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A Note on Orthography and Pronunciation

Fourteen letters only are used in the writing of classical Samoan (other than in loan-words recently introduced into the language): a, e, f,g,i, I, m, n, o, p, s, t, u, v. The letters h, k, and r, are used in writing some words of foreign origin.

In contemporary Samoa there are two distinct forms of pronunciation, one formal and the other colloquial. As G. B. Milner notes in his Samoan Dictionary (London, 1966), xiv, formal pronunciation „is held out to children, students and foreign visitors as a model to follow and is regarded by an overwhelming majority of Samoans as representing an earlier and purer state of the language than that which… exists today,“ while the colloquial pronunciation (in which the i of the classical language becomes a k) is „used by the great majority of Samoans both in their private and public relations.“ In his dictionary, Milner adopts the formal pronunciation as his standard

of description, as did Pratt before him, and it is this standard that I have also chosen to follow.

It is worthy of special mention that the five vowels, a, e, i, o, u (each of which is distinctly pronounced) may be phonetically either long or short; long vowels may be marked with a macron. In this book macrons have been used only where strictly necessary as a guide to pronunciation. Again the letter g represents a nasal sound, as in the English word singer, which in other Polynesian languages is written ng. Finally, I have used an apostrophe to mark the glottal stop that occurs in many Samoan words. This represents a break, or catch in the voice similar to that found in the Cockney pronunciation of English, in which, for example, the word letter is pronounced le'er. Those wanting further information on the phonology and pronunciation of Samoan should consult either Chapter 1 of G. Pratt's Grammar and Dictionary of the Samoan Language (Malua, 1960), or the preface to Milner's Samoan Dictionary.

Počet shlédnutí: 23

a_note_on_orthography_and_pronunciation.txt · Poslední úprava: 10. 10. 2020 (01:30) (upraveno mimo DokuWiki)