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I am starting very much from scratch here. I know a few sketchy details about the Mōriori language—that it is a widely divergent dialect of Māori, that it shows some affinities with the k-dialect of some South Island Māori, that Māori t sometimes manifests as Mōriori tch, that ng sometimes manifests as Mōriori k, that wh manifests as h in at least some cases, that final a is often elided, and that a sometimes manifests as o. I have not yet found out why the spelling tch is used rather than *ch., but there were German missionaries working in the Chathams in the 19th century, and tch may be a simplification of a German *tsch.

I have seen the Mōriori vocabulary in Michael King's Moriori; I have also found Mōriori texts in the online Journal of Polynesian Studies, which include vocabulary not in King's list.

If I can maintain a reasonable output here, I may consider creating a separate Mōriori wiki.

LinksEdit

LanguageEdit

Mōriori vocabulary

TextsEdit

Manaii (or Manaia), Kahukaka and Porotehiti

OtherEdit

Hirawanu Tapu

Ko-matangiaoEdit

There may be a question how much the language of this text has been contaminated by Māori. (The term contaminated is not used derogatively here—it just means that features not originally in the language may have entered it through the influence of Māori.) The following note on the language of the text and its translation is from Alexander Shand:

It may be well to state that the stories in “Ko-matangiao” were written by Hirawanu Tapu in Maori, in the first instance, as taken down from information supplied by the old Morioris. This was done owing to his inability to write it in Moriori, for he was unable to spell and shew the peculiarities of his own language. Subsequently he and I went over and corrected all the stories throughout, so far as possible; but there can be little doubt that the subject has suffered somewhat in the process, being much less vigorous in the narrative style than it would have been could the stories have been taken at first hand from the lips of the old men. It is now in a semi-Maori form, and, it will be noticed that it is impossible to make an exact rendering of some of the Moriori words and idioms. The text has, however, been followed as closely as possible, both in Maori and English. Maori scholars will reap the benefit of this, as the divergences in the two languages are shown more clearly, but the English translation suffers thereby.

From: The Moriori people of the Chatham Islands: their traditions and history, by Alexander Shand, of Chatham Islands. Ko Matangi-ao. Chapter III.—Manaii (or Manaia), Kahukaka and Porotehiti. (Translation.)


The textEdit

I noho a Manaii i tona kaing'(a) i Hawaiki, a, k' whanau ană tamiriki, a, tchuwhatii, ka mè etu a Manaii ki a' tamĭriki; “Ka ro kotau ko ro ta ngaherehere ki tapahi i ta rakau, tona ingō (ă) i Akepĭrĭ, ka hing'(a) i a kotau, ko wawahi kia okowha ka taha, ka tarei ei e tao.” A here ana ka tăma a Manaii, heau an' (ă) ta rakau ra tch Akepiri, wawahi an', okowha ka taha, ka tau, ka tau eneti ta maha (or tch oko) ki ka tamiriki a Manaii. Tarei ana e ratau a, ka oti ka tao okowha; kanei ka tchiro etu ki ta iho o ta ratau rakau; tahuri ana ka tamiriki a Manaii ki tarei i ta iho o ta ratau rakau, tchiei hoki te e ratau i tarei k' humarii ta iho o ta ratau rakau, tchiei pou tohu (or tchiei humaritii) ka ro-a-me (or ko take hoki) hokowiri-wiri ta iho, e miro hoki ta iho o tchia rakau.

GlossaryEdit

  • i past tense marker
  • noho live, dwell
  • 'a' personal article
  • Manaii Manaiia (an ancestor)
  • i locative at, in
  • tona his
  • kaing'(a) home
  • i locative at, in
  • Hawaiki Hawaiki (ancestral home of Māori, probably not to be equated here with mainland New Zealand)
  • a and
  • k' verbal marker, used here in consecutive clause
  • whanau be born
  • ană his (pl)
  • tamiriki children
  • a #
  • ''tchuwhatii'' #
  • ka #
  • #
  • etu #
  • a #
  • Manaii Manaiia (an ancestor)
  • ki #
  • a' #
  • tamiriki children
  • Ka #
  • ro #
  • kotau #
  • ko #
  • ro #
  • ta #
  • ngaherehere #
  • ki #
  • tapahi #
  • i #
  • ta #
  • rakau #
  • tona #
  • ingō(ă) #
  • i #
  • Akepĭrĭ #
  • ka #
  • hing'(a) #
  • i #
  • a #
  • kotau #
  • ko #
  • wawahi #
  • kia #
  • okowha #
  • ka #
  • taha #
  • ka #
  • tarei #
  • ei #
  • e #
  • tao #
  • a #
  • here #
  • ana #
  • ka #
  • tăma #
  • a #
  • Manaii Manaiia (an ancestor)
  • heau #
  • an'(ă) #
  • ta #
  • rakau #
  • ra #
  • tch #
  • Akepiri #
  • wawahi #
  • an' #
  • okowha #
  • ka #
  • taha #
  • ka #
  • tau #
  • ka #
  • tau #
  • eneti #
  • ta #
  • maha #
  • (or tch oko) #
  • ki #
  • ka #
  • tamirik# children
  • a #
  • Manaii Manaiia (an ancestor)
  • Tarei #
  • ana #
  • e #
  • ratau #
  • a #
  • ka #
  • oti #
  • ka #
  • tao #
  • okowha #
  • kanei #
  • ka #
  • tchiro #
  • etu #
  • ki #
  • ta #
  • iho #
  • o #
  • ta #
  • ratau #
  • rakau #
  • tahuri #
  • ana #
  • ka #
  • tamiriki children
  • a #
  • Manaii Manaiia (an ancestor)
  • ki #
  • tarei #
  • i #
  • ta #
  • iho #
  • o #
  • ta #
  • ratau #
  • rakau #
  • tchiei #
  • hoki #
  • te #
  • e #
  • ratau #
  • i #
  • tarei #
  • k' #
  • humari #i
  • ta #
  • iho #
  • o #
  • ta #
  • ratau #
  • rakau #
  • tchiei #
  • pou #
  • tohu #
  • (or tchiei humaritii) #
  • ka #
  • ro-a-me #
  • (or ko take hoki) #
  • hokowiri-wiri #
  • ta #
  • iho #
  • e #
  • miro #
  • hoki #
  • ta #
  • iho #
  • o #
  • tchia #
  • rakau #

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