The Hawaiian Archipelago - Six Months Among The Palm Groves, Coral Reefs, And Volcanoes Of The Sandwich Islands By Isabella L. Bird
















































































































 -   There are only twelve letters, but some of these are made
to do double duty, as K is also T - Page 100
The Hawaiian Archipelago - Six Months Among The Palm Groves, Coral Reefs, And Volcanoes Of The Sandwich Islands By Isabella L. Bird - Page 100 of 466 - First - Home

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There Are Only Twelve Letters, But Some Of These Are Made To Do Double Duty, As K Is Also T, And L Is Also R. The Most Northern Island Of The Group, Kauai, Is As Often Pronounced As If It Began With A T, And Kalo Is Usually Taro.

It is a very musical language.

Each syllable and word ends with a vowel, and there are none of our rasping and sibilant consonants. In their soft phraseology our hard rough surnames undergo a metamorphosis, as Fisk into Filikina, Wilson into Wilikina. Each vowel is distinctly pronounced, and usually with the Italian sound. The volcano is pronounced as if spelt Keel-ah-wee-ah, and Kauai as if Kah-wye-ee. The name Owhyhee for Hawaii had its origin in a mistake, for the island was never anything but Hawaii, pronounced Hah-wye-ee, but Captain Cook mistook the prefix O, which is the sign of the nominative case, for a part of the word. Many of the names of places, specially of those compounded with wai, water, are very musical; Wailuku, "water of destruction;" Waialeale, "rippling water;" Waioli, "singing water;" Waipio, "vanquished water;" Kaiwaihae, "torn water." Mauna, "mountain," is a mere prefix, and though always used in naming the two giants of the Pacific, Mauna Kea, and Mauna Loa, is hardly ever applied to Hualalai, "the offspring of the shining sun;" or to Haleakala on Maui, "the house of the sun."

I notice that the foreigners never use the English or botanical names of trees or plants, but speak of ohias, ohelos, kukui (candle- nut), lauhala (pandanus), pulu (tree fern), mamane, koa, etc.

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