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A Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language

By Lorrin Andrews

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Book Id: WPLBN0002096774
Format Type: Default
File Size: 2 MB
Reproduction Date: 4/20/2011

Title: A Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language  
Author: Lorrin Andrews
Language: English
Subject: Hawaiian, Education, Dictionary
Collections: Education, Special Collection Scholastic Dictionaries, Reference Collection, Authors Community, Language, Sociology, Naval Science, Favorites in India, Most Popular Books in China, Social Sciences, History
Publication Date:
Publisher: Henry M. Whitney
Member Page: Hale Kuamoʻo Hawaiian Language Center


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Andrews, L. (1865). A Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language. Retrieved from

It was the intention of the author of this volume to make some extended remarks concerning the character, peculiarities and extent of the hawaiian language, by way of preface or introduction; but the want of physical strength, and especially of mental energy, has induced him to forego such an attempt and be contented with a mere history of the manner in which this dictionary has come into existence. The history of hawaiian lexicography is short.

Hawaiian is but a dialect of the great Polynesian language, which is spoken with extraordinary uniformity over all the numerous islands of the Pacific Ocean between New Zealand and Hawaii. Again, the Polynesian language is but one member of that wide-spread family of languages, known as the Malayo-Polynesian or Oceanic family, which extends from Madagascar to the Hawaiian Islands, and from New Zealand to Formosa. The Hawaiian dialect is peculiarly interesting to the philologist from its isolated position, being the most remote of the family from its primeval seat in South-Eastern Asia, and leading as it were the van while the Malagasy brings up the rear. We will first give a brief account of what has been done for these languages, chiefly by European scholars. The similarity of the Polynesian dialects to one another is so striking that it did not escape the notice of the first discoverers in this Ocean. Dr. Reinhold Forster, the celebrated naturalist of Captain Cook’s second voyage, drew up a table containing 47 words taken from 11 Oceanic dialects, and the corresponding terms in Malay, Mexican, Peruvian and Chilian. From this table he inferred that the Polynesian languages afford many analogies with the Malay, while they present no point of contact with the American languages. After him Mr. Anderson, in a comparative table, which was published at the end of Cook’s third voyage, drew attention to the striking resemblance of the Polynesian numerals to those of the Malay archipelago and Madagascar. According to Max Muller, it was the Abbe Lorenzo Hervas who first made what he calls “one of the most brilliant discoveries in the history of the science of language, the establishment of the Malay and Polynesian family of speech, extending from the Island of Madagascar over 208 degrees of longitude to Easter Island,” &c. From what has been said, however, it is evident that the credit of this discovery is really due to Forster and Anderson. Hervas was a Spanish Jesuit, who spent several years as a missionary in South America, where his attention was drawn to the comparative study of languages. After his return to Europe, he lived chiefly at Rome, where his correspondence with Jesuit missionaries in all parts of the world gave him great assistance in his philological researches. In his “Catalogue of Languages,” published in the year 1800, he clearly stated this relationship, which it was reserved for a Humboldt to demonstrate.


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