preparing a new edition. However, the thought occurred,
that Mr. Tregear was perhaps inaugurating a new era in the
literature of learning, anticipating somewhat that general social
millennium which is no doubt coming, though not yet here, when
a man’s rights will be measured by his needs, and his duties by
the needs of others, when he who has will give, and he who
wants will take ; and that as he had freely borrowed, so he
would as freely lend ; that his work, in short, would be at the
service of any subsequent lexicographer who, desiring to make
his own dictionary a little more complete, should have the wish
and the industry to copy out Mr. Tregear’s as a beginning. But
then, looking at the foot of the title page, I was saddened to find
the ominous formula guarding the copyright, and warning the
hasty that the literary millennium at all events had not yet
arrived, and, in New Zealand at least, and so far as concerned
Mr. Tregear’s work, was not, for the present, to be anticipated.
I trust, however, this may not prevent Archdeacon Williams
from re-borrowing his own, if, as I hope, he is in fact preparing
another edition.
*So far I have seen only two notices of Mr. Tregear’s work in which
Williams’ Dictionary was mentioned, and one of these, so far as it went, was
not laudatory. [Since this was written I have seen a review of the book in
“The Australasian” (Feb., 1892), which is not only laudatory, but contains
the sincerest flattery, since one half consists of echoes of Mr. Tregear’s Preface
and Introduction. It points out that he acknowledges his great obligations
to Williams’ Dictionary, &c., and adds, “ But such acknowledgments relate
to the ‘ raw material only,’ ” confirming thus the view I had previously
arrived at on that noteworthy point.]


7
To return now to the last question proposed. Industry and
enthusiasm Mr. Tregear certainly has: but these are of very
general value and application ; has he the special qualifications
—not easily found—which are needed in the writer of a Maori
dictionary which is also comparative ? First, or among the first,
of these is evidently a thorough knowledge of at least that one
of the compared lauguages which is treated as the standard of
comparison—in this case Maori. And this knowledge should, I
presume, include both the practical knowledge of it, such as an
educated Maori, one who knows the lore of his own people, has
of it; and such a scientific knowledge of it, as a student of the
science of language would gain who studied it in its relation to
other languages of the same family, and if possible in the light
derived from the habit of similar studies. By study of this kind
I do not mean the looking through two, or more vocalularies for
words spelt more or less alike, putting them down beside
each other, and there stopping. This simple form of
comparative philology in the case of languages, or dialects of one
language, as closely akin as all the members of the Eastern
Polynesian group are to each other, is, I can easily believe, a
useful if not a necessary first step in the matter, but a first step
only, analagous to the carter’s or hodman’s share in a building.
What I mean by study here includes not only the first step
towards a comparison but the effective comparison itself; it
includes in particular an investigation of the structure of the
language, an analysis of it so as to ascertain what may be called
its fundamental facts, and a classification of these facts showing
them, at least provisionally, to be subject to law, that is within
the domain of science. Evidently also, one who would assume
the place of a foremost authority and teacher of the language,
is bound to know, as included in the foregoing, the best that has
been written about it by those who have known it best, both
practically and theoretically.
Has Mr. Tregear such a knowledge as this of the Maori
language ?
In the case of some authors—Archdeacon Maunsell for
instance, or Dr. Shortland—their record would be a sufficient
answer to such a question. If either of these venerable Maori
scholars had published a Maori dictionary, no one, I am sure,
would doubt that it would be invaluable. But I do not think I
shall be contradicted when I say that, previously to the
publication of his dictionary, Mr. Tregear had no such record.
Not that he was by any means unknown as a writer on Maori
and Polynesian subjects, and his writings showed an extensive
use of vocabularies and much speculative philology, of which
the predominant features were simplicity and boldness. But,
so far as I could judge, the discussion or exposition, on its
linguistic side, was conducted hardly, if at all, upon the plane


8
of scholarship—the test being , as it seemed to me, that learning,
though it might give greater facility, was not essential for
carrying on the comparative philological process or for judging
of its results; the appeal was not to the learning of the reader,
but to his eye, and his uninstructed imagination.
In 1885, some five or six years before the completion of his
dictionary, Mr. Tregear published his two earliest works on these
subjects : The Aryan Maori and The Maori in Asia. They at
once made him famous among those who concurred in his views
of the aims and methods of philology. Nevertheless I should
not have referred to them, I should have thought it hardly
humane to do so, but for the fact that the first and principal one
is cited in this dictionary as an authority, and has a special
“ abbreviation ” of its own for readier reference—an honor not
conceded to such works as Archdeacon Maunsell’s Grammar or
Dr. Codrington’s Melanesian Languages. No one I believe would
be able to infer from these earliest writings or those which
followed, that Mr. Tregear’s knowledge of Maori was then either
extensive or exact; grammatical questions were not dealt with,
and—subtract Williams’ Dictionary from them—there would be
practically no vocabulary left. It may indeed be queried from
the evidence those writings afford whether of what he had then
learnt he had not a good deal to unlearn. If any Maori scholar
or student doubts this I will ask him to look at them for himself.
I shall here only indicate the nature of the proof by two facts :—
First (Ar. M. p. 9.) Mr Tregear tells those 44 wholly unacquainted
with the Maori language,” that “ the vowels are to be pronounced
as in French, thus: mere like the English Mary : I\ati as if
written Kali-tee; and the u like oo, as patua, like pa-too-ah\
* * * haere (the ae like English eye)" &c. On this I would
say in passing that I understand some of the French vowels
vary much according to accent and other circumstances, and it
seems hardly fair to a poor person wholly unacquainted with
Maori, even if knowing a little French, to turn him loose among
the several sounds to choose for himself without a hint to guide
him. Long ago Archdeacon Maunsell compared the Maori e to
to a French e, but that was the e of cafe. As to mere being like
‘4 Mary,” I should say that the two e’s of the former are exactly
alike barring a slight stress on the first, while in “ Mary ” the
a is certainly not like the y, nor is either like the short Maori e
of mere. Again, if Maori u is the same as French u and English
oo (of too), the French referred to must surely be of 44 the school
• ofStratford atte Bow.” Lastly, if in Maori you know the sound
ofeach vowel, you know the sound (apart of course from length
and stress) of every possible combination of them ; but supposing
a pupil of Mr. Tregear’s of the pre-dictionary days were to give
a Maori recitation in which the vowels and their combinations
were given (in some sort) their French' sounds, would a Maori


9
listener know he was hearing his own language? Secondly,
among the proverbs of which he gives amended translations to
make them support the Aryan theory of the book, is this one:—
Me lie toroa ngungunu, which Mr. Colenso, from whom it was taken,
translates ‘‘ Like an albatros folding its wings up neatly.” Mr.
Tregear’s amended version (Ar. M. 77) is :—“ Lest the bull bite
you.” Now, ignoring the unusual mode of attack suggested
on the part of the bull, and allowing the author’s subjective
views of the form and meaning of Maori words 4000 or 5000
years ago, to stand for the objective facts he thought they might
be, allowing also for the grave perturbation necessarily caused by
the presence in an enthusiastic mind of a theory then about to
revolutionize philology, I am still unable to conceive how Mr.
Tregear’s meaning could be got from these four Maori words.
Possibly others may have more success. If not, the difficulty
probably arises from the author’s relying upon pre-Vedic Maori
syntax as much as on pre-Vedic vocabulary : he gives us some
glimpses of the latter; upon the former he is wholly silent.
Whether at the time of the publication of these earliest
works he was acquainted with more than a few words of the
other Polynesian languages does not appear; his later papers
shew a more extended acquaintance, but of the same kind. His
method also remained in substance unchanged.
The conclusion then seems to me clear that the proof of Mr.
Tregear’s qualifications for the great work he has undertaken—
whether as to his knowledge of the languages, or of the elementary
scientific principles involved in their investigation and comparison
—is not to be found in his previous writings, but must be sought
for in the dictionary itself. It will add greatly to the wonder of
this last, if it appears, that, starting with the modest equipment
disclosed in his earliest writings, he has in the leisure of five or
six years, and while actually writing his dictionary, acquired such a
mastery of the Maori language, and such a sufficient knowledge
of the other languages and of the technicalities of his work, as
were absolutely needed to enable him to do that work competently.
I propose now, in the first place, to offer some general
criticisms upon the book, looking at it more especially as a
Maori dictionary, and then to examine parts of it in some
detail.
But first I will say a few words on a part of it not hitherto
included in a Maori dictionary, but very rightly added by Mr.
Tregear—the mythological. This seems to me the best part of
book ; in it the author has made a very useful beginning of what
is essential to understanding not Maori history only but the ways
of thought of the people and a large part of their language.
But its value I think is seriously lessened by the fact that Mr.
Tregear does not sufficiently sift his authorities and the materials
they supply. The rule seems to be: A legend is a legend, and
B


10
entitled to rank as genuine if it is printed in the works from
which the author draws his information. This may be generally
true, but it is inevitable that these stories should be of very
varying degrees of value as evidence of the real and complete
tradition and belief of the Maori people on the matters related,
according to the persons from whom they came, and the times
at which and the persons by whom they were written down : at
least some effort should have been made to classify and sift them,
and if this could not be done the reader should have been
sufficiently warned. The class of most-learned among the
Maoris was, I suppose, always a small one, and is now probably
all but extinct; while even the half-learned are being rapidly
displaced by the all-but-ignorant. Moreover, it is impossible
that an intelligent and imaginative people like the Maoris should
live for many years in what I may call the neighbourhood of the
Bible (which they have long had in their own language), and
beside, and in part amongst, an English community, without
acquiring and assimilating a large number of new facts and
notions, even new ways of thought, which would in part at least
soon seem old ; and without learning and mixing with their old
vanishing legends, events, and characters from histories, foreign
of course in incident, but still more so in purpose and conception.
Sir George Grey in his invaluable collection of Maori poems
(p. 13) has preserved one in which the Saviour and Tumatauenga,
the Maori god of war, hold the same position in successive
verses. In 1862, at the raising of the King's flag at Mataitawa,*
the attendant ceremonies comprised some of their old karakia
and part of the Church Service. The Pai Marire religion
afterwards called Hauhau, first promulgated by Te Ua in the
same year, had in the beginning its Trinity : “ Atua Matua Pai
Marire; Atua Tamaiti Pai Marire; Atua Wairua Tapu, Pai
Marire ; rire, rire, hau.” Its prayers were an absurd jumble of
Maori and English f ; but were meant and taken with the utmost
seriousness: I lost sight personally of its late developments.
The history of any of the Maori “ prophets,” Te Ua, Te Kooti,
Te Whiti, and others, would give abundant illustrations both of
the conscious and the unconscious adoption of the foreign
element. Some noteworthy examples are to be found even in
that great storehouse of Maori tradition, White’s Ancient History
of the Maori.
The Maoris, I believe, have genuine traditions of probably
several floods. But in A.H.M., I. Chap. xii. there is another flood-
*At which, I believe, Mr. Parris, Native Commissioner, and I, on his
invitation, were the only Europeans present.
fl had a copy of one given me by a believer beginning: “ Porini Hoia
Tewhera Teihana!” These are the English words (a little disguised), Fall-
in Soldiers, Devils, attention! The quotation in the text is also from a
Maori MS. of the time in my possession.


ii
story, besides other stories of wholesale and purposeless
destruction, and a number of two or three-line biographies of
pious or wicked Maoris, all evidently by the same hand, and all
evidently composed or completely recast in the light—if light it
may be called—of half understood and dimply remembered Bible $
teaching and phrases ; the names are Maori, the scenes and
point of view sometimes Maori, sometimes pseudo-Christian,
often a confusion of the two. In this Maori version of the
Noachian flood when the human race is about to be destroyed,
a few virtuous persons make themselves a great raft of lotara
and other trees tied together with supplejacks and creepers, and
having on it a wooden house stored with fern-root, kumara and
dogs for food—then they pray for rain upon their neighbours,
and it is sent in such quantities that all men but themselves are
drowned ; they drift about on the waters for seven months when
the flood begins to subside; during the eighth they land, offer
sacrifices to all the gods, and lastly, see the rainbow in the sky,
which concludes the matter. And what are the reasons for the
flood ? Such surely as no sane Maori could have conceived a
century ago :—Men were wicked; they were in the habit of
fighting; and they would not listen to the preachers of the
doctrines of Tane ! The “ doctrines of Tane,” as I understand,
being the well-known story that he had lifted up the sky from
off the earth on which it was lying, either with his shoulders, or
by standing on his head and kicking it up with his feet!
Whereas these sinful sceptics openly declared that the sky and
earth were as they always had been; that Tane had actually
done nothing; and the preachers might eat their own sermons
for food—worse still, the very worst of all according to the
historian, they might even eat the heads of their sermons—a
great curse it seems, for though to an Englishman the heads of
a sermon, however numerous, would seem a less serious matter
than the sermon itself, to a Maori any hostile or contemptuous
reference to a head in which he was interested, might be highly
dangerous.
Mr. Tregear (p. 558) says of this story: “ The most
consecutive and valuable account of a deluge relates that evil
being everywhere triumphant in the world, Parawhenuamea
and Tupunuiauta preached to wicked mortals in vain, and that
the holy doctrines of Tane and the teaching as to the separation
of Rangi (Heaven) and Papa (the earth) were derided.” On
this I will say that Mr. Tregear must have been in his most
enthusiastic mood when, improving on his original he wrote of
the holy doctrines of Tane, whether these are to be taken as
meaning narrative or incantations. According to the Maori
view Tane is as much concerned with holiness, as dirt is like
sunshine.
But Mr. Tregear's scepticism—I am afraid even his critical


12
judgment—is not easily aroused. Fornander, his great
predecessor in the Aryan-Maori theory, and to whom in the
matter of Polynesian mythology and otherwise, he is more
indebted perhaps than the reader can easily gather from his pages,
boldly takes fidelity to the Chaldean or Hebrew original as one
test of merit in, among others, a certain Marquesan flood-story
—Mr. Tregear apparently takes the same view though he does
not obtrude it. He speaks of this same story as “ by far the
best preserved evidence of the possession of an antique belief in
a great flood.” Here again, as in Tane’s case, it will, I think,
be found that his enthusiasm has improved on the original, and
Fornander’s translation of it, by entitling the Lord Ocean (i.e.,
the sea whose overflow caused the flood) the “ Divine Being.”
Now, I will ask you to contrast with the sketch just given
of what may be called Noah’s flood in New Zealand, and
especially with the reasons for it, a short sketch of what I believe
in its main outlines to be a genuinely Maori flood-story, known
as the Tide or Flood of Ruatapu. It is from the Ancient History,
Vol. III. This Ruatapu was a mythical hero or demi-god,
younger son of the more widely known Uenuku, but his mother
was a captive and so had lost her rank. He had seriously offended
Uenuku by using the latter’s sacred comb on his own inferior
head, and Uenuku had abused him for it in a most degrading
way, calling him a man of no birth, a nobody, and so on. Of
course according to Maori notions of honour and morality, such
an insult justified if it did not demand some signal vengeance.
But there was not the least need that this should fall directly
upon the offender. It was certainly not necessary, and would
not, I think, have been strictly proper, for Ruatapu to kill his
father with his own hand; it was quite enough, and quite right,
if he could punish him indirectly, at whatever cost to others who
had not offended. He therefore built a large canoe, invited the
principal young chiefs (to the number of 140) to go with him on
its first voyage, and having got them far out to sea, he contrived
to drown or spear all of them but one, who swam ashore, and
whom he charged to caution the people there that he should be
with them (to drown them too) in a certain month; and
accordingly in that month he appeared as a great wave, which
drowned all then on the land except those who, acting on his
message, had ascended a certain mountain he had named. It
need not surprise us that among those saved was Uenuku, the
occasion of all the destruction.
Comparing the last story with the first it will be seen, that,
different as they are in incident, there is a much deeper
difference still. The motive, the formative idea of the one,
comes from a moral world radically distinct from that of the other
—and it is to a difference of this kind that I should attach
most weight in deciding a question of common or diverse origin.


13
But though, as I think, Mr. Tregear is too ready to accept
as genuine Maori tradition what on the present evidence I must
hold to be mainly reminiscences of the Bible narrative of Noah’s
flood, it is only fair to say that he is not willing to accept Noah
himself as an ancestor of the Maori people, though the name of
the patriarch in fact appears in one of the Maori genealogies
which he prints at the end of his Dictionary ! The author’s note
on this is no doubt just. He says (p. 667.): “ The introduction
“ of the name of Noa (Noah) instead of Kaitangata as the father
“ of Hema is only a foolish perversion of missionary teaching,
“ confounding Hema with Shem ! ” This as I said is just. The
fact shows that the i 1 foolish ’ ’ Maori had been arguing with himself
(just as if he had been a young New Zealand philologist) that, as
the name Hema was so like the name Shem, they must be the
same name and stand for the same man ; and (changing to the
Maori line of argument) as the whitemen knew more than the
Maoris about Shem, and they said Shem’s father was Noah, his
father must have been Noah, and not Kaitangata as the Maoris
used to say when they knew no better. It shows also how much
Mr. Tregear’s readers may gain when he allows his critical faculty
free play. And lastly, the fact that Noah’s name actually
appears in so solemn a thing as a Maori genealogy (than which to
the Maori mind nothing required greater accuracy) proves the
reality of the danger I spoke of—that of the intermixture of
Maori and foreign lore.
One criticism which applies, to the book generally, is that
the author has given us a very great deal of the work of others
with far too little specific acknowledgment. I am looking at it
now as a practical matter. The general acknowledgement he
has made with its curious qualification, may or may not satisfy
the canons of literary taste, his readers must judge when they
have ascertained the extent of his obligations, and with these
compared the ackowledgement. But the student’s difficulty is
practical; he is concerned to know as to each word and meaning,
or generally as to each material statement, whose authority he
has to rely on. He is told that Williams’ Dictionary has been
the basis of the work, yet I believe he will not find a dozen
specific references to it; so far I have found five only. If he
has not the earlier work he will have no means of discriminating.
If he has both, and compares them at all carefully, he will find
that though commonly the transfer from one book to the other
has been in the simplest form, or with only trifling alterations,
many other alterations have been made, and of these he may
think a considerable proportion are not improvements. In any
case if he has a substantial knowledge of Maori and Maori
matters he may estimate at quite diftetent values the authority
of Bishop or Archdeacon Williams and that of Mr. Tregear. The
former he will know as Maori scholars; the latter, in this respect


14
and for the present, he may well have a difficulty in classing.
It will be noticed that Mr. Tregear in his Introduction does
not discuss, nor, I think, even mention the structure of the
Maori language, or of the other languages he is comparing with
it: and for this the student has good ground of complaint. He
does not even say to which of the recognised families, or other
great divisions of human speech these Oceanic languages in
his view belong or are related; or whether, as seems the better
opinion, they, for the present at least, must be put in a group by
themselves ; he even makes it very doubtful whether about one
half of the languages he deals with are in fact related to the
other half. He tells us the Maori speech is a dialect of the great
Polynesian language, but what the characteristics and affinities
of this language are he does not say. Yet if he has so studied
the Maori language as to have gained some considerable insight
into its structure, why does he not give his readers the very great
help it would be to them, at least to all of them of the student
class ?—especially those who come to his book wholly ignorant of
the languages it treats of. If on the other hand he has not
gained this insight into the Maori language, how can he
reasonably compare it with other languages, or even its
component parts with each other ? As it seems to me, he would
not know the units of comparison ; he would be measuring
without a rule. But is he here quite candid with his readers ?
Not many years ago if he had not gained much insight into
the structure of Maori he had arrived at a very decided opinion
as to its affinities; In the Aryan Maori published as I have said
in 1885, treating as one the two distinct questions of race and
language, he left no doubt whatever as to how both the Maori
and his language were to be classed. In the Introduction to the
work he says:—“I now proceed to assert, positively, 1. That
“ the Maori is an Aryan. * * * 3. That his language has
“ preserved, in an almost inconceivable purity, the speech of
“his Aryan forefathers, and compared with which the Greek
“ and Latin tongues are mere corruptions.” * * * These
expressions though strong could not be called hasty or ill-
considered, except in a sense applicable to the conception and
execution of the whole book; they fairly represent its purpose
and spirit; he adds:—“To prove these bold assertions is my
task in the following chapters.” The opinion thus forcibly
expressed was as tenaciously held. At the end of the work he
says:—“ This book contains doubtless some slight errors of
“ detail, yet, I feel proud to have written it. Not yet have I
“ seen one shadow of disproof as I went on; every step has
“ confirmed and strengthened the one proceeding, until I feel so
“ assured of the truth of my view of the origin of the Maori race,
“ that if not one man in New Zealand agreed with me, I could
“ wait with calm confidence for the verdict of the European


15
“ scholars.” And he adds with the same frankness and force :—
“ I have been the first to apply the scientific method to the
“ Maori language, and to prove the fellow-ship of the Polynesian
“ to the races of Europe.” But there must evidently have been
something wanting. My own guess was, that his scientific
method—(the method of vocabularies, the method, as it seemed
to me, of looking into two given languages without regard to
structure or grammar for words as much alike in form and as
little different in meaning as possible, and treating these words
as therefore- related)—seemed to the European scholars too
much like the royal road to knowledge. It was at least philology
without grammar or historical research, if not rather philology
without learning. At all events the verdict, though long as well
as confidently waited for, never apparently came. Indeed, such
slight expressions of opinion as I saw from known European
scholars were, to put it kindly, not sympathetic. Perhaps it was
looking on them as more than human to expect them to welcome
a proposal which in reality involved a fundamental revision, not
to say reversal, of the results attained by the labours for nearly
a century of hosts of illustrious scholars. And why were they
to do this ? Because a gentleman in New Zealand, not then
known to fame, had discovered the Maori dictionary, and how to
use it.
Nevertheless, for three years or so after the publication of
the Aryan Maori, up to at least October, 1888, Mr. Tregear
maintained, with considerable insistence and in the face of some
adverse criticism, the Aryan character of the Maori in race and
language. Whether that belief was subsequently modified, and
if so when and how far, I cannot say.* Now during those three
years a great part of his dictionary must have been written ; it
was finished some two years later. But must not an energetic
belief of this kind even when less intense than at first, bias, if
not determine his judgment on many vital questions in dealing
with these languages ? If so, the student should have been
warned ; in any case, knowing Mr. Tregear’s former belief and
its intensity, he should not have been left in doubt.
I will give an illustration ; and in so doing will not speak
of the structure of the Maori language, but, taking it as
representing the Polynesian languages, will ask what are some of
its leading characteristics - or fundamental facts, as we know it ?
Here, in my opinion, are two of them, and I hardly know which
to put first. One is, the very great, I would say, superior
value of the vowels; as shewn (1) in their much greater
frequency of occui;ence compared with the consonants; (2) in >t
the extreme nicety required in their perception and pronunciation ;
♦See an obscure passage in the Diet. p. ix.; and Aust, A.A./S., Vol, HI.
p. 351.


16
(3) in their great stability, especially the unaccented ; and (4) in
the essential character of the open syllable, every syllable being
either a single vowel, or a single vowel preceded by a consonant.
The other is, the prevailingly disyllabic character of the language:
the monosyllables are necessarily trifling in number ; and if we
follow the far-reaching if obvious suggestion of Archdeacon
Williams, that the long vowel is the equivalent of two short
ones, the greater part of all other words, not themsevles
disyllables, can be most satisfactorily resolved into disyllabic
elements. It will be understood I am here only summarizing.
Now assuming these propositions to have as yet only so much
evidence in their favour as to give them a claim to be discussed,
can Mr. Tregear discuss or weigh them fairly, if he has already
decided that the language is of the Aryan family and therefore
that he must look inter alia for monosyllabic, not disyllabic roots,
and these by no means necessarily or even commonly open
syllables, but often effectually closed, many genuine Aryan roots
it seems showing two, or three, consonants to one vowel/' And
are we not driven to assume some such powerful disturbing
cause as this, to account for the singular fact that the author of
a comparative dictionary has passed over in silence, such obvious,'
such necessary, and I will add, such tempting questions ?
A kindred and not less important matter, that of grammar,
on which so many things might and so much ought, to have
been said, is treated worse, I think, than by merely being passed
over in silence. The student, looking at the Introduction, and
noticing the attractive heading “ Grammar,” will at first sight
be disappointed at the trifling space devoted to so great a subject;
on a close inspection his disappointment will be still greater at
the way that little space is filled. Mr. Tregear begins by
protesting strongly, though to me I confess unintelligibly, against
1 forcing4 rules of grammar upon these languages, and—
excepting a singular remedy he has tried and some noticeable
words upon accent and pronunciation, of which I will speak
separately,—with that protest he ends. “I have,” he says,
“ carefully avoided the use of letters to mark the native words
as substantive, adjective, verb, &c. It is an unwise if not a
mischievous, effort to make if we endeavour to force the rules of
grammar which fit (more or less) the modern stage of the English
tongue upon a language belonging to the utterly unequal
grammar-period in which the Polynesian speech is now found. I
*See the list of Aryan roots given in Skeat’s Etymological Dictionary ;
and compare the list of Sanscrit roots discussed in Max Muller’s Science of
Thought. But see Sayce Principles of Com. Phil. 104, &c. It is not to be
assumed that the disyllabic Polynesian radicals may not ultimately be
reducible to monosyllabic roots; but I say it would not be reasonable to
begin the investigation by ignoring the one fact which is perhaps the most
obvious, and the most frequently recurring of all that have to be dealt with
in Eastern Polynesian languages.


17
use these expressions with consideration, because I believe that
there is a constant progress or decay in all languages, affecting
their character and rendering their forms unsuitable.” He adds
that this is certainly so with regard to English, but probably
less so with Polynesian, and concludes with a passage I will cite
a little farther on. Now so far as I understand this it means
that it is unwise, if not mischievous, to force unsuitable rules of
grammar upon the Maori language, and that one principal way
of doing this is to mark its words, with letters, as being wh at in
English are called the several parts of speech; and the practical
remedy he applies is the simple one, surely unique, of carefully
leaving these obnoxious letters, and the words they represent,
altogether out of his dictionary. Whether the mischief would
be as acute, or on the other hand would be lessened, or removed
if the marking were done by words at length instead of by single
letters he gives us no hint; judging from his practice, however,
I should infer that the danger would be somewhat less if words
at length were used, perhaps a little less still with a periphrasis ;
hence we find in this dictionary “ i, an interjection,” the
conjunction,” and “ te, singular definite article,” “ nga, the
plural article,” and a few others ; but more frequently the safer
periphrastic formula, “ a word used as a verb,” &c., e.g., “ he,
a, an : a word used as an indefinite article,” “ lcaii a prefix to words
used as transitive verbs,’’ &c., But putting these all together their
number is inconsiderable, and therefore I conclude, not without
hesitation, that though marking by letters is most to be avoided,
the protest againt any overt attempt to distinguish in a Maori
dictionary between the different parts of speech is intended to be
general.
The great offenders in the matter of marking native words in
this way are of course our grammarians and dictionary-makers,
and especially Bishop and Archdeacon Williams, who have taken
the trouble to mark every word in their dictionary as noun, verb,
&c., and in the most objectionable way, by letters, as a, for
adjective, n. for noun, often even giving one word, two or three
such marks where it has commonly two or three grammatical
functions ; worse still, perhaps, Archdeacon Williams has gone
farther and has not only marked the verbs as verbs, but refining
still more has actually distinguished the transitive from the
intransitive, using again the objectionable symbols v.t. and v.i.
I will not stop to discuss this matter, beyond saying a word
upon a compensatory loss the student may often suffer for being
relieved from the undefined if not undefinable danger which Mr.
Tregear so much fears. It is upon the last named distinction
between neuter and active verbs. Now it seems to me that the
writer of a dictionary who is relieved of the obligation to mark
such distinctions, must be very apt, especially if working
against time, to relieve himself of the obligation to notice that
c


18
any such distinctions exist. This two-fold relief would make it
much easier, I suppose, to write a dictionary, but very
much harder to use it with advantage. Take one of the
commonest words in the language, korero. Arch. Williams gives
this as verb transitive, to tell, say, address ; and intransitive, to
speak, to talk. Mr. Tregear having this as his ‘ raw material,’
but having as matter of conscience relieved himself of the need
to mark the distinction between the two sets of meanings, goes
one step farther and ignores the distinction itself, and so omits
the very common intransitive meaning, speak, talk, altogether;
yet his next word, korerorero, the frequentative form of this one,
shows only the intransitive meaning given it by Arch. Williams,
and in his words, but omitting of course the dangerous v.i. It
reappears also in his edition of Arch. Williams’ Engilsh-Maori
part, but there it is too obvious to be overlooked. This
is not at all an isolated case.
Now, I could quite understand a scholar in his very early
years longing, if not publicly advocating, that many troublesome
grammatical distinctions should be wiped out of his grammars
and dictionaries; but he would soon find the reform if carried
out, practically useless, if he could not carry it one step farther
and abolish the distinctions themselves; or at least convince
his masters that they did not exist. In Mr. Tregear’s case
comparing his words with his practice, it seems impossible to
give a statement of his views not self-contradictory; I cannot
say whether he does or does not deny the existence in the
Polynesian languages of the grammatical categories of noun,
verb, adjective and so on—or rather whether he does not both
affirm and deny.
So as to syntax; his position seems to be that it may be
learnt but cannot be taught; that no useful rules can be
enunciated, but nevertheless may be acquired. “ The effort,”
he says (p. xiii), “ to adapt Maori words to rules of English
“ grammar is evaded by the complex simplicity (if I may use
“ such an expression) of the native language, where one word
“ may serve either as verb, noun, or adjective, according to its
“ context, and wherein particles whose use only practice can
“ render familiar, are able to link words into sentences capable
“ of rendering very subtle and sensitive expression. If we
“ attempt to retain these particles in the net of English grammar,
“ we shall be in the unpleasant situation of having to lay down
“ rules with more exceptions than examples.” We may all of
us, though not Maori scholars, agree that practice alone can
make one famililiar with the use of the Maori particles, if only
as a particular case of the universal rule embodied in our
excellent copy-book apophthegm, “practice makes perfect.”
But, as I understand the passage, its main argument is that
Maori, being an analytic language, is particularly unsuitable for


19
the application of English rules of grammar. Probably, however,
so far as the argument is relevant, the contrary would be nearer
the truth, since English in its present state is said to be one of
the most analytic languages known.
But who wants to force English grammar upon the Maori
language ? Mr. Tregear compels us to ask :—Is a Maori grammar
possible ? And what does such a question mean ? Surely it is
equivalent to asking, whether Maori is really a human language,
or merely a confused babel of sounds ? Have the Maoris
settled names for things, actions, qualities and relations ? Can
they frame and qualify propositions so as to convey to one mind
the thought or feeling that is in another ? Are the facts of the
language capable or not of statement and classification ? and do
the recurrent facts of the language—of the language in action—
recur not at random but according to law ? If yes, then the
classified statement of these facts and laws is, I presume, Maori
grammar.
No one would say that our existing grammars are beyond
improvement—that the last word, for instance, has been said
upon the Maori verb—and it was open to Mr. Tregear if not
incumbent on one in the position he has assumed, to give us
fresh light, whether in the form of new facts or new views,
on this or any other grammatical point he found wrongly,
incompletely or obscurely stated ; and such facts or views would
have been most welcome. But it is surely idle or worse to
represent Maori grammar as practically impossible, because one
word may at different times discharge different grammatical
functions, or because grammatical relations are mainly expressed
by shifting particles and prepositions and by the order of the
words—that is, because the language is not inflectional and is
analytic.
It is in curious contrast to his opinion expressed and
implied on Maori grammar as it exists, or rather I suppose I
ought to say on Maori grammars as they exist, to note a point in
his practice. In a few places, when he gets into what
may be called a grammatical corner, he gets out of it in a
way which seems to me as naive as it is effectual. In his article
on ai, the relative particle, he begins :—“ A particle having no
“English equivalent, and only to be understood by reference to,
a Maori grammar”; that on ano begins still more directly
“ ano [See Maori grammar] ; ” while in that on ko the same
formula comes in later. It will be observed, first, that these are
three of those very “ particles ” to which Mr. Tregear’s protest
particularly referred ; secondly, that he shows no preference for
one grammar over another ; as the condemnation was general, so
too, to this extent, is the rehabilitation.
Would ifa not here be pertinent to ask: What light does
Mr. Tregear’s Comparative Dictionary throw on the peculiarities


20
of the Maori language? How many of its idioms has he
elucidated ? I certainly will not say, not one ; but I could nob
name one.
There is perhaps nothing more unsatisfactory in the author’s
Introduction than his treatment of the sounds of the Maori
language, a matter of course of the very first importance. I
mentioned that formerly he said the vowels were to be pronounced
as in French. In his Dictionary (p. xiv) he gives another view :
“ The pronunciation of the vowels as printed in Maori and in all
“ Polynesian writings is nearly that used by the Italians.” But,
in the first place, if we are to assume that he knows accurately
both sets of sounds, the Maori and the Italian, why not tell us in
what respects they differ, especially in reference to his uncancelled
direction to pronounce the Maori vowels as in French ? Again,
he says, “ a short, almost like the English u in smut” ; but the
more valuable information would be, what it is quite like. No
doubt to an English ear of average dulness a very short Maori a
in some situations sounds like a 1 neutral vowel/ but careful
examination will, I believe, convince others as it did me, that
every Maori (and Polynesian ?) a is of the quality of a in English
father, though as to length they would have to be divided
into three classes at least. There is, I believe, no neutral vowel
known to the Maori language, except through the medium of
English speakers of it, who have learnt it late in life, or at least
not in childhood ; and excepting, of course, those who though
they may use words and phrases with more or less fluency,
cannot, in any proper sense, be said so have learnt it at all. The
short form of what may be called the fundamental and universal
a seems to be peculiarly distasteful to modern literary English,
but it is the dominant sound in Maori, and no doubt in all other
Polynesian languages.
The same rule may, I believe, be stated generally of all the
Maori vowels, that each has one sound only, though of different
lengths.—(Williams, First Lessons, 8.)*
We have seen that formerly Mr Tregear likened the short e
to both a and y in u Mary ” ; he now likens it to e in bent, and
gives long e as “ resembling the a of Mary. ’ It is difficult to
fix a limit to ‘resemblance,’ but certainly, to my ear, neither
short nor long Maori e has the same sound as the a in that
well-known name as usually pronounced. Another serious
mistake of Mr Tregear’s, as I hold it, is as to the short o of Maori
which he equates to the o of English lock. This is precisely the error
against which Archdeacon Maunsell warned his readers 50 years
ago, saying that the sound did not exist in Maori. It has, indeed,
*See now also the similar view of ‘another high authority, Mr. T. H.
Smith, for a long time the permanent chief of the Native Office, and
afterwards Judge of the Native Land Court: On Maori Nomenclature, a
valuable paper lately read at Auckland.


21
been said to be an almost peculiarly English sound, and is only
heard in Maori, I believe, from the English speakers of it mentioned
above. Tried by the rule just proposed, it will be found that it
is not Maori b because when prolonged it does not make or come
near Maori o, which is the same as the first vowel sound in the
English no or go ; that is, the pure o, without the glide of u
commonly following it in English.
Of the Maori consonants, he says that “they have nearly
the same power as in English.” Here, again, if he knows that
they, or some of them differ, why will he not tell us which of
them, and how ? An approximation is much better than
nothing, but from one who has assumed the position, and with it
the duties of a master, the student is entitled to know the sounds
exactly, or to know why they cannot be given. Mr. Tregear
mentions only three or four of the consonants. Ng, he says, is
like ng in flinging, but he leaves unnoticed the beginners only
difficulty over it—the main difficulty of which he is conscious
in Maori pronunciation—where ng is initial. Of r and p the
author says. “It is probable that formerly in some localities the
r varied into I and d, the p into b etc., but the efforts to
educate the Maori children in their own language have resulted
in the production of a classic form in which the r and _?? are
distinctly r and p.” This is a conjecture, turned by tacit
assumption into a fact, and the present non-existence of this
assumed fact accounted for by an inadequate assertion. It is, I
think, common knowledge among those who lived in the North
Island 30 or 40 years ago, that many English speakers of Maori,
especially the less educated, often used g, d, b, for k, t, p,
when the Maoris, whom they thought they were imitating, used
the latter only. Compare what Mr Tregear tells us about the
Maori pronunciation of r, consisting solely of his conjecture how
it was pronounced in some places not named, and at some time
not named, with what Archdeacon Maunsell wrote about it in
1842. It has, the latter says (Gr. p. 8), two sounds, one rough ;
the other “ is more soft, and is formed by a gentle jar of the
tongue against the palate ; so gentle, indeed, is the vibration
that most foreigners pronounce it like d or I. ’ Have we not
here an anticipation and answer to this particular conjecture of
our author’s half a century before in was made ? There were
then, as there are now, two distinct r’s—and of the one which
seemed to vary, the variation, it seems, was rather in the ear of
the foreign listener, than on the tongue of the native speaker.
There are two Maori consonants, h and t, which, though not
noticed by Mr. Tregear, do differ, the one in some places or
in some words, the other always, from the same letters in
English. By far the most common sound of Maori h is that of
English h. But early visitors to the North of New Zealand often
represented Maori h in some words by sh. Archdeacon Maunsell


22
while protesting against this, speaks of the sound as a gentle
sibilation preceding the li. Mr. S. Percy Smith again, suggests
(Trans. xxii. 99) that the sound is better represented by
something between s and y, which would, perhaps, be difficult to
define. It has long seemed to me that the nearest representation
of this peculiar sound is a very short i or y following the h.
The common cry of welcome for instance, “ Hara mai, Haramai,
Hara mai!” I have often thought sounded as if it should be spelt
hiara mai, the i being only just perceptible, and not preventing the
accent from falling on the first a. It might, perhaps, be called
an aspirated y. The sound is much commoner in the North of
New Zealand, but is not, I believe, entirely confined to it. The
other point to be noted about h is that the Taranaki people
commonly drop it, substituting a catch, which is here effected, I
think, by a momentary cessation of the breath, thus, I suppose,
giving the soft breathing for the rough.
The Maori t is, I believe, distinctly and always different
from English t, the point of the tongue in pronouncing it being
brought more forward, so that the sound while still t is on the
way towards th. (See M. gr. 9, and William’s First Lessons, 2,1
The inference I draw from Mr. Tregear’s treatment of the
sounds of this language, is that he has neither listened with
careful attention to the pronunciation of the Maoris themselves,
nor read the best that has been written upon it.
The laws of accentuation in Maori are not yet anywhere
fully stated, nor has there been, I believe, any considerable
discussion of the principles upon which the statement of these
laws should be made. One thing, however, seems obvious, they
ought to have diiect reference to the disyllabic character of the
language. From the author of a comparative dictionary, who
has surveyed so many languages capable of throwing light on
each other, we are entitled to expect something of value on all
unsettled vital points, if merely a summary of how things stand ;
but Mr Tregear contributes nothing to this discussion, even as to
Maori alone, to say nothing of all the others. I do not think he
has yet realised either the importance or the complexity of the
problem. What he has to say is comprised in five lines (p. xiv),
to the effect that in his dictionary he has used a certain
accent to “ denote a lengthened stress upon the vowel so marked’’
(e. g. mar a) : that through inadvertence in a few cases this accent
has been turned the wrong way, (not a serious matter, seeing
that it has no other meaning, and that no accent whatever is
used in ordinary Maori printing and writing), and he concludes :
“ Some writers of Maori prefer a double letter as maar a, &c., but
“ this is misleading, as the sound is not that of two distinct
“ vowels. In all cases inhere accents are not used, the first syllable
“ is more strongly marked than the others, although not with
“ the lengthened vowel sound.”


23
That is all. It tells us curiously little on such a subject,
and it assumes two things : First, that the author in his
dictionary has marked 'all the long vowels that occur and no
others ; and secondly, that, at least in all unmarked words, there
is only one accent which concerns the reader. Unfortunately,
neither is true. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that Mr.
Tregear depends entirely upon Archdeacon Williams’ edition of
the dictionary for the length of the vowels. Yet in the first 50
pages of his own dictionary he has, according to my counting,
left, in principal words, more than 80 long vowels unmarked
which are marked long by Archdeacon Williams, and has,
moreover, in the same space, introduced a considerable number
of new words, of which hardly any are marked, though certainly
some—I think a good many—should be. I have not attempted
to count the total number in the whole book of errors of this
class—omissions to mark the long vowels (as promised), or
marking short ones as long—but there are certainly some
hundreds. Yet to alter the length of a Maori vowel so as to
make a long one short, or a short one long, is to alter seriously
the character, and often the meaning of the word ; it is equivalent
to the serious mis-spelling of a word in English.
Take one case out of the multitude. Archdeacon Williams
gives liratu as “ mast of a canoe,” and the vowel lengths indicate
at least an obvious etymology : tira, stick or pole, Zu, upstanding.
Mr. Tregear’s version makes the first vowel long instead of short,
and the last one short instead of long, thus also shifting the
principal accent from the end to the beginning of the word.
Then, undeterred by the change he has made, he proposes the above
etymology, which, quite consistent with Archdeacon Williams’
marking of the word, is as obviously inconsistent with his own.
Then next he suggests a comparison with tirau, which would, so
far as form goes, be quite reasonable if he is prepared to stand by
his own form of tiratu and abandon his proposed etymology, but,
unfortunately, under tirau he abandons instead his own form of
tiratu, and adopts that of Archdeacon Williams. The reader
must decide how much of this, here and elsewhere, is due to
misadventure, how much to carelessness or want of time to be
careful, and how much to want of belief that care as to vowel
length is essential. I venture to say that if not interested enough
to investigate the general question, he should for the sake of his
readers have investigated the origin and value of the long vowel,
a subject as interesting theoretically as it is practically important.
He would have found some useful information in Archdeacon
Williams’ Intro (faction.
With regard to there being, apart from the long vowels, only
one accent of importance in a Maori word and that on the first
syllable, it would, I think, be nearer the truth to say that in
every Maori polysyllable there is at least one accent to every two


24
syllables. But the closer and more reasonable approximation, I
submit, would be to begin with the disyllable, and to say that as
a general rule in Maori every normal disyllable (of two short
syllables) has an accent on the first, and keeps it there however
much the disyllable itself may enter into composition, whether in
the form of partial or complete reduplication, or with other
radicals ; that is, each element of the compound keeps its own
accent. I say nothing now of the exceptions to the rule—some
of much interest—nor of its other qualifications.
But only to ascertain the real facts of accentuation, and all
the other facts of pronunciation, we want a combination of
Maori scholars, each with a keen ear for small differences,
working in different districts, but on a concerted plan. Their
work would be of the greatest value.
Ought we not, however, as soon as ever it is possible to take
the broad practical hint which Edison has given to all interested
in languages or language throughout the world, and employ the
phonograph in recording living specimens of all these languages?
We should then have a really scientific basis to start from/'1
One word more on accent. The European student was
promised that by means of this dictionary he would be “in a
position to compare the Oceanic tongues with the languages of
the great continents.” But supposing him to remember the part
which, we are told, accent has played in the history of some of
those continental languages, would his curiosity as to the laws of
accent in all the Oceanic tongues dealt with in this book be
satisfied by knowing that in one of them, Maori, Mr. Tregear
has marked the long vowels—or a good many of them—and that
in unmarked words the first syllable is said to be more strongly
accented than the others ? Or would he want to know more on
this point, as on some others, before he enters on this new and
extensive field of comparison ?
Mr Tregear gives a good many examples to illustrate the
meanings of the Maori words in the dictionary, and this has
involved great labour on his part; but then there are a great
many words to be illustrated ; and that many have suitable
examples does not compensate us for the many left without,
especially those new ones which, from being imperfectly defined
or otherwise ambiguous, or of doubtful form or authenticity, have
most need of them. Moreover, of the examples which are given,
a large proportion are comparatively valueless from not being
translated ; more especially where as frequently happens they are
attached to the wrong word. The author gives a good many
proverbs as examples, most of them apparently from a paper in
Trans, vol. xii by Mr. Colenso, who there translates and
*Is this not worth the attention of our newly formed Polynesian Society ?
—a society which has a future before it of much promise, if only it be
supported from without and from within as it ought to be.


25
comments on them all; and where these are both apt and
intelligible, nothing could be better. The Maoris, as is well
known, are great makers and users of proverbs and proverbial
sayings ; but from this very fact and the isolation of their old
life, many of these are local, and are unintelligible, or liable to
be taken in a wrong sense, without local or special knowledge, or
unless at least some note of explanation is added. I do not say
that every example needs translation, or ought to have it. Some
are too simple, some may be better left without it or put into
Latin (indeed, some now to be found ought, in my opinion, to be
expunged)/1' but in a large majority of cases if they are properly
chosen, good idiomatic bits, the translations, or necessary helps
for translation, would form a valuable addition to the book
merely as a dictionary. Whether or not the sentence be the real
unit of speech it is certainly true that many words are best
explained, if not defined, as parts of a sentence. Moreover, the
practice of never translating an example is not only a negative,
but a positive evil; and in this particular case, I believe, an evil
of magnitude. It allows and fosters any tendency there may be
in an author to crude and hasty work, since it indefinitely lessens
the conscious need for precision of thought and expression; and
takes away the readiest means of finding himself out in an initial
error.
I would ask what does this book do towards promoting the
comparison and study of the Maori dialects ? In 1842, only two
years after the foundation of the Colony, and when learning of
all kinds in it might be thought to be in its infancy, the Rev. R.
Maunsell (now Archdeacon of Waitemata) published at Auckland
his Grammar of the Neu) Zealand Language, which though open I
dare say to criticism on some points, is still as a whole unrivalled
and invaluable. In his Introduction he enumerates seven leading
dialects spoken in the Northern Island “ independently of minute
and numerous sub-divisions ” ; and he notes, with true scientific
insight, the importance of preserving a full record of the dialectic
differences; because, being even then clearly of opinion that this
island had not been colonized by a single Maori migration, he
thought that by means of the dialects, the sources of the several
migrations might perhaps be traced ; instancing the dropping of
the h in Taranaki and Rarotonga, and the substitution in the
Bay of Plenty of n for the ordinary ng: he does not mention the
Hawaiians, but their vocabulary shows the same substitution.
There is another fact, as I think it, which goes to support
the same line of research. Some words in Maori, no doubt a
* The “realism” of genuine science is as suitable for publication as
anything else scientific. In a dictionary it must often be exceedingly difficult
to draw the line, and all allowance must be made for difference of judgment.
But I think a minimum test is, does a passage otherwise objectionable
advance the matter in hand, our knowledge of the language or the people ?


26
good many, seem better explicable by direct reference to the
language of some other Polynesian island than by anything in
Maori itself. I will only give two illustrations. Compare
taha-tai and ta-tahi both meaning “ sea-side.” In the first, both
elements taha “ side,’’ and tai “ sea ” (qualifying the other) keep
their ordinary Maori meaning : in the second while ta (= taa the
vowel being long) may be reasonably taken as = taha of which
both vowels are short, tahi is not used for sea in Maori, but is
the Tongan form of Maori tai, li sea.” Again take tae-kai, “ an
abandoned cultivation.”* In Maori tae is not used in any sense
which would explain this word, but in Tongan it appears as a
privative particle or negative prefix=English un- before a word,
or -less after it, so that tae-kai our “ abandoned cultivation,” or
“ worn out soil,” may with the help of Tongan be translated
“no-food,” “ food-less,” which may be held good till abetter
appears. No doubt the common Maori negative te (the vowel
being long=tee) = (in origin) the Tongan tae, though its use is not
quite the same, and it is in Maori conventionally treated as a
separate word. Now, Tongan, I suppose, is not so nearly related
to Maori as some others are, Tahitian, for instance, not to
mention Rarotongan; I only took these two words as first
occurring to me. But if we could sift out a considerable number
of such words, and could as it were localise them among the
Maori tribes, we should be getting another clue which might be
of value in two or three ways,
Another considerable advantage of having the peculiarities
of each dialect fully recorded is that they might then be brought
into one field of view, and so compared inter se. The result
would be of considerable interest phonetically and otherwise.
What then has been done to record these dialectic peculiarities ?
Bishop Williams made a good beginning; in his dictionary (2nd
ed., 1852), he marked a large number of words, distinguishing
six dialects. Archdeacon Williams’ edition (1871), omits a
great part of these distinctions in the first part of his dictionary,
though still marking there some of the most peculiar,
those of the Rarawa dialect, and giving many others in
the second part. Mr Tregear’s contribution to the work has
been merely negative; he has, as to the dialects of the North
Island (i.e, nearly all the Maori dialects), wiped out even those
distinctions which Archdeacon Williams had preserved. He
does not say he is doing this, nor indeed does he say a word
about it, that I have found, except in the last two lines of his
five or six line essay on the pronunciation of the Maori
*Mr. Tregear gives a substantially similar meaning, “ worn out soil. He
does not name his authority, but it is probably Mr. G. H. Davies, of the
Native Office, from whom I received this meaning of the word, and to whose
kindness I am greatly indebted for many others, as well as for the loan of
valuable MSS»


27
consonants, which perhaps indicate his reasons. He there
says (Introduction p. xiv), il The pronunciation varies slightly
4 4 with locality, thus tangata is in some places tanata, but
“these irregularities of the sub-dialects are very fluctuating
“ and unfixed.” This, for the information it contains, is
about as close an approximation to nothing as is possible,
while if offered as all that need be said on these dialects
(“ sub-dialects,” as he not unreasonably calls them), it leaves the
(ignorant) reader much worse off than if he had merely nothing :
he is, I venture to say, gravely misled. If Mr. Tregear has
studied all these dialects so well and so long as to be qualified to
say what he has said, how could he find it in his philologic
conscience to say so little ?
This treatment of the Maori dialects would be paralleled
on a larger scale if we were given a general Polynesian dictionary
which did not show from which islands the several words came.
But there is one dialect which he does in part distinguish,
and which he calls the South Island dialect. It is that of the
Ngaitahu or Kaitahu tribe, forming the majority of the Natives
in this South Island. Its great peculiarity is in using k for both
ng and k of the North. Though included in the sweeping
two-line condemnation I have quoted as to the dialectic
“ irregularities ” being “ fluctuating and unfixed,” he gives many
words from it, and often marks them. Yet some, and these the
most peculiar, represent, I venture to say, only a misapprehension
of the facts. According to those who know them well, the
Kaitahu in speaking the pure dialect always, as I have said, use
k for the northern k and ng. But since all printed books and all
North Island correspondence, including the official, use both
letters, the Kaitahu in ivritinq also use both, but not having their
ear to guide them, use the ng at random. Hence occur such
monstrosities as ting aka for tikanga, and hundreds of others.
Some of these Mr. Tregear takes seriously, giving them a place
in his dictionary ; while the great majority are, without a word
of explanation, capriciously as it seems, ignored. Mr. J. White
in his Ancient History, thought it his duty to print his Kaitahu
manuscripts as he found them, and not as he thought they should
have been—a course having great advantages, but necessitating
some form of commentary. I spoke with him about it, and
pointed out the obvious danger there was of persons ignorant
of the facts being seriously misled. He did not deny it, and
would, I believe, if he had lived to complete the supplementary
volume he intended, have added a cautionary note.
I have, later on, pointed out another source from which, as
it seems to me, Mr. Tregear has drawn some of his new words
—not a great number perhaps, but still too many, and some of
his most notable. To distinguish it from the Kai-taku I have
ventured to call it the Kai-ta or Printers dialect, since all words


28
of this class class owe their origin, or at least their perfected
form, to the Press, and the highly original views it often takes
of the Maori language. It will, I think, be found that some of
the most surprising of Mr Tregear's new words, involving new
departures in the language, are to be credited to that source.
I shall not say much on the comparative part of the work,
though the subject is of first class importance, and though much
might be said as to the author’s treatment of it—what he has
done, and still more, perhaps, what he has not done. Indeed, I
think the most general criticism to which it is open is that it has
been published before it was ready—at least one stage too soon.
Whether to arrive at the older meanings of individual
words, or to get a scientific insight into a language itself, the
incalculable value, not to say the imperative need of comparison
with related languages, is too obvious, if not too well known, to
need another slenderly qualified advocate. But it was not always
so in New Zealand. Five or six years ago, at a time when Mr.
Tregear thought that his claim to rank the Maori language as an
elder sister of the Aryan family could be established upon an
examination of Maori alone of the Polynesian group, such a
comparison with closely related languages, and between its own
dialects, was suggested to him,* as a necessary preliminary to
the very much wider comparison he was attempting. It was
suggested also that the laws of phonetic interchange between the
compared languages must first be ascertained ; and that a
systematic examination of the structure of Maori words was
needed to distinguish their radical and non-radical parts. But
these suggestions were only from the outside. If they came to
Mr. Tregear’s attention, their doubtful source may well have
obscured any little merit they had in being true. He kept on
his own course. Later, however, it seems, though still “ some
years ” before 1890 (see Trans, xxiii, 581), when, “ wishing to
compare certain Maori words ” with those of languages u used on
the Continent of Asia,’’ he was assured by “ one of the masters
of modern philology that the Maori tongue was not in a position
for comparison.” Apparently, what may be called the family
comparison had first to be made. Moreover, ‘‘ the European
scholar ”—accustomed to very different things—“ needed a long
and special preparation before he could grasp the mode or
comprehend the genius of apparently simple tongues.” It
remained therefore for some Polynesian scholar to arrange and
put into a form easy to manipulate, and to be comprehended
at a glance, the various related words used in the different island
groups.” This was authoritative. It pointed out clearly the work
to be done, and, presumably, though not quite so clearly, the
hand to do it. One thing only must have been omitted—but that
♦ Trans. N.Z.1,, vol. xix. pp. 554-6.


29
was a great omission—how it was to be done. The Polynesian
scholar was to arrange the related words, but how was he to
know which were related? This question was among the
suggestions made to Mr. Tregear in 1886 (1'rans. xix, 554), but
he put it aside then as, no doubt, to him too obvious for
discussion, and it has not, so far as his practice shows, troubled
hi in since. He might, then at least, fairly say that the eye
which, without light from historical or grammatical research,
could see the relationship of a Maori word to a Greek or a Gothic
word, might certainly be trusted to see whether or not two
Polynesian words were related. Hence, although I should have
thought this question, in some form, a principal question,
necessarily and fully to be discussed in the introduction to a
comparative Polynesian dictionary, Mr. Tregear does not think it
even needs mention.
Hence, also, I think two things follow : On the one hand,
although the author has been working with great industry in a
perfectly legitimate and useful field, his results are not of one
half the value they ought to be ; on the other hand, as I have
said, his work has been published at least one stage too soon.
He has brought together a great mass of materials for comparison
of all degress of value, but these have surely been sent to the
printer before being submitted to the comparative philologist;
the comparison itself has yet to be made. He puts words side by
side without remark, and says 11 compare them”; and in 99
cases out of 100 that is all; but that by itself, I apprehend, is no
more “ comparison,” than it would be if a comparative anatomist
were, without comment, or direction, or reference to previous
instructions, to tell his pupils to compare two distinct animal
forms which he put before them, and of which the degree and
particulars, or even the fact, of relationship had yet to be
determined. The author’s contribution to the comparison is the
bringing together of so many words ; but on what principle are
these words selected ? He does not tell us. Each reader,
therefore, must guess for himself. Is it any other principle than
that I supposed : to find words as much alike in appearance as
possible, and not too different in meaning, and to treat them as
therefore related ? Even this, in languages as closely akin as
some of these are, will often bring related words together.
Classification, no doubt, is founded on likeness, but it is likeness
in essentials ; and beginners at all events must bear in mind the
truism that only things comparable must be compared. Suppose,
as is constantly happening, the student has to compare simple
with compound words, or compound words with each other ; how
is he to analyze these compoundsl or even to know that they are
compounds ? He must know in every case, or he will be but
blindly guessing; and that means he must first study the
structure of the language—how the words are built up. What has


30
guided Mr. Tregear in all the work of this kind he has done ?
He does not tell us ; as in his first work, so in this, anyone
interested to know must, if he can, infer from the author’s
practice the principles on which he works. In practice he quite
commonly—inevitably, as I should say—though never, I believe,
expressly, recognises the disyllabic structure of the Polynesian
languages: in making his “ comparisons ” he quite commonly
ignores it. At one and the same time, m a sentence of a dozen
words, he will recognise and ignore the composite character of
a word. And at the same time he will ignore the wholesome
rule that the etymologist has to dispose satisfactorily of the
whole of the word he is dealing with. To take one instance out
of many. He compares tdiri with iri and moiri, on the unavowed,
but in my opinion true, theory that iri is the disyllabic radical,
ta and mo being prefixes, in these words obsolescent as to
meaning, if not yet obsolete. That is a distinct, if unconscious,
recognition of the radical of two syllables, and of the principle of
analysing Maori words on that basis. Then in the remainder of
the same short sentence he ignores this principle which he has
just recognised, treats tairi as one homogeneous word, forgets
moiri, forgets that the a of tairi is long, and that, moreover, the
word is of three syllables, and so compares it with tare, which,
having only two short syllables, has probably as good a right to
the character of radical as any other word in the language ; so
that, therefore, if it was to be compared at all, it should surely
have been with iri, its fellow-radical, and not with the composite
ta-iri. But then iri and taie are not much alike ; while if you
did not spell ta-iri, taairi (as you must to give a Maori its true
sound independently of his previous knowledge of the word), and
stand far enough off, not to be inconvenienced by the superfluous
middle i, then, applying the dangerous, if convenient, maxim, so
often, I believe, exemplified in this book (though not yet recognised
in our standard philological works), de minimis non curat
philologus, 1 i the philologist does not concern himself with trifles,”
it will be seen that tairi and tare are quite presentably alike. A
little later tare is compared with tareiva ; yet of this, rewa is
treated, though by no means named, as the radical, and ta, with
a long vowel (=taa) is again the prefix ; so that, according to
my view, and what I may call the greater part of Mr. Tregear’s
practice, the comparison, instead of being between the composite
td-iri, td-rciva, and the simple tare, should have been (if at all)
between the three radicals iri, tare, and rewa.
But though, in his comparative work, the author relies, almost
always, on the simple juxtaposition of words, or this introduced
by the symbol “c/”—which, liberally enough, he translates
“compare (confero)’’; thus, as it seems giving his readers a
choice as to mood and person—in a few rare cases Mr. Tregear
goes beyond it, and gives the student something bolder. Thus,


31
under hani, water, is this :—“ Note : Unlikely, as at first sight
appears, the Maori word hani, water, is a compound of ringi, to
pour out; r changes with n often in Polynesian dialects, as
Tongan nima, five, with Maori rima five. Thus the Hawaiian
nini, to pour out=the Maori ringi, to pour out; and hanini=
haringi. The Maori word ngongi, water (ngo-ngi) may also be a
compound of ringi to pour out.” Assuming hani to be a Maori
word for water, as I am prepared to believe on any sufficient
authority, the argument seems to be this: because Hawaiian
nim=Maori ringi, pour out (as no doubt it does), therefore
[Hawaiian] hanini (which exists) = [Maori] haringi (which does
not exist); and therefore Maori 7tani=a compound of Maori
ringi. I confess that I am unable to follow this ; though I, by
no means, refuse a cheerful, if qualified, assent to the maxim on
which it seems to be ultimately founded—(I mean the American
version of an older form)—“ things which are equal to the same
are equal to everything else.”
Mr. Tregear’s treatment of this word is a fair example of his
method whenever, leaving the simplicity and safety of “ compare
(confero)," he takes a bolder course, His “philology,” as of old,
seems to be always pro hdc vice. He certainly does not, as I
should have thought any one certainly would who had any
sympathy for methodical inquiry in a new field, view and review
his facts until he could educe some apparent laws of general
application under which he could range them, then state these
laws clearly—not dogmatically as being true, but for the purpose
of testing their truth—so that he and all interested could test
them by all relevant facts, and, until he could so state them,
keeping silence. Instead of this, in practice, he does as he did
in the beginning, deals with each case singly; he follows on
another line the ancient law-givers, who sat in the gate and
made the law they administered for each case as it arose. How
else could he avoid discussing the necessary preliminary question
as to the form and nature of Polynesian radicals ? or ignore the
primd facie disyllabic character of hani, the word in question, and
of Hawaiian nini, with its reduplicate forms ni-nini and nini-nini,
and its compounds ha-nini and ma-nini, and of the Maori ringi
with its reduplicates, and its compounds ma-ringi, ringi-hanga,
&c. ? And on what general principle, or special facts does he
assume that the Hawaiian nini, with its two consonants
the same, is more primitive than the stronger Maori ringi,
supported, as it is, by most, if not all, the other Polynesian
dialects ? Or that the Maoris borrowed from the Hawaiians—
not the word hani, meaning water (for Mr. Tregear does not even
conjecture that the Hawaiians used it in that sense),—but
two-thirds of a compound word meaning “ pour out,” in order to
use it for water? Lastly, on what principle does he decide,
either that hani, ringi, and ngongi have no other relatives in


32
Polynesia, or if they have that none of the latter need be
taken into the account before making an unqualified dogmatic
statement as to the structure and some of the affinities of one
of the former ?
If this mode of treating the language be passed as lawful, are
we not less likely to reach any orderly account of the facts of the
language, than a state of chaos worse than that from which
perhaps the language itself first arose ?
I will give another instance in which Mr. Tregear follows in
part the same, in part another mode, not, however, it seems to
me, with complete success. He says (Introd, xxiii.):—“ As an
example how deceptively the letter changes may cloak a real
affinity, I will present the Malagasy vorondolo, an owl, as
equivalent to Maori ruru, an owl. Volo is used as an equivalent
for “feathers,” the Polynesian huruhuru : the v (* * *) = h and
o=u» The Malagasy, however, use vorona as a general name for
birds (probably i.e. “the feathered creatures”), as vorombola a
“ peacock,” &c. “ The nd of ndolo may be considered as
equivalent to the Fijian, in which every d is nd ; and as d is
merely a form of r and I (dikydiky=likyliky ; roa= Malay, dua,
&c.) and o=u, therefore dolo is a form of ruru. Thus voro-
ndolo means “ bird-rum”; and unlikely, as at first sight appears
the relationship, it is probable.’’
On this I will ask, in passing, is not an unconditioned
universal proposition, “that d is merely a form of r and I (in
reference to languages some of which have only one of these
letters, some all three), a dangerous instrument in the hands of a
young and ardent philologist ?—one with which he is more likely
to cut his own fingers than to do any useful work?.
Now, if voron-dolo is spelt as, I presume, it is pronounced,
vurun-dulu (the Malagasy using the symbol o for the sound u), it
is easy to believe that the first element, from its likeness to Maori
huru, feathers, &c., may mean bird, and that the second, from its
likeness to ruru, may mean owl. But the author’s method of
analysing the word ought to be closely observed, the more
especially as this is almost the only occasion, in the whole book,
where he offers the student an etymological model. He tells us
that voro=feathers, and vorona=feathered creature3=birds.
But then, straightway, he lets this particular vorona, bird, fly
right away, or otherwise escape, leaving only voro, feathers,
behind; and, thereafter, it is to this voro he confines our
attention as the first element of voro-ndolo, the final a, being
completely gone, and the n having, in some way, become part of
the second element, ndolo. To account for this nd, he does not
resort to the phonetic laws of the Malagasy language, though
they seem to explain it well, but goes—as philologists, I presume,
often must, and as amateur philologists, I dare say, often do when
they need not—a long way off, in this case right across the Indian


33
and into the Pacific Ocean, to Fiji, where, as he says truly, every
d=nd; the argument apparently being, that if the Fijians always
make d=nd, the Malagasy may well be supposed to do so
sometimes. He does not explain why the n of vorona becomes
m in vorombola, nor why the Malagasy form of Maori ruru should
(transliterating the vowels) be dulib or ndulu, instead of lulu, as
might seem more likely; nor why he first tells us that voro
means feathers, and vorona birds ; and at last, without notice,
makes voro alone mean bird.
Now, taking his materials, is it posssible to make a less
dangerous or more economical use of them, trying first the
resources of the Malagasy language itself before going to Fiji ?
I speak with great diffidence, because I can hardly claim to be
even a student of the Malagasy language ; but I can claim to
have done what apparently Mr. Tregear has not yet found time
to do—read a short Malagasy Grammar.* There, at the beginning,
I find what should make a student very cautious in undertaking
Malagasy etymologies—hence you will kindly take the little I
have to say as mere suggestion. There is in that language a
complicated set of phonetic laws, especialiy as to letter-changes
involved in the making of compound words. One of these is
that, unlikG Polynesian, a syllable may be closed by either of two
consonants n or m ; hence, voron-dolo would not be an impossible
division of our word. Another is that n is admissible immediately
before d, but not before b or p ; while m is admissible before b or
p, but not before d, and a final n before an initial b of the second
word becomes m. This is illustrated by voron-dolo on the one hand,
and voroni-bola on the other. Another is, that the final syllable na,
as in vorona (one of Mr. Van der Tuuk’s three “ dumb syllables”),
is not only itself liable to change, or disappear wholly or partially,
but is also, even if it disappears, the cause of change in the first
consonant of the second word in the compound. Thus, tiana
and vady combined make tiam-bady ; and fonosina and lo make
fonosin-do. If, therefore, we suppose the two elements of our
word to be vorona and lolo (=lulu), they would, it seems,
combine to make that word in the exact form given, voron-dolo,
which is yet consistent with vorom-bola. Conversely, we can
argue back (though with less assurance) that dolo of the compound
may represent as its separate form lolo ; that is, that the
Malagasy form of the Maori ruru, owl, is not dulu, but like the
Samoan, lulu.
Now, it is quite reasonable to suggest, and may be as easy
to prove that I, as a novice in the language, have misunderstood
or misapplied these phonetic rules; but two things are
indisputable—that important and complicated phonetic rules
exist; and that if any one would treat of Malagasy etymology,
♦ Parker’s, in Triibner’s Collection of Simplified Grammars,
E


84
or of how many words in that language are, or are not, related
to words in other Oceanic languages, it is his first duty to make
himself acquainted with the existence of these rules, and then to
master and apply their details.
Scholars who have studied the structure and Grammar of
the Oceanic languages, class the Malagasy as certainly one of
them, that is, as related to Polynesian, Melanesian, Malay, and
others. But Mr. Tregear, who, in the comparison of languages,
looks mainly, if not only, to their vocabularies, has, to say the
least, serious doubts. “ I have not,” he says, “ been able
hitherto to trace even a possible affinity between Malagasy and
Maori in more than one hundred words out of ten thousand ” [?]
“ in each language.” Yet it is perhaps more sad than surprising
that the “method of vocabularies” which had enabled Mr
Tregear to discover such numberless Maori affinities in so many
of the Aryan languages of Europe and Asia,* should have failed
its master so signally here. But its failure does not suggest to
him any doubt of its sufficiency. If, what other people think the
facts, and his view of them, do not agree, why should he assume
that the fault is his ?
The above statement that our author had only hitherto been
able to trace a possible affinity in 100 words out of 10,000 in
each language, would be misleading if not taken to imply an
intercomparison of some sort between, substantially, all the
10,000 words on one side, with, substantially, all the 10,000 on
the other, and in that case the number of individual comparisons
would manifestly have been very great indeed ; and I would say
that the mere mechanism of comparison when done on this scale
would be of much interest, if Mr. Tregear would but disclose it.
But here again, like the mathematicians of a bygone age, he is
prodigal of results, but chary over his methods, and it is easier to
see how some of his results could not have been arrived at, than
how they could. To compare each of 10,000 words with each of
10,000 other words, though it might not overtax Mr. Tregear’s
industry, would have made a heavy demand upon his time.
Apparently, if he had managed to devote twelve hours a day for
365 days in the year, and allowed only 10 seconds for each
comparison—and 1 suppose even an intuitional philologist could
not do much of a philologic act in less than 10 seconds—he
would have spent over 60 years on this one very small branch of
his subject alone. But as presumably the whole dictionary did
not occupy him a tenth part of that time, he must obviously
have had a very much more expeditious way of dealing
with the 20,000 words in question. And, perhaps, even, it
*We have his own authority (Trans, xviii. p. 14) for saying that one
Maori word (Ariki) he had traced in every Aryan tongue; a great feat, as
was remarked at the time,


3^
hiay be found that Mr. Tregear’s investigation has been as little
exhaustive in character as in extent.
It cannot be said that the author has passed over without
notice the fundamental question of letter interchange in and
between these languages, since more than three-fourths of his
introduction is occupied with long lists of alleged interchanges.
They are, unfortunately, only of a few of the most nearly related
languages, those of the Eastern Polynesian group, some eight or
nine out of the 40 or 50 dealt with, more or less, in the book.
But, even with these, he has made no attempt to carry his
investigation beyond the preliminary stage, where, if left, his
results are, I am afraid, as likely to be misleading as to be useful.
In the whole of these lists, we have, so far as appears, only
the author’s conjectures put into the dogmatic form. He
assumes throughout what he has to prove, and he gives the
reader no hint that he is doing so. How does he know that a
and e interchange in Maori ? Because he finds among others
such forms as tutai and tutei, where the only difference is in
those two vowrels. But, to make them evidence, the two words
must be taken as two forms of the same word ; that is, the
assumption must be made that a and e take each other’s places
in the two words, the point to be proved. The argument, in any
single case, is circular, and is admissible only if the assumed
truth is admitted to be assumed, and valid to the extent to which
other facts support the assumption. But here, as before, Mr.
Tregear is prodigal of results, and gives no hint how they were
obtained. Yet the question is fundamental:—How many instances
has he in support of each statement of these letter-changes ?
Some are as rare as others are common.
In the case of tutai and tutei, I have no doubt he is right,
because I know that similar cases are very numerous ; that in an
indefinitely large number of words, a and e seem very easily to
interchange, especially when acented and before i, even although a
consonant intervene. But when he puts the interchange of e
with i, or o with it, on the same level, I entirely disagree,
because really satisfactory instances of these changes are hard
to find; while, to confound e with i, or o with it, especially when
unaccented, seems to come naturally to the English ear and
tongue, and is, I believe, only too common among those English
speakers of Maori who did not learn the language in their early
years. I believe a good many of the new words in this dictionary
(and I suspect in some other Polynesian dictionaries) owe their
existence to this confusion. In this matter, I can claim to speak
as, in a somewhat sinister sense, an expert. I have for more
than 30 years been, as chance offered, a collector of Maori words,
and I must own to having recorded a good many such novelties
myself, especially in the earlier part of the time. But I have not
published them.


36
Speaking of the Maori, lie says, “the vowels sometimes
interchange with each other,” and he then gives examples
showing that every vowel interchanges with every other. He
does not say under what conditions these changes occur; nor
whether there are any conditions under which any of them must,
or cannot occur; nor whether any one is more or less frequent
than any other. Thus, by an affirmative rule—universal, as
including all classes of change as possible, indefinite as to the
number of individual cases included in each class—he sets the
whole matter at large—anything may be anything else—and
there leaves it.
He does the same with the consonants, though to a less
extent. There is nothing, indeed, to show that every Maori
consonant may not interchange with every other, but it is not so
stated. Still Mr. Tregear shows that of the ten consonants three
interchange with each of seven others; three others interchange
each with five others; and so on in a descending proportion—
and, as with the vowels, all these interchanges are unconditioned.
This is surely very like adopting in practice as a serious and
exact truth the well-known epigram of Voltaire, who, according,
to Max Muller (Leet. II, 238), “ defined etymology as a science
in which vowels signify nothing at all, and consonants very little.”
The Maori etymologist, if he would connect any word with any
other, may sometimes have to go beyond Mr. Tregear’s phonetic
rules, but need not break them, since they are all affirmative—all
enabling, none restrictive. Indeed, a main feature, as from the
first it has seemed to me, of our author’s philology, is his
persistent refusal—not in words, but in practice—to submit
himself to any recognised restraints in his dealing with language
For illustrations see his dictionary passim.
I will not dwell further upon this beyond citing a saying of
Bacon’s I lately met with. Speaking of the memory, he urges,
as one condition of successful recollection, the need of an abscissio
infinite, a cutting oft of the infinite, the need of having some
limits within which to search. It is easier to hunt deer in a park
than in a forest. He is dealing with the knowledge we, in a
sense, already have, but which, hidden away in the mind, is not
easily recalled. But the rule applies as well to the search for
fresh knowledge. It is practically hopeless in finite time to
search in an infinite field ; and we know, as implied in the very
nature of language, that it must have its limits in this sense, its
limiting laws; just as every other subject must which is capable
of scientific investigation. These laws when known, while they
restrain us in the sense of keeping us within due limits, are, at the
same time, our surest guides. Until the inquirer knows that such
laws exist he is hardly on the way to learn; until he knows
something about them, he is surely not qualified to teach.
Anyone desiring to find the laws of letter-interchange in Maori


87
would need, I presume, among other things, to ascertain, in
some sort, the relative and actual frequency of the several
changes. According to my own investigation of the vowels, it
will be found that, dividing them into two groups (1) a, 0, o, and
(2) i, u, the interchanges within each group are relatively and
actually very frequent (as well in Maori as between Maori and
other Polynesian languages); while those between the groups are
comparatively so infrequent as to justify their being treated,
provisionally, as abnormal.
The disappearance of letters from Maori words, of which
Mr. Tregear gives some examples, is properly to be considered
together with letter-interchanges, though it is an important fact,
not noticed by him, that, excepting the Taranaki h, a Maori
consonant dropping out of a word, leaves no trace of its former
presence.^' But I believe it a mistake to say that this ever happens
in case of the vowels; and the distinction helps materially, I
would suggest, to mark the relative value of consonant and vowel
in the structure of the language. An apparent exception is in
partial reduplication. But there the omission is of the whole
second syllable, however composed, and is ex hypothesi done with
a purpose.
Mr. Tregear says that a is lost in ng old, as compared with
ngaoki ; and, no doubt, to a hasty view that seems on the face of
it clearly so. But here he is trusting too much to the eye ; as in
so many words in his dictionary he ignores difference in length
of the vowels, no doubt from not having carried his general
investigation far enough to recognise its essential character. The
a and o of ngaold are bo Ji short; the o of ngold is long ; that is,
=oo, and is sometimes, and more properly so written by the
Maoris. Therefore, the true equation is ngaold—ngoold, and the
case is not one of a lost a, but of an interchange of a and o.
Again he says u is lost in haw are, hokeke, o>nd.tokeke, as
compared with hauware, houkeke, and toukeke. But here, also,
the u in, disappearing to the eye, leaves its effect for the ear, and
so is in some sense transformed rather than lost, since in each
case the remaining vowel of the disyllable is doubled in length.
Whether this is to be called an interchange or a ‘ compensatory
lengthening ’ must be settled on a balance of considerations—
the fact remains that hau,={va. the sense of having become) haa
(not ha}, hou=hoo, and tou=too. Compare, also, the first
elements in kou-tou and ko-rua (=koo-rua}, and the last word with
its Samoan equivalent, ‘ou-lua, and Maori ta-tou (taa-tou) with
Tongan tau-tolu, and so on. If, as seems also to happen, the
*If the view before proposed of the Taranaki h is correct, it is not an
exception to the above rule, but another case of consonant interchange—the
soft breathing for the rough. As to the consonantal character of the former
of these see Lepsius, Standard Alphabet, p, 68, and Brugmann Comp,
Grammar (English Ed.) p. 21.


S8
Unaccented i (i.e., when the second vowel in a disyllable) is
similarly liable to be transformed, we may probably identify
paa-hau and pai-hau, maa-hee and mai-hea, and a good many
others ; and the same considerations may help to establish a
community of origin between such pairs as ra (=raa) and rangi,
and po (=poo)) and pongi.
Among the subjects which, I suppose, must necessarily’be
considered in any real intercomparison of these languages, and
which should, therefore, receive at least some notice in the
introduction to a comparative dictionary, but have none in this,
are the following :—Pie-duplication—partial and complete—of the
radicals ; and qucere whether 1 analogy ’ has not, in a few cases,
introduced a spurious or abnormal reduplication, so as to include
in it what is probably a prefix. Metathesis—the interchange of
places of the two consonants, or of the two syllables of a radical;
and probably connected with this, according to Professor A. H.
Keane, is the interesting question of Infixes—and with the last
are obviously connected Prefixes and Suffixes, two branches of
the subject of wide interest and importance. Assimilation and
Dissimilation also need notice ; but they do not seem at present
to play much part in Eastern Polynesia, though they do, I
understand, in some other Oceanic languages ; and there is
an interesting practice of vowel dissimilation shown in the
Tongan vocabulary, in the reduplication of certain classes of
radicals. And, lastly, I would ask, is there, in any of .these
languages—Maori for instance, as that is most accesible to us—
any evidence of a tendency to organic change ?
I will now pass on to a more detailed examination of the
work. In this I have compared a good many articles in it with
the work which is acknowledged to have been its basis—Arch.
Williams’ Dictionary; and where, as often happened, Mr.
Tregear’s examples seemed to me wrong or inappropriate, and
there were references, I looked these up, and noted the result;
in these cases the corrections are in the imperative ; in other
cases the emendations usually, at least, take the form of query
or suggestion. Some of these corrections may seem small; but it
should be remembered :—In the first place, that in Maori a very
small difference to look at is often a very large one in fact;
secondly, that where the errata, even if small, are numerous—
and I have not set down nearly all I found, and my search, of
course, made no attempt to be exhaustive—they are some index of
the quality of the work, at least in its last stage, possibly in all
its stages ; and thirdly, even the really small corrections may be
of practical use to beginners, or even those a little more advanced,
who have not the necessary works for reference.
To save space I have taken the liberty of referring to Mr.
Tregear as T., and to Archdeacon Williams as W.; but these
letters will sometimes stand for their respective dictionaries.


39
Archdeacon Maunsell’s Grammar is indicated as previously by
“ M. Gr.” or Gr. Ex. will often stand for “ example ”; in other
cases I have used Mr. Tregear’s abbreviations.
The marginal numbers refer to the pages of the dictionary ;
the following Maori word shows the article commented on.
1.—A.------T. gives as the meaning of this word, “ God, the
Deity (one auth.).” Farther on he gives as the first meaning of
Aina, “God”; and of Io “(myth.) God, the Supreme Being.”
No hint is given, as in other cases, that these meanings are
modern ; presumably, therefore, this is not intended. Are we
then to understand that A, Io, and Atua meant to the Maori
people, or some of them, before their intercourse with the
Europeans, what the words God, the Deity, the Supreme Being,
mean in English ?
If any one will reflect on what these English words denote
and connote, on the Being they designate and his attributes, and
then on what is known of the Maoris and their conception of
their so-called “religion,” its scope, and methods, before they
had heard of Christianity, he will recognise the tremendous call
T. is making on his credulity, and the painful insufficiency of the
supporting evidence; and he will be still less inclined to concede
what is asked, when he notes the evident unconsciousness of the
author that what is asked is in the least out of the common.
1.—A.------“ A prefix to proper names, pronouns,” &c. This
is the whole of T.’s account of this important word, the personal
prefix. W. defines it as a prefix to proper names and personal
pronouns (except ahau\ and occasionally to common nouns ;
and he gives three classes, and three sub-classes of cases in which
it occurs, with six appropriate examples. This being the “raw
material ” supplied by W. alone, besides much else by other
eminent writers, not to mention what is heard whenever the
language is spoken, T. applies his appropriate method (philologic
or literary—the latter, I think), with the result that all of this
information, which is supposed to concern his reader, is
compressed into the six words above quoted, “ a prefix to proper
names, pronouns, &c.” W.’s significant statement that it is not
used before ahem [though it is before au} drops out with the rest,
and therefore needs no troublesome notice.* But T. applies also
the comparative method, and adduces “ comparatives ” from two
other languages, both Polynesian, but from none other. Yet Dr.
Codrington (whose book stands near the beginning of T.’s very
respectable list of “ Works Consulted,” whatever that somewhat
ambiguous phrase may mean) points out that “the use of a
‘ personal article,’ a remarkable feature in a language, is found
* Yet it is also most interesting. There seems little doubt that Dr.
Shortland is right when he says (How to Learn Maori, p. 13) that the first
a of aha a in the personal prefix.


40
certainly to prevail in Melanesia, in Polynesia, in Madagascar,
and almost certainly in the Malay Archipelago. The meaning
and use is identical ” (Mel. Lang, 110). One of the forms of the
Melanesian personal article is a, as in Maori; the others are e
and t, and I do not feel sure that one, or possibly both of these
may not in some way be found in Maori also. But are not these,
and the like, exactly the points on which the student might look
to a comparative dictionary for help ?
1.—A. (prep.)------W. says of this characteristic word, “a,
prep. 1, of, belonging to ; used in speaking of actions of any kind,
food, children, slaves, &c., but not in speaking of the parts of a
whole, names, qualities, houses, lands, water for drinking, clothes,
&c.”—for which latter, as appears later, o is used. The one has
long been called “ the active a,” and the other “ the passive o.”
and this, whether they are used alone or in combination to make
certain pronominal or possessive forms, as aku, okit; maku,
moku; mau, moit, and so on, thirty or forty in all, without
counting the double compound forms, et rettou, net ratou, &c.,
conventionally written as two words, yet no doubt showing the
composition of the others, each of which is conventionally written
as one word.
Of the use and importance of this distinction between the
active et and the passive o, Archdeacon Maunsell and Bishop
Williams give some forcible illustrations :—He patu woku, a
striking for me (to suffer) ; he patu maku, an instrument for me
to strike with. Nakit tenet whare, I built that house ; noku tenet
tvhare, I dwell in it (it is mine). He hangi mau, an oven with
which you may cook food; he hangi moit, an oven in which
you are to be cooked—a most offensive curse (M. Gr., 133).
Tet patunget tenei a Ngatiporou, this is the place where Ngatiporou
killed certain persons; te patwnga tenei o Ngatiporou, this is the
place where Ngatiporou were killed. Archdeacon Maunsell’s
Grammar has been before the New Zealand public for fifty
years, and in that time it has reached T.’s book-shelves, and been
“ consulted,” but I fear we must conclude that he has not yet
found time to read it. Yet the vital distinction between et and o
it points out is forced upon the attention of the mere tyro in
Maori. His sense of its importance grows with his knowledge,
and his observance of it is one good test of his progress. How
then does T. treat it? His definition of et in this sense consists
of the first three words of W.’s article, “Of, belonging to;”
turning to o we find the very same words repeated: “o, of,
belonging to,” and no indication of the difference ; in each case
the essential facts given by W. and others, and ready at hand,
are conspicuously absent, and T. gives the student nothing in
their place. Of the thirty or forty forms I mentioned in which
a or o appear, I have found two only, ma and na, in which T.,
copying from W., notices the active use of a forms. Even then


41
he does not contrast their passive correlatives mo and no. Thus,
though giving an isolated scrap of borrowed information, still
missing or ignoring its main significance.
But he adds something of his own on another line, the
comparative, showing that a means “ of, belonging to ” in six or
seven other Polynesian languages. His comparative method,
however, as I have said, does not include, unless accidentally,
any critical examination of the words compared, their relations
inter se, or with others. He brings two or more words together,
and the reader must do the rest. In this case, indeed, it was
hardly to be expected that he would notice, in these other
languages, a distinction, useful, elegant, and characteristic as it
is, which he himself had either not perceived in Maori, or had
looked on as too trifling to mention. Yet this same distinction
is well known and treated as important, in at least several parts
of Polynesia, if not universally. See as to Samoan and Hawaiian,
the Rev. S. Whitmee’s edition of Pratt’s Samoan Dictionary,
1878, pp. 5-6. See also his practice in the dictionary itself in
noting as to many nouns, whether they take the a or o form of the
possessive. The distinction is well recognised also in Tahiti,
and from the existence of similar double forms in other Polynesian
islands and settlements, as in Tonga and Uvea, I should
suppose the recognition general.
2.—Aha.-------For he aha ana read e aha ana. How did the
Cockney h get there ?
5.—Ai, A relative particle, a word of great interest and
constant use, principally as supplying to a large extent the want
of relative pronouns in Maori; familiarity, therefore, with its
chief functions is essential for even an elementary knowledge of
the language. W., being a Maori grammarian, that is to say,
having an intimate and idiomatic knowledge of the Maori
language, treats it at considerable length, setting out seven or
more cases in which it is used, with numerous illustrative
examples all translated, forming together a valuable compendium.
T. with this, amongst other, as his material, works it up to this
effect:—“ Ai, a particle having no English equivalent, and only
to be understood by reference to a Maori grammar.” He adds,
however, a four-line summary of its various uses with three
untranslated examples ; and concludes with some ‘ ‘ comparatives.’’
The student, I think, will infer that so far as a knowledge of
Maori is concerned, T. has reached his result by the application
this time of what may be called the negative philologic method,
since he cancels in the finished product most of the “ philologic ”
facts of which the raw material was full.
10.—Ana.------T.’s account of this verbal particle, one of the
most frequently used words in the language, is taken imperfectly
from W., whose article might well be added to but not shortened.
T. confines its use to action, ignoring state, condition, quality,
E


42
&c., apart from action. He ignores, also, the obvious fact that
e-ana takes its time from the rest of the sentence when any time
is indicated, and will often, therefore, mean a past, future, or
conditional, instead of a present and actual state, or action.
And even if his “ rapid action” expresses the truth conveyed by
W.’s “rapid succession of actions,” T. might have ascertained by
reference to Maunsell’s Grammar that ana is often used without
e to give emphasis to the verb in animated sentences, and to
express continuance of action, whether rapid or not. T.’s last
statement about its denoting “ finality of action” (of which, as
often where it is most wanted, he gives no example), I confess I
could make nothing of until by referring to W., and the example
he gives, I saw how, historically, and by the application, as I
suppose, of the literary method, it had been arrived at.
W., I may add, gives five examples, T. one.
12.—Ano.------T., as before stated, begins his short article
on this useful, but not particularly difficult adverb, with the
naive direction to the reader : “ See Maori Grammar.” But
surely it is barely civil while taking from another man’s dictionary
substantially, if not quite word for word, all the meanings you
intend to publish in your own, and still leaving valuable material
behind, to leave him unnamed, and refer the reader for the rest
to “ Maori Grammar” in general. The student, also, if he is to
be sent elsewhere, and into such dangerous company, might well
ask a more specific reference.
Compare W.’s fourteen examples with T.’s five. In the
first of the latter, for kouto read koutou, and in the last for ano
e wai read ano he ivai.
14. —Ao. T. gives as a 6th meaning “mankind (met),”
but this meaning is not to be found in his ex., “ ko tenei tangata
no roto i te ivhenua, e Kara i tenei ao (i e., he was not a man but a
supernatural being),” The explanation misses the real antithesis
which is between this upper world (tenei ao), where men, among
other beings, live, and the underground world from which
Tumutumu-whenua came. In the very next sentence of the
original we are told that his wife, Te Repo, was a tahurangi or
fairy [and therefore not human], but ivas of this world (te ao nei)
living on the lofty mountains, although not visible to ordinary
men.
15. —“ Aokai, the Pleiades (see Matariki)”--But Aokai is
not there mentioned. T. again unfortunately gives^either ex.
nor reference. Is it an epithet expressing an attribute of
Matariki, and possibly meant for ci-kai, as in the saying Ko
Matariki a-kai ki-uta ? 4 Matariki driving food a-shore,’ i.e.,
driving fish shoreward, where it may be caught.
27.—Ata.----In “kei rongo mai aku Jioa i patu au nei,”
insert the omitted i before au; it was the speaker himself who
had been beaten.


43
27.—Atakite.----T. says, “ to behold dimly ; obscure
citing I'e atakitea atu te whetu o te tangi. On this I should
propose for dimly to read dearly, and to strike out obscure, which,
as a meaning of atakite, does not seem to have even a
misunderstanding to support it. Dr. Shortland, from whom the
passage is taken, translates, “ the stars of the heavens are
obscurely seen,” the three last words translating te ata kitea ; lit,
not clearly seen=obscurely seen. Could T.’s note have been
written before he had become acquainted with te as a common
negative ? There is, of course, no more reason for printing
atakite as one word than any other pair made up of verb and
adverb. This very same ata kitea is printed separately in Sir
George Grey’s version of the same poem (G.P., 240).
29. —Ati.----W. gives this as used only in the names of
tribes : Te ati-awa, &c., meaning off-spring, descendants; and
suggests (as Dr. Shortland did, S D., 307) that Ngdti is a
contraction of Nga ati, as in Egatimaru, &c. T. re-words this,
but has not apparently allowed himself time to notice that W.
marks the a Qi Ngati long ; nor to notice what < ught to be as
obvious that if Ngati is really Nga ati the a must be long; he
therefore leaves it short. On the other hand, he tacitly overrules
W. (who confines the meaning of ati as “descendant” to the
tribal prefix), and gives this as an independent meaning.
Unfortunately, the two examples he cites in support of his view
are of another ati altogether, not a noun, but an adversative
conjunction, “but, then” (c./., oti}, as will be seen in the full
text of the passages cited.
30. —Atu.----A long and instructive article might, and
ought to have been written on this characteristic and most
frequently used directive adverb, the principal meaning of which,
as pointed out by Dr. Shortland,* is ‘ forward from the front of
the speaker,’ as its equally indispensable correlative mai means
principally ‘ towards him as he is facing, or supposed to be facing.’
The reader should compare T.’s meagre article giving three
meanings only, and one of these not very exactly, and his three
examples, with Mr. Colenso’s 30 meanings and 80 or 90 examples
(G.--2, 1882). If T. had mastered the meaning of all these
examples he might have classed them under less than 30
headings, but he certainly would not have got them under three.
Some of the notions and distinctions involved are rather subtle,
but it is just as to these that we want a mind capable of real
dictionary work, and with sufficient time at command, to help us ;
a good palpable difference most of us can detect unaided.
36 —E.-----T.’s treatment of this important verbal particle
shews the same negative sympathy as is shown for all the others
—indeed, for every word having many grammatical functions.
* How, &c., 48,


44
He says, imperfectly following W., whose own account is too
brief :—E, a particle generally preceding a word used as a verb
to express the future tense. When e is followed by ana it
denotes present time, as it does when preceding numerals.”
Now, no doubt, e is often used for the future, though not so often
nor so unrestrictedly as Im (M. Gr 148), and it should have been
stated that it is often also used for the present, especially with
net, &c., te tangata e. haere mai nei, the man who is coming here
(close by); more often to denote a contingency or condition,
e riri ia if he be angry, e hau if there be a wind (M. Gr. 140) ;
and very often for the imperative, e xcaha get on (my) back;
e ara, arise ; e noho, sit down, stay, and so (from one going)
farewell; and (in a compound sentence) it is often used of the
past. Te mea i kore ai e nehua, the reason (they) were not buried.
Again, it is true that in a simple sentence e-ana may commonly
be translated by an English present indicative, but as is shown
by Dr. Maunsell, and indeed is obvious, it may, in a compound
sentence, represent past, present, future, or conditional. Hence
the view that it asserts nothing of time is probably the best; the
time must be inferred from its surroundings.
41.—Haeatanga, an opening, &c.------Taken by T. from W
but with a syllable left out. Bead Hcieatatanqa ; so also in
“Key.”
49.—Hapulca. Is this name for the familiar fish hapuku,
known to the Maoris otherwise than through English fish-buyers,
and this dictionary?
49. —Hara.—For ka rarue, which is meaningless, read
ka rarua. A passive ending in e would be a novelty.
50. —Haramai.-----W. says:—“ v.i. (contraction of haere
mai) come towards the speaker, often used as an expression of
welcome. Pass, haramaitia, be come for. Te korero i haramaitia
e ia ; the report on account vf which he came.
T. varies this, assuming to correct W., but only by putting
the specialized before the general meaning, the cart before the
horse. He says, “ Haramai, an expression of welcome, meaning
to come towards the speaker; a contraction of haere mai;
passive haramaitia, to be come for.” He gives no example, and
adds nothing of his own but the disarrangement of the order of
the meanings. The word was certainly used widely in the
general sense “come hither,” for which see G.P. passim. With
regard to the statement that hara is a contraction of haere, I
would ask, how is this known or even made probable? The
cases, I think, must be very few, if any exist, where two Maori
vowels are contracted into one short vowel. Moreover, to those who
believe in the importance, not to say the essential character of
the disyllable in these languages, forms like Maori hara and
Hawaian hele, will, primd facie, appear more primitive than
trisyllables such as haere and haelet


45
54.—Haumaruru.------For ka ko te tapapa read ko to te, &c.
59.—He.------W. says, “8. In difficulty or trouble, ka he
toku manaioa, I am out of breath,” or “ I am out of heart.” T.
says, “2. A difficulty, trouble; to be in trouble. 3. To be
acquainted with. 4. Suffocated (1 he te manawa).” Here T., by
implication, assumes to correct W. for associating troubles of the
mind with troubles of the lungs, under the phrase, which
expresses them both, and so separates them by another meaning
sufficiently foreign, such as it is ; and, further, corrects him by
substituting “suffocated” for “out of breath,” that is, the
extreme case only, for all the lesser degrees. As to the third
meaning, I should propose to reverse it, for “ acquainted ” to read
“unacquainted.” We have at least Dr. Maunsell’s authority for
the latter (Gr., 54—64), not to mention the general character of
the word he.
59. —Whakahe In me ivhakatika ata nga whakahe, for ata
read atu. In his ex. whakahe has not the meaning it is cited to
support, mistake, error—but means accusation. See J. White’s
translation and pest, ivhakatika.
60. —Hei.----An extraordinary omission should here be
noted:—Hei, the preposition future and verbal particle, a very
useful and interesting word—is not given by T.
68.—Hikutoto.---For ko tauatia Id te taua liikutoto, which
is unintelligible, read as in orig. kia tauatia, &c.
76. —Ho (to give). W. says, “ used only in the compound
forms, hoake, homai, hoatu.” This, I thought, was agreed, but
T. amends it. He says, “ Ho, a word expressive of the action
of giving, presenting, &c. It is very rarely used except in
composition, as homai, give (hither), hoatu, give (away from the
speaker) ; mehemea ka kaipomt koe i ho kai, kaore i hoatu e koe,
MSS.” This example, I presume, is intended to show not
only the common use of ho with atu, as in the second clause, but
also one of the “ very rare” uses of it without ake, atu, or mai,
as in the first clause. T.’s all but unbroken rule is never to
translate a Maori example, and he follows it here; and if the
observance of the rule often, as here, leaves the student in
difficulties, he must find his compensation in the thought that it
must often relieve T. of difficulties not less great. Of the
present example I will only say that if the first ho is to be taken
as ho, to give, or in any way seriously, h and all, the clause in
which it occurs is simply unintelligible. If T. has any other
support for the doubt he raises as to W.’s statement, why does he
not produce it?
77. —Hoehoe.----For nana i hoehoea te moana read nana i
hoehoe, &c. Was it copyist or printer who put the verb into the
passive, and who read the proofs ?
77.—Hoatu.------In ka hoatu he ia te ivai, for he ia read e ia,
Here, again, how did the h get in ?


46
79.— Hold.-----W. gives as one use of this very useful
adverb, 11 To give emphasis to an assent or affirmation, &c.”—
adding appropriate examples. T. alters this, and in so doing
lets its meaning escape. He says, “ to give emphasis, to assent.”
Thus, by inserting the comma, and omitting the article, he
makes a new verb of an old adverb ; and, by giving no example,
he deprives his reader of the means of testing the reality and use
of the transformation.
81.—Hongi.-----For Id hongi Id ng a wahine read ka hongi, &c.
89. —Whaka-hua.-----For i ratou ingoa read i o ratou ingoa.
90. —Huanui.-----For the unintelligible me moe mana read
me moe ma.ua \ and in ref. for 12 read 2.
92. —Hurarere.---For this read Hukarere, and in ex. for
Ida read kei, reversing the meaning.
93. —Hume.-----T. says, “2. A coward”; but for this read
u drawn in, tucked in.” His example shows that it is he whiore
hume, a tail tucked in (between the legs), which represents the
coward as with us.
96.—Huripold.----W. says, “ Huripoki, v.t., tzcrn upside
clown. Huripokia te kohue. turn over the soil with a spade.” T.
puts it in this way, “ Huripoki, to turn upside down ; c.f., huri,
to turn, poki, to place with the concave side downwards.
Huripokia te kohue, to turn over the ground with a spade.’’ T.,
to the real loss of his readers, seldom takes an ex. of W.’s ;
seldomer still does he favour them with a translation of any
Maori example at all. The present case will perhaps make the
younger of them wish he had done so oftener.
It will be observed in W.'s article (1) that huripokia te kohue
is an example of the first meaning, turn (something) upside
down, the thing selected being a kohue (koliua) or cooking-pot ;
the verb being in the imperative passive ; (2) that his last
sentence gives a second meaning, or rather an amplification of
the first. Unfortunately, T. takes the second meaning as
translating the example of the first, with the curious result that
the three words which mean, “Let the cooking-pot be turned
upside down,” are rendered, “ To turn over the soil with a
spade.” It is an instance of the unusually successful
application, as it seems to me, of the negative philologic method.
99.—I, prep. A casual consulter of this dictionary might
well be struck at first sight by the number and variety of the
meanings T. gives to this important word (the smallest, I
suppose, of all possible words, but in Maori one of the most
useful). Even a comparison with W. would show that while the
latter’s last meaning is numbered 15, T.’s last is 23. A closer
comparison, however, will show that the larger number has been
arrived at by a re-division of W.’s material, not by adding to it.
T.’s is a remarkably near approach to a word for word copy of
W.’s in everything but the numbering and the examples. Of


47
the latter, the student will find to his loss that while W. gives 84
or 35, T. gives only 20.
99.—la.------W. says, “ pron., 3rd person, singular, he, she,
it11; and he gives a view theoretically interesting, and information
practically valuable of the substitution in certain cases of other
pronominal forms for ia: adding an important observation, that
ia is not ordinarily used in speaking of inanimate things.
T.’s article is at least concise : “ Ia, he, she, or itand,
having given one example, he goes on, without another word, to
his comparatives. Yet his comparatives themselves should have
shown him, what we must suppose he himself had not learnt in
learning the Maori language, the importance of W.’s observation.
And if he had been enough interested in the Melanesian languages
to look at their grammars as well as their vocabularies, he would
have seen some cases of their dislike to use the third personal
pronoun for inanimate things (principally the plural, but also
the singular; Mel. Lang., 120, 266); and if, further, he had
acted on the advice he sometimes wisely, if a little inconsistently,
gives his readers, and consulted a Maori Grammar (e.g., Dr.
Maunsell’s, p. 34) he would have found it stated “ that there is
no word in Maori to denote the word it with its dual and plural.
Their place is generally supplied by some artifice of the
construction.”
101 —lhu.-------For tukua read kukua. T. gives two common
meanings to ihu\ 1. The nose; 2. The bow of a canoe ; and
adds another not to be found in W., 3. The foresail. Here,
unless I am mistaken, by again applying the negative method,
he is able to find three new words or meanings in one short
passage of ten words only. He quotes as from P.M., 72,
Maranga to te ihu, te waenga, me te kei. The student will probably
think there is something wrong about this. Reference to the
original will show that me te kei should read me to te kei, a great
improvement, but he will still find te waenga. If, as is probable,
he should, nevertheless, suspect that this te is a misprint for to,
and should look to the same story in G.P., lix., he will find his
suspicions justified, as there printed it is to waenga . The passage
describes the starting ot the Arawa canoe from Hawaiki for New
Zealand. The arch-thief Tamatekapua is by stratagem kidnapping
the celebrated priest, Ngatoro and his wife, to perform the
ceremonies necessary for a prosperous voyage, and is in a great
hurry to get away. The moment they are on board he orders
the anchor to be hauled up, and the sails set. Accordingly,
“ Maranga to te ihu, to waenga , me to te kei.”—“ (Then) are raised
the [sail] of the bow, that of midships, and that of the stern,”
and away goes the vessel. T. had a slightly corrupt text io deal
with, and he, or his printer, further corrupted it, but even as it is
in his dictionary, the to of to te ihu ought to have put and kept
him on the right road, as no doubt it would if he had not ignored it.


48
108.—Ikanuiatahua. 1 f Muri iho te karakia to te Ikanuiotahua'
----Insert ko after iho, and for to read ko.
104.—Inaina.---In te ra i wliiti nei read, as might be
expected, e whiti nei.
106.—Io.----T. says, “Io (myth). God, the Supreme
Being.” [See A, ante, but here, I will ask, is it not at best a
grave solecism on the author’s part, while declaring this Io to be
mythological, to give as its English equivalents the names he
has chosen, and that without qualification ?]
T.’s ex. may be translated “Io is the chief god ; he made
the earth and the heaven.” Compare this obvious Maori
reflection of Bible teaching with the words of a real authority on
genuine Maori belief, the famous Te Heuheu. The Rev. R.
Taylor says (Ika, 108) “ Speaking to Te Heuheu, the powerful
chief of Taupo, of God as being the creator of all things, he
ridiculed the idea and said : ‘ Is there one maker of all things
amongst you Europeans ? Is not one a carpenter, another a
blacksmith, another a shipbuilder, and another a housebuilder ?
And so it was in the beginning ; one made this, another that:
Tane made trees, Ru mountains, Tangaroa fish, and so forth.
Your religion is of to-day, ours from remote antiquity. Do not
think then to destroy our ancient faith with your fresh-born
religion.’” This, I believe, is consonant with all genuine Maori
tradition.
110. —Ka.---T.’s whole account of this most useful verbal
particle is taken imperfectly from W., whose account was, if I
may say so, itself too brief. T. says, “ Kct, an inceptive particle.
It is used to denote one action changing to another, or the
commencement of another occurrence : [ex.]. At the beginning
of a sentence. When, as soon as: [ex.].” It will be observed
that this takes account of actions and occurrences only, ignoring
state, condition and quality. No doubt in one sense ka is
inceptive ; in another, it might be called “ completive,” as with
the numerals, ka toru this is the third, this makes up the number
three (M. Gr., 140). Its use, also, in the imperative should
have been mentioned : taua ka hoki, let us return; a, ka, kore ia
e whakao mai, ka moimoi; if he shall not answer, you must (call)
moimoi. The first ka in the last example shows another of its
common uses, that in contingent statements. The student’s
attention should also have been called to Dr. Shortland’s
statement (How, &c., p. 33), “Ka is independent of time, and
may be used with past, present, or future. It merely gives to
the word to which it is prefixed the force of a verb.” And a
good deal more of value might have been added on this as on all
the other verbal particles.
111. —Kaha.----For ivhaka-hangia (which, I suppose, might
mean “baked,”) read xohaka-kohangia, “strengthened.’1
112. —Kahawai.—For ngak read ngako.


49
116.—Kaia.----Ko te tang ata nana i te timata te kaia, omit
the unintelligible te before timata.
116. —Kaiahiko, wounded.----It is repeated in the “ Key,”
but is it a Maori word ? Kaiakiko, for wounded, was common
in the wartime 30 years ago.
117. —Kaihau. “ The priest (tohunga) who eats the hau
or portion set apart for the atua, or deity (see whang aihuu).''-
This is too general. I understand that the hau in the whangaihau
was often a lock of hair of the slain, a scalplock; and after a
battle these might be numerous. The Maori was a hardy eater,
but the priest would hardly be expected to eat these.
117.—Kaioraora. “ Ki te nui e te kaioraora a nga tuakana
nona.” Here copyist or ‘ reader,’ or both, must have been
thinking of other things. For e read o, and for nona read mona.
117.—Kaiponu.-----For ngaro read ngcire.
122. — Kani.--In “ atangohia ratou etahi wahine, &c., the
verbal particle is omitted, and by the further omission of the
preposition e, it is left an open question who takes whom, whether
the women carry off the men, or the men the women. It should
read a. tangohia ana e ratou, &c. The ref., also, is wrong-to
Ecclesiastes instead of Judges.
126.—Kapu.----In na wai a mehua nga wai (which ought to
have arrested somebody’s attention), for a read i ; and why does
T. admit into his examples hybrid words (as mehua, Eng.
u measure”), which he ‘rigidly’ excludes from interpretation?
(Introd. p. xxiv.) I have met with several others.
130.—Karewarewa, karearea, and kaeaea.-----These three
names (or as I should say three forms of one name), are, as Sir
W. Buller says, applied to both his species of the smaller hawk,
that is, (1) the quail-hawk (Harpa, N Z.), and (2) the sparrow-
hawk or bush-hawk (H. faroa); certainly, I should say, all three
names are used of the latter. T., however, assumes without
describing a distinction, on the one hand, between a karearea and
a karewarewa, and on the other, between a bush-hawk and a
sparrow-hawk. He does not, however, propose a third species,
nor give his reasons or authorities. We were assured (Circ. advt.)
that the ‘ scientific nomenclature of native birds, plants, fishes,
&c., had received careful attention, and might be relied on as
accurate in description, and almost complete in detail.’ I do not
know what exactly the latter part of this means, but the reader
must not, as a rule, expect any description whatever of the birds,
plants, and fishes themselves, however accurately described their
nomenclature may be, and however nearly complete in detail.
It is, however, to be noted that Mr. Tregear (Diet., p. x.)
modestly admits that this branch of his subject is not “absolutely
perfect,” and this ought to modify, if it does not quite disarm,
criticism.
141.—Keke.----For ko te whaia read ko to wliaea, &c.
G


50
142.—Kei, As to T.’s converting the stern of a canoe into
a mizzen sail, on the strength of a misprint and a little
misunderstanding, see ihu, ante. But note that here in
re-quoting the same ex. he corrects the misprint previously added
to it, yet repeats the same curious view of its meaning.
145.—Whaka-kiki.-------W. gives this as to ‘ instigate,’ with
an appropriate ex. T. unaccountably makes it into 4 investigate,’
citing a part of the same ex. ; the part showing the force of the
word, the object of the instigation being cut off.
152. —Ko,----A word of equal use and interest. W. says,
“ a particle used before proper nouns and personal pronouns,
and also before common nouns when they are preceded by te or
any of its compounds, to, to/m, ta matou, &c., which elsewhere he
calls definitives (First Lessons, pp. 15, 16): 1. To give emphasis,
and hence frequently to denote the predicate. 2. To direct
attention to the subject about which something is about to be
said. 3. To specify particularly what has been already alluded
to in a more general way ; and so also to indicate or enumerate
the individuals signified by a dual or plural pronoun.”
These rules, if not complete, are with their seven examples
of very great help to the student.
T., having this before him (not to mention what other
authorities have written, and what every competent Maori
speaker knows), gives us the following: “ Ko, a particle used
when the predicate is either a proper name, a personal pronoun,
a local noun, or the interrogatives wai or hea ; also before a
common noun with any of the definitives except he (see Maori
Grammar).” Whether the student is to use it on every such
occasion, or if not, when ? and its purpose and effect if he does
use it, he is naively told to discover for himself. When he gets
among the grammarians, he may ask, might he not profitably
exchange T.’s whole article for six words from Dr. Maunsell?
who (Gr., 124 and 152) describes ko as “ the article of specification
and emphasis.”
153. —Koa.----W. says “ad. intensive: 1. indeed; 2. in
entreaty.” T. says, “an intensive: 1. indeed; 2. in entirety,”
His conversion of ‘ in entreaty ’ into ‘ in entirety ’ (as, a little
before, instigate into investigate), if it amuses some readers, may
puzzle others who have not W. If T. had given an ex. and
translated it, and then looked again at his definition, he would
no doubt have recalled the novelty which the latter contains.
155.—Kohatu.------For JELihi ona, &c., read FLihi ana, &c.,
the verbal particle for the possessive.
155.—Kohikohi, il (myth), the name of the aborigines of
New Zealand when discovered by the Polynesians (Maori).”---------
This is too positive, and too general. Why does not T. give his
authority ? How many other names arc there for supposed N.Z.
aborigines (fie., people said to haye been found here on the arrival


51
of some of the well-known canoes), and how many Maori tribes
agree in any one name ? And how is it known or guessed that
they were not Polynesians? T. himself gives several other
names (see Kahuitoka, Toi, Upolcotoea, and Hiti, and there are
several others). Under Hiti it will be seen to be a debateable
question whether there were any inhabitants here before the
Maoris. The evidence of tradition is both weak and conflicting.
156.—Kohore, “no, not.”-----This, to say the least, unusual
form of kahore is given by T. as from the ‘ South Island ’ dialect.
But do we not want more evidence before accepting it ? I would
suggest that, as with some other of T.’s most distinctively new
words, it comes not from the 1 South Island ’ but the printer’s
dialect. The paper containing it (Wohler’s, Trans, vii.), valuable
as it is, is greatly disfigured by misprints ; yet in nine other
places in the same short story the usual kahore appears.
160.—Kororohimako, an obvious misprint for kokorohimako.
164.—Kopere-tane.---T. says, “an exclamatory phrase
uttered by the leader of a party (usually a war party) as the
signal for immediate action.” A phrase of similar meaning, and
to a careless eye of similar form (though essentially different
grammatically), kopere taua (or kopere tatou), “ advance,” or “ let
us go,” is well known. (Te Rou, 196, 340 ; A. H. M. iv., 135.)
Is Kopere-tane a miscopy of this, or really another genuine form?
It surely deserved a word of explanation.
172.—Koromatua.-----For kotahi i toetoe read kotahi i toe.
How came the copyist to reduplicate this verb with the subject
in the singular ?
172.—Oromiko-taranga.----To this prefix K; as also before
owhaitau and owhakararo on page 178—evident mishaps.
179.—Kua.-----W. says, “a verbal particle denoting that
the action is completed at the time indicated.” T. re-words
without having apparently quite understood this useful and
concise definition, and without having drawn on his own practical
knowledge of the language; and so he further shortens what
was already too short, by leaving out a vital part of it—the last
four words. He says, “ a verbal particle denoting the completion
of past action.” But kua commonly marks the perfect whether
past, present, or future; the completion of the action at the time
indicated, whatever that time may be. Kua karanga ia, he had,
has, or will have called (W., p. xiv.) the time of the sentence
shewing which is meant. So Arch. Maunsell “ Akuanei ko Hone
kua tae, presently it will be John, who (emphatically) has got
there, i.e., John will have got there first (Gr., 152). Kua mate
ahau, e ora ana ano nga rakau nei, “these trees will live longer
than I”; lit. “I died, these trees are still alive” (Gr. 168).
Moreover, kua is not concerned with action only, but also with
state, condition, quality, &c. Kua po, it is night; kua koroheke*


52
(he) has become an old man ; kua kore, (it) has disappeared,
(more lit.) - has become not.
201.—Mamae. W. by accident, no doubt, omits what is,
I suppose, the commonest use of this word (i.e., as a noun
meaning 4 pain,’ whether of body or mind), and so begins with
the adjectival or verbal use of it. By a coincidence T. must
have met with exactly the same accident, since he also omits
this commoner use and begins with the other; and a further
coincidence is also to be noted, that in the second part of each
book, W.’s English-Maori part and T.’s “ Key,’’ which is founded
on it, mamae appears as the equivalent of the English noun
44 pain.”
W. gives two meanings to the causative form whaka-mamae,
one transitive, the other intransitive, which T. copies faithfully
enough; but as he, on principle, omits this too-refined distinction
in verbs, it is not surprising that his one example should stray
from the intransitive division, where it belongs, to the transitive,
where it is quite out of place : Rangiuru, the subject of the
passage quoted, was not causing pain to any one, but was for a
long time in pain.
203.—Mamutu.-------A new word of T.’s, meaning, he says,
44 1. clean ; 2. power, authority (as mana)" If the first meaning
is right, should not the word be written as two, taking ma
as the common word for clean, and mutu as an intensive ? As
to the second which is found in the printed version of a letter of
Potatau’s, may it not there be a misprint for ua-mutu, the nape
of the neck (perhaps strictly the uppermost cervical vertebra) ? I
do not know the combination, but both ua and mutu have the
former sense, and mutu, at least, has both (compare also mo-ua,
tuta, and tittanya). T.’s ex. could then be translated, 44 It is not
right that one man should come without excuse to put his foot
upon the neck of another”; and mana, as a secondary meaning,
would come naturally, in certain senses.
203. —Manahuna.------T. says, 44 eels which wriggle into dark
holes.” Is this new name intended to denote a new species of
the common eel discovered by T. ? If so, does the habit described
sufficiently distinguish this eel from its fellows ? Presumably
any eel would wriggle anywhere, and always by preference into a
dark hole, when any human being was near enough to take an
observation. Valuable, therefore, as habits may be in classification
—and it must be remembered that they are often more enduring
than form—it is evident that a habit common to the whole
genus is not enough on which to found even a young naturalist's
variety. Could T. tell us of any structural difference marking
the manahuna ? A Maori friend suggests that the name is not that
of the eel, but of the dark hole or place in which it lives
204. —Manako.------T. says, 44 the constellation of Magellan’s
Cloud (one auth.).” Who is the one authority, and under what


53
circumstances does he make this curious statement, or the
statement on which this curious statement is founded ? What is
the constellation of Magellan’s Cloud ? And which of them is
meant ? Astronomers agree with the many in recognising two
Megallanic Clouds, but do not, commonly, class either of them
singly, or both together, among the constellations. The Maoris
also recognise two, and have at least two names for each; while
the short description I have heard of both, in answer to the
question what they were—“ he}mrehu ra ”—would fairly translate
their astronomical name, nubeculcc. Mr. J. White, A. H. M.,
1, 52 (trans.) speaks of Manako-tea (white Magellan Cloud), and
Manako-uri (black Magellan Cloud), and Te-ika-o-te-raki (which
he also calls Mango-roa), the Big Magellan Cloud. But he is in
part interpreting a doubtful diagram, and the passage seems to
want revision. Is he not including as clouds of Magellan both
the Coalsack and the Milky Way ?
207.—Manu. Besides the known intransitive meaning of
this word, to float, T. gives a transitive one, “to launch, to cause
to float.” But this, I venture to say, is not supported by the
only examples he quotes : “Ka manu ia te waka ” [ka haere a
Whakatau, &c.J [Now the canoe floats, and Whakatau goes on
his voyage.] T.’s mistake, I presume, arose from taking ia for
the personal pronoun instead of the conjunction. But in that
case the sentence would not construe (there is no transitive
particle, and Whakatau should have appeared in the first clause);
while, in the other case, giving ia a common meaning (which, by
the way, I believe, it has in eight or nine other places in the
same one-page story) and giving mdnu its common meaning, there
is not the least difficulty.
211.—Maori.------This word, the most widely-known, I
suppose, in the language, has received singularly little attention.
T., for instance, has practically nothing to tell us of its meaning
beyond what Bishop Williams wrote 40 or 50 years ago, and that
was only one word. The latter gave then as its meaning
“native.” T. says now, “native,indigenous.” Yet, I believe,
anyone who takes the only course now open, and collects as many
cases as possible of its use in the genuine language—the older of
course the better—cannot fail of getting some additional insight.
If I may judge from a small collection I have myself made, he
will find : First, that it is not used as a race name, nor as a
noun, but as a qualifying word, an adjective or an adverb. A
Maori, as he is now called, was not he Maori, but he tang ata
maori. Secondly: That its most general or fundamental
meaning seems to be ‘common, ordinary,’ sometimes with an
implication of praise, sometimes of disparagement. A thing may
be common, mere, unimproved, as contrasted with what is
uncommon or superior—hence Irawaru’s bird-spear was called
maori, because it was plain, and would not hold the birds while



Maui’s was barbed, and would : So of a face not ornamented
with the tattoo. Mr. J. White in this connection translates
maori, untattooed, i.e., plain, common. So, also, the lesser stars
are called whetu maori, Maori or common stars in contrast to
Rehua, and the other great ones ; so (in a Maori letter in 1863)
a steamer is called a steamer (tima), while an (English) sailing
vessel is called a Kctipuke maori, or Maori ship, though it was
maori only in being an ordinary ship, when contrasted with the
steamer. On the other hand, a thing may be common in a good
sense, normal, real, genuine, as opposed to the uncommon ;
abnormal, fictitious, having the appearance but not the reality ;
wai maori is fresh water, common, genuine water, in contrast to
ivai-tai or sea-water ; so a man was a tanqata maori, a common or
real man, as opposed to other beings (sometimes even called
tangata, men), patupaearehe (fairies), tupua (goblins, or monsters),
or atua (gods)—human in appearance but not in reality, and
particularly in later times as opposed to Europeans, who at first
universally, I believe, throughout Oceania were looked on as
gods, or monsters or ghosts, and not real men. Of the
Melanesians, Dr. Codrington says, “ When white men first
appear to Melanesians they are taken for ghosts, dead men come
back ; when white men ask the natives what they are, they
proclaim themselves to be men, and not ghosts ” (Mel. Lang, 82
and .467). This is the same antithesis, which in Polynesia was
expressed by the word maori, and possibly in Melanesia may be
found traces of the word, as well as the notion, and when I see
among T.’s ‘ comparatives ’ the Mangarewan maori, said to mean
Polynesian and Oceanic, I should like to hear more before
accepting them as representing the ancient usage of the language.
215. —Marenganui. Should not this be maringanui ? I
have long known the latter with the meaning “It is well ” (and
see G. P., 267 and 388).
216. —Marewa.---For ka marama ki rung a read ka marewa,
&c.
220.—Maruaroa. W. says “the name of the third
month.” T. copies this, but adds, “ a season answering to our
June (early winter),” which, as an addition to the other, and not
in substitution for it, is to me confusing. The authorities, I
think, are agreed that the first Maori month corresponded
roughly to our .June. And, accordingly (in A. H. M. III. 30,
and trans. 51) these two are taken as equivalent to each other,
and also to Maruaroa. The Maori year, I understand, began
with the new moon following the first appearance in the morning
of Matariki (the Pleiades), or, according to some, of Puanga
(Rigel); but the two rise here about the same time, the
difference in Right Ascension being approximately compensated
by that in Declination. Last year, 1891, the first Maori month,
according to Hoani Nahi’s Almanac, began on June sixth.


55
224. — Whaha-matuku.-.----For this read Whaka-mataku,
obviously a misprint. But it helps to show the imperative need
in Maori printing that copyist and proof-reader should have a
keen eye, and a strong sense of the value of small differences.
They, at all events, must not put into practice on their own
account T.’s unqualified rule of the occasional interchange of
every Maori vowel with every other. In the present case, the
error—putting an u for an a—is not so serious as in many others ;
yet it might produce confusion, since, instead of “ to terrify,”
which was aimed at, it substitutes “ to turn into a little blue
heron.”
226.—Matariki.-----T. says “ the Pleiades, a constellation,
the sign of the first month.” This is true, but how is it a sign
of the first month ? T. does not say. But in the ‘ comparatives ’
the Tahitian M atari! the Pleiades is said to be “ (b.) a year or
season reckoned by the appearance of the Pleiades.” But how
reckoned ? Here again T. does not say. The reader is left
uninformed, and would be apt to suppose the Maori year and the
Tahitian year began together. Yet, on the contrary, the two
appear to have begun some six months apart, if we take the only
Tahitian year mentioned by Mr. Ellis as regulated by the
Pleiades. That celebrated constellation, indeed, by its appearance
above the horizon, marked the beginning of both, but here when
that happened in the morning, there when it happened in the
evening. The Tahitians, according to Mr. Ellis (Pol. Pies., 1, 87),
besides other divisions of the year, divided it into two parts: the
first, “ Matarii above,” when that constellation could be seen in
the evening; the second, “Matariibelow,” when it could not be so
seen. Something corresponding to this Tahitian practice seems
to have been observed at Hawaii, on the other side of the
Equator.
In the first ex., for te zuhitu o te tau, I should read te whetu,
&c. ; it is printed zvhitu in orig. (G. P., 254), but see the longer
version at p. 308, and see also what is meant.
231. —Matou.----In the ex. “ kohoreia matou, ko tona hakoro
ia,” as to koliore see ante under that word; and before matou insert
the necessary i. For matua read matau.
232. —Mau, “9. to know, to recognise.” This meaning,
not in W. and new to me, T., I presume, found in the passage of
which he quotes the first few words. I have added the rest that
the reader may see, not the word only, but the sense in which it
is used. Katahi ka mauria te taane e te ivahine ra [ki roto ki te
whare uhatu kcikaliu ra tahutahu ai\. “Thereupon the husband
was carried [maitria) by the wife into that weaving-housej that
she might there tend him.” T.’s mistake, no doubt, arose from
an incautious reading of Mr. White’s English, which is translation
plus explanation.
239.—Me, with.----For pai rawa nga takitaki, &c., read


56
&c. Here, by the substitution of i for e, pai for pae, the meaning
is reversed; a good instance of the need for accuracy in
dealing with Maori vowels. It is the destruction of the fences,
not their well-being, that is predicated.
239.—Mea. T. gives as one meaning “ a thing of no
consequence ; it does not matter,” &c. But surely that is not
mca “ thing,” but me a? = m.e aha ? lit. ‘ What must be done?
What does it matter ? It does not matter.’ Compare the common
he a ? What ? for he aha ?
246.—Moe.------For moenamo read moenanu.
250.—Mokotokupu.------For this (twice) read mikotukupu
268.—Niu.------T. says “ a means of divination by throwing
small sticks; the sticks so thrown.” But also, though not
mentioned, the upright stick or sticks thrown at. See for an
account of the ceremony by one who had seen it, Te Hou, 54—5.
In the Paimarire or Hauhau ‘religion ’ the worshippers-post round
which the believers trotted in a circle, was called niu, from the
upright stick in the old niu ceremony. The first set up of these
modern niu was the lower flagstaff at Kaitake, Taranaki,* The
Polynesian niu is the cocoa-nut tree, as well as its fruit.
271.—Nukarau.-----For keinukurautia koe read keinukarautia.
tatou.\
273.—Ngaeo.----For te kukume-toka read te kuku-moe-toka.
280 —Ngatiwhatua.-----T. says, “aname of thepatupaearehe
(fairies).” But this should be struck out, unless he has in
reserve some evidence beyond what I would venture to call the
misunderstanding he adduces in its support. It is arrived
at by taking “ that tribe ” (the fairies) in one sentence to mean
the same as “this tribe the Ngatiwhatua” in the next.
281.—Ngaivari.----For mauna atu read mauria atu, and for
vii. 5 read vii. 51.
284.—Ngoikore.----For he puta nga uri read ka puta, &c.
293.—Ori.------For ka oria i te hau read ka oria e te hau.
295.—Oivha. T. says, “to warn; warning, alarming,”
and supports this unexpected meaning by an example in which I
am afraid it is not to be found. It is a passage from a farewell
address to Sir G. Grey in 1853 : ko a matou kwpu oivha enei ki a
koe, which C. 0. Davis translates, “ these are our words of love
to you ” (where ‘ words of love ' = kupu oivha'); and they go on to
quote the fifth commandment as to the obligation to love their
parents, &c, As there is nothing of warning or alarm here, it
will be safer for the student to accept T-’s meaning in a
somewhat contrary sense, and translate oivha farewell, the
expression or feeling of love and respect, especially at parting.
* In the Taranaki war, I saw some of these Hauhaus at Te Pekatu
trotting round their niu with guns in their hands, while the soldiers were
advancing to attack them, and within range. The belief existed among them
for a time that the real believers were invulnerable.


57
296.—Pct.----For i kaika ana read e kaika ana, and in i
runga ake te ate insert i after ake.
802.—Pai.----In hetino nuipaitokupai atu Ida koe, for the
first pal read pu; and under whakapai, for rctwatai read rawatia-.
305.—Pakawha,----For to pakawha read te pakawha ; insert
“ ? ” at the end, and in ref. for Bew. read Hopa.
806.—Pakete.---T. gives two words of this form: 1. “to
be forced out; to shove out, to expel [both active and passive ?]
and 2. “ a bow of the archer.” The latter he speaks of as
“ a doubtful word : Murihiku dialect.” I would suggest for
further enquiry that they may both represent the English word
bucket, introduced possibly in the South by the old whalers. As
to the first, Dr. Shortland {Southern Districts of N.Z. p. 311) gives
pakete-tia as “ shoved out, done up, &c.,” with which compare
the meanings of ‘ bucket ’ in the New English Dictionary, e.g,,
‘ to give the bucket’ =‘to give the sack ’; so ‘ bucketed ’=‘ sacked ’
in the workman’s sense? Again, ‘ bucketed ’ as a horse by hard
riding; ‘ pumped,’ done up. As to the second, compare
‘bucket,’ the bent piece of wood on which a dead pig was hung,
and which is suggested as the origin of the slang phrase ‘ ‘ to kick
the bucket.” The provincial saying “ as wrong, or as bent as a
bucket ” would apply to the archer’s bow.
313.—Paoho.----Under this T. says “ to bark at a pig is
paoho, to bark at a man is tau.” Is not this a considerable
misunderstanding ? Probably tau, to bark, is imitative, and
regards mainly the sound ; while paoho, I believe, regards rather
the purpose or effect of the barking, to give the alarm, call
attention, &c., by barking. Compare whaka-oho, to arouse, startle.
Indeed, I would suggest that in pel-olio, the prefix pct is a
causative—whcika in force, if not in origin, as in some other
Maori words ; and compare ta both in Maori and Tahitian.
814.—Papa.-----For nana e takatakahi, &c., readna??(H, &c.
823.—Parei amaumu—wMe to swim.---------This is taken by
T. from W., but is it not in the latter a misprint for parera-
maunu? I know it in the latter form, and also with the
elements transposed maunu-parera, as one who cannot swim. See
also T.’s mounu with the same meaning.
827.—Patu.-----T. quotes “ e haere ana ahau ki te wahi e
patua ma nga weru, and it is so in Trans, vii., 51 ; but as it stands
is not e patua ma nga weru obviously printer’s Maori for e patua ai
nga weru ? See it so printed in A. H. M. II., 131.
329.—Pawera.-----For i mauri ai read i mariri ai,
832.— Peke.----T.’s first three meanings of this word, leap
over, jump up, and leap down, may be conveniently and properly
reduced to one, i.e., to jump, the rest of the sentence determining
the direction. His 3ixth meaning, “ to conceal,” is new to me,
but is not borne out by his example : ka peke a Pungarehu raua
ko tana hoa ki runga ki te matao [noho ai] . “ Pungarehu and hia
a


58
friend jumped up to the window, and there sat.” J. White
translates “sat-at” the window. There was no concealment;
quite the contrary. They were planning to kill the poua-kai, or
man-eating bird, of this island, and were the bait in their own
trap. The great bird made for them from a distance, and, when
near enough, struck at one of them, and thus, having come
within reach of their stone axes, it was killed.
332.—Pekepeke.-----W. says, “quick”; T. says, “quick,
swift, speedy,” Is it superior knowledge, or the literary faculty
which gives us three meanings for one, but instead of one
example, none ?
332.—Pena. W. says, “ like that which is near, or has
some reference to the person spoken to.” T. quite unaccountably
alters this into “ like something near or referring to the person
spoken of.” Thus, by the change of preposition, depriving the
word of the whole peculiarity of its meaning.
340.—Pipiri.-----For ko raua ko Papa read ko Bangi raua
ko Papa.
340.— Piringi, a shelter.----This, I would venture to call
one of T.’s most distinctly new words. He supports it by a
quotation from the Maori Bible (of 1868 ?), where it certainly
occurs (Psalms lxi., 3): Hei itiringi hoki koe moku, &c., “For
thou hastbeen a shelter for me.” Nevertheless, and in spite of
T.’s adoption of it, I venture to think it is not a Maori word.
T., himself, connects it with piri,, but how? The connection
would be of the greatest interest, but it remains his secret. I
would add that piringa, the word one would expect, is the
regular verbal noun of piri, piripiri, to stick to, keep close to,
hide, shelter behind, and so that which shelters, cover in a
military sense. Moreover, this piringa, and not piringi, is
actually found in three older editions of the Psalms which I have
examined, and also in this 1868 edition, in the very next verse
to the one quoted. But T. is well enough satisfied with it to
repeat it in his “ Key,” though there, indeed, under “ sheltered,”
not “ shelter,” thus introducing another difficulty. Yet though
piringi, as a verbal noun ending in i instead of a, would. I suppose,
be unique in the language, T. does not think it worth while calling
the reader’s attention to it.
342.—Po.------T. says, “4. Eternity: kua m ate kitepo\ passed
into eternity.” These two phrases are equivalent so far as each
means that some one has died, and no farther ; take away mate
from the one and eternity will go with it. The Maori mate is
ambiguous ; it may mean ill or it may mean dead. If a Maori
wants to make it clear he means dead, • he adds an intensive
word or phrase, as mate rawa, or mate ata kt te Po, or ki te
Beinga, or to be very emphatic mate rawa atu kt te Po, and so on.
And evidently several other words have as good a claim to the
translated eternity, e.g., Te Reinga, Pae-rau, Waro. But


59
supposing T. had to put into Maori a proposition which, upon
reflection, he will, no doubt, admit to be true, that anyone who
is now in time, is as much in eternity as he ever can be - would
he make his meaning clear if for eternity he used the word he
gives as its equivalent ?
350 — Popokonuihaura (Clematis).----1 have heard this as
Popokonui-a-Hura, which, I would suggest, as on the face of it a
more probable form, since popoko=upoko.
352.—Pongi.-----For whaono ana read ivhaona ana ; ivhaono
would involve a new departure in the Maori passive.
365 —Paanga.------For Tautoro read Tautoru.
369.— Pukana.-----For he putanga read hei putanga, and for
ka pu read ka pukana.
371. —Pukupuku.----In the ex. for he read hei, and in ref.
for 9 read 29.
372. —Pukuka, a glutton.----For this read the ordinary
puku-kai. The latter is given as a comparative under puku, but
pukuka re-appears in the “ Key.’*
386.—Raho.------For kohera read kohara, and for ko po read
ka po.
395 —Rangona, “(a passive form of Bongo), to hear,” &c.
-----The parenthesis should be removed, as it gives to the passive
the meaning of the active. But this change of passive to active
will not surprise the student so much as the statement that
rangona- is a passive of rongo, coupled with the subsequent
statement (p. 423), 11 Rongo (passive rongona)” as if the latter
not only existed in this sense, but were the ordinary form. If
so, there has been ‘ a conspiracy of silence ’ about it, or worse,
among our grammarians for half a century. Kongo is, I believe,
unique in the language in changing, as it seems, the first vowel
of its radical in forming its passive ; and one of perhaps two only
which show apparent change in either vowel, the other or one
other, being niea.
403.—Raukataura.----For this read Raukatauri. The latt er
name is also given to the long tapering leathery case of a
well-known moth (Liotluula omnicora?) This case is said to be
the flute on which the goddess played ; perhaps strictly te pu a
Piaukataun.
414. - Ptiriki.-For kotoa read katoa.
414.—Rikiriki.----T. copies from W., “In small portions
or sections; in fragments”; but prefixes of his own, “in
particles.” His only example, however, is of the common
general meaning, “small” (which he has put into a separate
article, and to which it should be transferred). It is “ Vpoko
likiriki e !” This, as might be expected, J. White translates
“ Little heads.” If T. translates it according to the meaning he
cites it to support, “ heads in particles, sections, or fragments,”
lie encounters the difficulty that it is an address, to living men,


60
and misses the obviously intended antithesis of mata-nui, “ big
face,” in the next clause.
423.—Rona. Near foot of first column, for luairoaread
ivaiora. Although Browning has given a modest immortality to
the river Wairoa,* it must not be allowed to usurp the place of the
Wai-ora-a-Tane, “ the living water of Tane,” which ought to be
still more celebrated, and will be whenever it finds its sacred
poet, since it was itself capabable of conferring immortality (of a
kind) on those who bathed in it.
423.—Bongo, (passive Ronyona}, to hear.-----As to passive,
see Bangona, ante. T. gives (from W.) as one meaning, “tidings,
report fame also, but not from W.. “ sound, noise.” He
supports the latter with an example of the former, na, ka- tae te
rongo ki ona teina [taina, in orig.'], which Sir G. Grey translates,
as the words and the facts require, “ At last the news” &c.
428.—Bou.-------In ka, tako kei raro, for tako read taka.
440. —Tctepo, “ a goblin, a spectre.”---1 have heard of a
creature with a name sounding a good deal like this, for nearly 40
years, but always from Englishmen who did not talk Maori, or
from Maoris who thought they were talking English. Is it
genuine ? The nearest approach to it I have hitherto seen in
print is in the Maori Messenger for July, 1863 (No. 6, p. 10),
where the English article, evidently the original, has “ instigated
by some typo,” &c., but the Maori translation evades it by a
circumlocution. Presumably the English writer thought he was
introducing an evil spirit well-known to the natives, whose name
would give point to the translation, but the translator did not see
it.
441. — Tahanga.----In katahi ia ka marama a,ke, for marama
read maranga.
443.—Tahi.-----In “ korua pea ko te Arahore i Havre tahi
mat ?” For Arahore read Arahori. The proverb is against those
telling ‘ travellers tales,’ &c Mr. Colenso (Trans. xii., 124)
translates “ Perhaps thou and False-road came here together?”
so that the change of i to e—of hori, false, to hore, not—would
just take away the point.
446. —Tai.-----T., copying W., says, “an exclamation of
address to a married woman. E tai !” Add, however, “or to
a man,” since it is used to both sexes. This, also, T. might
have learnt from Maunsell’s Grammar, or one acquainted with
Waikato usage —not to mention Maori letters and newspapers.
447. —Taina.---T.’s distinctions between the two dialectic
variants taina and teina have the advantages and disadvantages
* See The Guardian Angel, last line but one. The “ Alfred, dear friend ”
of that poem was the late Alfred Domett, for many years a Nelson resident,
himself no mean poet, and one of the most original of the minds which
helped to found this Colony. For Browning’s view of what he might have
become, see “ Waring."


61
of novelty; I should advise the beginner to investigate the
matter for himself before accepting them. So far as I have been
able to test them since seeing this book, I do not find them
founded in reality.
450.—Tctkahanga (for takahihanga}.-----So T. puts it. Yet
he does not give us takahihanga (presumably in his view the right
form) in its proper place. Is this because he has not found it
actually existing, and only mentions it as the ideally perfect
form ? Yet the contrary view (which I hold) that takahanga is
not only the actual, but the normal form of the verbal noun from
takalii, is, whether right or wrong, at least suggestive, because it
challenges the radical character of the last syllable of takahi.
453.—lalceke------Bishop Williams (ed. 1852) says “ Takeke,
to be acquired ; Takeke noa nga tini kupu Maori i a koutou ; all
the native words have been acquired by you.” In the last edition
(1871) Archdeacon Williams changes this a little, “ Takeke, a.
altogether acquired,” giving the same example, but, to the peril
of the incautious, untranslated. T., omitting this example, and
giving none of his own, now says, “ Takeke, altogether acquired ;
not an original possession.” Of this, the first half is borrowed ;
how was the second half arrived at? It seems to me, not by the
‘ philologic, ’ but by the i literary ’ method; not by a
re-interpretation of the Maori, for that it would not fit, but by a
misinterpretation of the two English words constituting the first
half.
458.— Tamaka.-----For “fine strands” read “five strands.”
460.— Whakatane-------T. cites “ ko Whakatau, potiki ahau, e
ivhakatane ia iaT Here the omission of a letter confuses the
whole sentence; for ahau, I, read ahaku, my. The same error
occurs on p. 330, under peha.
472.— Tapoko.-----W. says, “v,?., 2. Sink in mire’’;
meaning, I presume, by the difference in type that sink was the
general meaning of which “ in mire ” was a particular case. T.
copies the words but in one type “2. to sink in the mire ” ; thus
wholly and erroneously specializing the meaning. And his
example is peculiarly unfortunate, for, though at first sight it
seems to fit, this has only been arrived at by cutting off the end
of it which specifies the material sunk into, that being not
mire but stone. “ A, e tapoko ua [for ua read na\ ano te taunga o
nga ivaewae o Hottimauea.” [The feet of Hotumauea in alighting
sank in.] If the quotation had been carried three words farther,
so as to include i te kozvhatu (as it is, curiously enough, on p.
484), it would have appeared that Hotumauea (who was something
of a giant) had taken so prodigious a leap that his feet sank into
the very rock itself, and the story goes on to tell that the
marks are to be seen to this day. But T., unkindly, I submit,
to all concerned, takes away the rock, and the wonder, and leaves
the hero sticking in the mud,


62
475.—Tarahanga.----For i ring a read i runga.
477.—Taraheke.-----For ka rangi read ka ranga.
480. — Tarie. T. gives this as equivalent to tar la, passive
of talari, to wait. Hitherto, as I understand, the authorities
were agreed that every suffix forming a passive was or ended in
a. T. now gives us one ending in e. If I am right he is thus
taking an entirely new departure in the Maori language. He
does it without a word of comment; and on what authority ?
That of the type - setter of vol. vii. of the New Zealand
Transactions ! and that particular part of the text is worse than
most of it. See the same incident much better printed in A. H.
M., II., 70, where taria appears, not tarie.
481. —Taringa-here, “(myth) a fairy or elf with a face
resembling a cat.”----T. tells us this, but does not tell us how,
in the long interval between their last sight of a cat before coming
to New Zealand and their first sight of one here, the Maoris
kept alive the memory of the cat-like face of the Taringa-here ?
I am assuming that it was not a parvenu of this present century,
but a respectable aboriginal fairy of immemorial antiquity.
Otherwise, I submit, T. is exciting our curiosity, and our wonder
upon false pretences.
483.—Intel-----This, I presume, is meant for tdtea (of which
the first a is long, taa—tae}. It is spelt tatea three times in A.
H. M. III., and at p. 34 has the secondary meaning, not given
by T., of ‘off-spring.’
483.—Tatou.------In “ matou, we, including person or persons
addressed,” for including read excluding.
490. —laimalia.----In katahi ka ratou ka taunahanaha, (tic.,
omit the unintelligible ka before ratou.
491. —Taupuhipuhi.----T., says “to lean one on another,”
and this is right as far as it goes. His example is “ Taupuhipuhi
atu ra korua nei ki te hoa ” ; but the original has as the sense
requires—“korua nei ko te hoa.” Tau here is the prefix of
mutuality or reciprocal action : “ go you and your companion
mutually embracing.” The words were addressed to Sir George
Grey in 1853, and referred to his leaving New Zealand in
company with Bishop Selwyn. The image is that of two
lovers going off arm in arm, or with arms about each other.
Substituting, as in T.’s text, ki for ko would, I suppose, introduce
a third person for the two others to support—quite another
thing.
494.—Tautoru, “ the constellation of Orion.” Is this a true
identification ? If so, it implies a great deal; if not, it is
correspondingly dangerous. I will not ask how far the notions
of any two ordinary Englishmen out of a hundred would agree as
to the boundaries, or even the form of Orion if put on paper, but
do the Maoris figure 'lautoru as a huntsman or warrior, or at
least as a human being ? and if so, is he, when on the meridian,


68
and most conspicuous, standing on his head or his heels ? As I
understand the word Tautoru, it means “ the Belt of Orion,” or
rather for even that is ambiguous the three bright stars in the
belt. But even if we assign, as I should propose to do, a personal
meaning to tau, the toru makes a plural of it.
It is deplorable how little of Maori star-lore is on record, and
of that little how much is doubtful, or worse. (Take, for instance,
the Rev. R. Taylor’s impossible account of what he calls the
chief Maori constellation ‘ the canoe of Tamarereti,’ of which the
stern is the Belt of Orion (on the equator), the sail the Hyades,
and the bow the Pleiades, conveniently, if curiously, placed on
the far side of the South Pole, near the Southern Cross, which
serves for an anchor. T. appears to take this seriously, at least
as to the remarkable length of the canoe.) But a good deal
might even yet be done if our Maori scholars in different parts
of the country, where any learned, or half-learned Maoris are
yet left, would cross-examine them in sight of the stars, and with
a star atlas for reference.
498.—Tawharu, to bend &c. For zvharau read icharua.
498.—Taivharu.------T. says “ (South Island Dialect) Eight;
the eighth : IIei tawldtu Jiei tcrc-hani ka liaere mai ia." I think
T. here again attributes to the dialect of the South Island what
really belongs to the Printer’s dialect. I should say. therefore,
for hei tawhitn read hei te zvliitu, and far hei tawharu head hei te
warn. T. ought, I submit, to have seen, in spite of printer or
scribe, that hei here required the definite article after it, and
before the numeral, that therefore, tn having no other
conceivable function where it is, was, in some way what was
otherwise missing; and he should either have given it
us as a new form of the article, or if he thought the evidence too
slight for such a novelty, he should have treated it as te in
disguise. He might also have arrived at the same result in
another way, if he had looked at the same story, told in the same
dialect, in a volume he has quoted from, more perhaps than any
other—the first volume of White’s Ancient History, where at pp.
62 and 66 exactly the same expressions occur, only spelt as usual
hei te iclutu and leei te icaru.
500.—Tauliitn, “ Seven, seventh.\----This as shown above
should be omitted. A further point not there mentioned is that
while T. treats the tn of tauliitu and tau'haru as negligible
when these words have a cardinal value, he allows it the full
function of the article when they are regarded as ordinals.
503.—Tekau, ten.----One Maori word T. compares with
this is kau, “ to swim ” ; he does not say why, and I certainly
cannot guess. The main idea which he seeks to establish by his
other comparatives, that kau represents an original Polynesian
word meaning * collection, assemblage’ has a good deal of evidence


64
in its favour, and the suggestion is quite reasonable that this is
its meaning in tekau. But the discussion must include many
more facts, and take generally a much wider range, and will
involve a much more critical inquiry, before this can be deemed
even provisionally settled. Probably kau was once of very
general meaning, and has assumed, or rather is one of, several
varying forms. And there is, I think, a strong case for the
suggestion that the kau of teka/u may be the same as that in rakau
—as to the composition of which latter word see Dr. Codrington’s
instructive observations (Mel. Lan., p. 95.); also, on the general
question, his chapter on Melanesian Numeration. In the latter
the Maori word rau meaning ‘ 100,’ but also meaning 4 leaf,’ may
find explanation since some Melanesians use a cycas frond having
many leaflets with which they count in several cases, by turning
down a leaflet as a tally for every 10, so that in the examples he
gives the whole leaf = 100 (p. 249). Speaking of tally suggests
the observation that while it is our duty to go abroad for every
relevant fact we can find, it does not become us to ignore
important facts at home. If T. s unaccountable aversion to
Maori grammar had not kept him from making himself familiar
with Archdeacon Maunsell’s admirable work, and the very useful
grammar prefixed to Bishop Williams’s Dictionary of 1852, he
would have seen that these two of our oldest and best
authorities concurred in saying that with some of the Natives
ngahuru meant ten and tekau eleven ; Bishop Williams saying
that they counted by elevens, the eleventh being a tally, and he
compares our “ baker’s dozen.” There is a proof also that the
record of some of the most important of their counting was kept
by a “ tally,” in, I suppose, the etymological sense of the word,
a notched (stick), that is, their rakau whakapapa, or stick on
which the successive generations were marked by notches.
509.—Whaka-tika. T. says, “ 3. to correct, to put right.”
His ex., however, appears to be of a nearly opposite meaning,
“ to admit an accusation ” ; me whaka-tika atu nga wliakahe ’’
\mai a to matua teina a Te-tauri], which “ And we will own the truth, and now admit the error which
Te-tauri charged us with.” T. takes from. W. his first and
second meanings of whakatika, st^ighten, straighten oneself,
stand upright; but without apparent reason omits the last “rise
up ; start on a journey ’ ; when he ought rather to have added
“ and so go or come, as atu or mai is used.”
520. —To, to drag.---For na zvai eto? a combination which
ought to have excited somebody’s curiosity, read ma zoai e to ?
521. —To, “up to, as high as.”-----T. takes this from W.,
but omits his example, and gives no other. Yet we specially
want as many cases as possible in which this word occurs, for it
seems an open question whether it is a whole word or half a
word. Is it ever found without nga after it ? If not, is this nga


65
really the plural article or an integral part of the same word,
.thus making it tonga ? (see M. Gr. 84). There are difficulties on
either view, and the first step is to bring together all possible
examples.
524. —Tohungct.---T. says, u 3. The soul or intelligent
spirit of a human being.” The example in support, however, is
insufficient, being ka hutia te tohunga ki runga ki a Ilona (to which
the reference is only “ C. 0 D.,” but should be M. M , 167). It is
not, I venture to say, really founded on this passage, but on a
mistaken view of C. 0. Davis’ free translation of it,’’ “ the spirit
of the chieftain is taking its flight to Rona.” The poetical
license of translating tohunga, ‘ chieftain ’ instead of • priest,’ and
in representing that his spirit, and not his body, went up to
Rona (the man in the moon) was not very great, but it was
enough apparently, to mislead T. Compare J. White’s
more literal translation of the same line A. H. M. II., 20, “ The
high priest is lifted up to Rona.”
525. —loi.----T. copies W. in saying, “to trot, to move
, briskly”; but seems again very unfortunate in his example :—
Kei te toi poto, a, i te ata kei te toi roa. This, taking it aS
illustrating the only meaning given of toi, must, I presume, be
translated : “at the short trot, and in the morning at the long
trot,’ which is not lucid, whether the fault is T.’s or mine. The
facts are these :—The great priest Ngatoro had gone back to
Hawaiki to destroy the 1 multitude of Manaia.” He asks his
sister, who is married to Manaia, as to their habits. The
. quotation above is her answer to the question, where are they in
the evening ? “ At the short trot, and in the morning at the long
trot.” Evidently something different or something more is
wanted in the meaning to be given to toi. The proverb waiho i te
toipoto, if it means “keep together, be united,” suggests the
. secondary meaning T. was wanting.
541.—Tua. W. says, “a form of address used by the
Ngatiwhatua tribe of which name it will be observed it forms
the last part—the Maoris often familiarily using the first or last
part of a name as an address instead of the whole—but, of
course, it is only appropriate where the full name is appropriate.
T. defines it as “a word of address to a man thus improperly
suggesting its generality, and concealing its origin.
543.—luapae.-------T. has copied his example faithfully—too
faithfully, I think. In te tuapae o zitu, is not utu an obvious
misprint for uta ?
546.—Tui.------For tuia tu tatou waka read to tatou, &c.
554.—Tungou, “ To nod, to beckon.” 2. “ To nod the head
as a sign of dissent.”-----If T. has authority for this second
statement he ought to have given it, since he is reversing the
•ordinary meaning of the word. A Maori nod is a motion of the
head upwards or backwards, and means, on meeting a slight


66
salutation, and in conversation, assent; raising the eyebrows has>
the same name and the same double meaning. Dr. Shortland.
(S.R., 84) quoting a saying of Ihenga’s Te rakau e takoto nei,.
i tungou, tungou, “ 0 tree lying there raise your ywr head, raise,
your head,” says, tungou = a sign of dissent with
the Greeks, but the common sign of assent with the Maori.”
559.—In the first colunm near the bottom, for Tuhirangi
read Tahurangi, and for Tazvliai read Kawhia. Two statements
also here require correction when compared with the authority
cited to support them (G. 8.—16.) T. says : “ Neither of them
[Tumutumuwhenua and his wife Repo] “ were of the people of'
this world ; they were of the Tuhirangi” [read Tahurangi]
“ fairy people.” Each clause is incorrect. Tumutumzi was not
of the people of this world, nor was he therefore a Tahurangi,
since they were of this world. Repo, on the other hand, was a
Tahurangi, and was therefore of the people of this world, though
not of the human race.
564.—Tutu In this case T. takes word, meaning,
example, and translation from W. His own contribution is to
take the passive tzirua, separate it from its active (or rather its
simple form) as if a new word, omit to state it is the passive or
a passive at all, and omit W.’s ex. without giving another.
568.—Tuwha, to distribute.---This is from W., but another
form tmi'hau'ha is coupled with it. The latter is not supported
by authority or example, nor I would say by analogy. Both
vowels of tuwha (of which another common form is tulid) are
short, and in that case it is, to say the least, very rare, and
presumably abnormal, to find the second syllable reduplicated ;
and a real instance of it would deserve comment.
In the second ex. for paha read papa, and for XIV. read
XII.
579.—Whaka-uru.-----T. says “ 2. To fasten together.” If
that is so, it is not supported by the example he cites for the
purpose : u Ka whakaurua ma ratou i aua taura,’’ &c. In this, for
ma ratou read ma roto. When the famous canoe Tainui arrived
in New Zealand, her people found a stranded whale, round
which, unfortunately, those before them had tied flax ropes as a
sign of ownership. But the Tainui people were not to be beaten.
They also made flax ropes, and dried them at the fire, thus
making them appear older. These ropes were then tied
under (ma raro i) all the others, they were inserted within
(whaka-itrua. ma roto i) those other ropes, thus making further
evidence of having been tied on first. And they got their whale,
though not by 1 fastening their ropes together.’
581.— Ururoa. In kei mate Tarakihi, though so printed
in Trans. XII. p. 139,1 should propose to insert a before Tarakihi;
and for kia matenga ururoa though so printed in W. I should
propose to read kia mate a ururoa, treating matenga as an obvious


67
misprint in W. and making the Maori agree with W.’s
translation which T. had before him, as well as the common form'
of the proverb from Mr. Colenso’s paper.
5b4.—Waenga. “ 4. The mainsail of a canoe.-------For the
reasons for striking this out see, ihu, ante.
585.—Waea. W. says, v.i., 1 be weary,’ and gives an
example. T. says, ‘to be tired; weary’; and also gives an.
example : “ Ka waea te kanohi, kei te tirohang a, ata ; G. P., 62.”
But the original has waia, as it evidently requires. T.’s^
ex., therefore, should be corrected, and put under waia on p. 589.
585.— Waero, “ 4. enemies, inimical, hostile.’’-Is this, in
this sense, a genuine Maori word ? In the Taranaki war the
hostile natives were often, though I think in a half jocular sense,
called ivaero, but was not the extended name ivaero-mene, otherwise
wild-men ?
589.—Wai. T. says, “wai, who ?” adding a remark not to
be found in W., that “ wai is generally preceded by ko.” He had
better have said that it is generally preceded by some particle ;
by ko when that is appropriate; oftener, probably by a, since
that occurs with most of the oblique uses of wai, and often when
it is in the nominative. But it is also, of course, often preceded
by na, ma, ta, to, o, no or mo, according to the sense to be
expressed. Should not a dictionary-writer refrain from remarks
which, while they cannot benefit those who have an elementary
knowledge of the language, may easily confuse the mere
beginner ?
591.—Wairo (for waero), a tail, &c.--Has T. any authority
for this beyond some unfortunate misprint? He says, see waero,.
but there it is not even mentioned ; while analogy and all his
comparatives are against it.
594 —Wdnanga--------For laiura read Taitira.
598.—Wee, water.------A startling novelty given without
example, authority, or remark.
607.—Whakdriki, a “ war cry.”-----And we are gravely told
to compare “ whakaariki a war-party of the enemy,” as if they
were two words instead of two ways of writing one word which,
in each case, has the same pronunciation. The difference, I
apprehend, is not so great as if in English “ enemy” was called
a war-cry,’’ and “ en-e-my ” a hostile war-party. As I understand
it, the cry ko te whakaariki! (lit. the enemy!) is not, in the
common acceptation, a war-cry, but was a cry of alarm when the
enemy was suddenly discovered close at hand.
623.—Whiowhio.------For eructatis ventris read eructatio ventris;
a previous and worse case of eccentricity in the Latin language,
I preferred to let alone.
In addition to the foregoing I have noted a good many
other misprints, mis-copyings, and other corrigenda. That is
without counting the very numerous errors in relation to marking


68
the length of the vowels; errors, which, as I have said, are
•equivalent to the serious mis-spelling of English words, a
grave fault in a dictionary where they are professedly marked.
Mr. Tregear gives a second part to his dictionary, calling it
•“Key to the Maori Words.” It consists chiefly, though not
avowedly, of the second or English-Maori part of Archdeacon
Williams’ Dictionary, with some additions, some trifling
alterations, and a new name. I do not propose to discuss it.
It will have been seen that my own answer to the question
I proposed as to the author’s fitness for the arduous work he
undertook, and as to the trustworthiness of the book he has given
us, is, on some important points, distinctly in the negative. I
think he began the book long before he was ready, began his
building before he had nearly laid his foundation, and, having
begun it, allowed hifnself far too little time in which to do it,
even as he himself might have done it, if he had not felt it a
matter of such urgency to get it published. It shows, as I think,
throughout that part which I have particularly examined,
â–  constantly recurring evidence of insufficient knowledge and hasty
work. And if that is so as to Maori, it is not to be presumed he
has escaped error in dealing with the many other languages with
which he is, to say the least, less familiar.
In spite, therefore, of the author’s manifest enthusiasm, and
the large amount of useful material which his industry has
brought together, I fear that he has done almost as much to
hinder as to promote the cause he would serve; that until his
work has undergone a complete revision, and been to a large
extent recast, it can only with very large and indefinite
reservations be accepted as trustworthy ; and that to those who
consult it, instead of being a uniformly safe guide, it will often
prove a source of serious danger, and in direct proportion to their
need for its help.
One other word in conclusion. The great English Dictionary
now being published at Oxford is, we are told, founded mainly
on materials collected during more than 25 years by the Phi.loloyical
Society. Up to 1884, when the first part appeared, 1300 persons
had lent their help in collecting three and a half millions of
illustrative quotations - and, according to present appearances
the preparation of the collected materials for the press seems
likely to occupy another 20 years or so. Now, if it is
permitted to compare small things with great, I would say that
in this great example, all who are interested in such a Maori
dictionary as we might have, may find a twofold lesson—not to
delay the beginning of the book, and not to hurry the end.
Will not then the Polynesian Society organise the collection
•of material for a really comprehensive Maori dictionary, which shall


69
be illustrated throughout from the other Oceanic languages after
an adequate discussion of the principles determining the relation-
ship of words, and other necessary points in structure and idiom ;
collection and discussion going on together to their mutual profit ?
One other lesson we must draw from the same example: the
imperative need for co-operation in such a work. This is
especially true of a language a large part of which has still to be
sought from the widely-scattered speakers of it themselves, who,
moreover, as has often been said, and still more often regretted,
are rapidly losing their old knowledge of it—that is, I suppose,
not less than half of it in quantity, and how much more in value?
But there is no need to urge the importance of the work to
be done, nor the need of co-operation in doing it, on a Society
whose existence itself is the clearest recognition of both.
There are, no doubt, a good many in New Zealand, and
outside, who would willingly respond to the Society’s appeal for
help. And such a dictionary would evidently not be merely of
local value, but would be of inestimable advantage to all students
of the Oceanic languages. It would go a long, way towards
giving an insight into a large number, if not all, of these
languages, and towards solving some of the most" interesting
problems concerning the several races which speak them..