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met, métet, iet, iétet, ién, iénen, 'here' (or 'now'), io'nen, mōnen, 'there,' jili, here and there,' āp, 'now,' toka, 'then,' itū'a, 'so.' ia, where,' iat, ni,' when,' iatua, how,' ira, 'how about.'

impa or 'mpa, limwa, beside,' mo'wa, 'before,' mūri, 'after,' pō'wa, 'above,' pà, pa'n, ilati'we, 'beneath,' palilá, 'beyond,' paliiwe, ahead,' kailave, forward.'


lo'li, 'in,' koń, 'from.'


è or ei or iei, āń, ‘yes,' jō, jō'ta, jō'la, jēr (poet.), 'not,' pão, 'not at all,' iéramen, do not,' kaiti, kaitik, 'is not?' kaik, kaiket, 'not yet.'

maj, very,' ta, eta, ota, 'only,' pil, 'again,' pen, of one's self.' See also the Verbal Directives, above.

The prepositions are


en or on, of, for, to, about;' it loses its vowel after a final vowel, and is probably the final member of the prepositions ending in n. re'n (probably re en see the combinations of re with the pronouns, above), ign, ignā'ki, 'with, along with.'


jon, from;' used also as a verbal directive.

on, 'to' etc.; also a verbal directive.

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nan, ni (chiefly of time), nin, 'in, inside;' nánapon, among.' nain, 'belonging to.'

po'n, above, upon;' pa'n, 'under.'

limwa'n, impa'n, 'beside.'

aki, 'ki, kin, because of;' important words, which merit fuller elucidation than can be given here: they may be called causative particles. pwęki (pwé, ki) has the same meaning.

See further the Vocabularies, under the several words.


Conjunctions are few, and sparingly used: they are ā, 'and;' ō, 'and, or;' te, 'or, lest;' pil, ári, also;' me, 'if;' álau or 'lau, 'when' pue, 'because.'

Pronouns are sometimes used in a kind of conjunctional way: thus, i me kō'to, i, in a, 'he came, he, his mother.'


The common interjections are ári, akári, ákai, ān, ē, ka, mo, o, toketa. For their use, see the Vocabulary.


The subject usually precedes the verb, but in the briefest sentences of simple affirmation may follow it. The object noun or pronoun follows the governing verb or preposition, usually after the verbal directives and er, but sometimes (especially a pronoun)

between the verb and its directive.


Adjectives (including numerals) almost universally follow the nouns they qualify; but in brief affirmations, where hardly anything but the noun and adjective is expressed, the adjective may precede.

Possessive pronouns, in the great majority of instances, precede or follow the object possessed according to laws of euphony only; but when they denote children they follow; and they precede when in relation with verbal nouns.

Of the verbal particles, pan and anok precede the verb; men and kin, and the adverbs pèn and pil, come between these and the verb; en also precedes. The directives (with occasional intervention of the object) come after, and are followed by er.

Adverbs in general follow the word they qualify, whether adjective or verb. But adverbs of negation come before the verb, and even before pan and angk; the place of pil and pen has been defined above. Adverbs of time have greater freedom of position.


The Ponapeans are quite ceremonious, and a large number of words are applicable only to chiefs. There are different classes of such words, applicable to different ranks of chiefs. And there is what may be called a spiritual dialect, used only in the pretended communications from spirits through privileged priests.

The words in the Pon.-Eng. Vocabulary noticed as of ceremonious usage are the following: újjápwai, aliména, alū'alū'a, anî', ániań, áñiani, ape, eteniai, ia juta, i'napa, itauári, jāk, jéímōk, jeimok, kaing'mwa, kaipo'kiti, kalā'nān, kākā'n, kaúmōt, kaunu'ni, kaúpwal, kitue'ti, ko'mwi, konot, korona, kot, koto'kanmāi, kumu'ti, lu'mum, majáni, māliē'la, mú'ririk, nílání, nílim, nírala, pātā nkitaon (see pātā'k), pátō, põńōki, pūńi, tápok, taui (see tau), to'nir, útutg'mwar, wata'mwi, wo'rawo'r, wo'raworo'n, wúrak.

On the death of a high chief of a tribe, that tribe often, if not always, ceases to use any word that repeats with distinctness and prominence his proper name (not his title). Even during the lifetime of a very high and greatly honored chief, the utterance of a word that distinctly gives his proper name is avoided. This is probably a great cause of the slight difference in the vocabularies of the five different tribes on the island.



Ponape, also called Ascension Island, is perhaps third in importance among the high or basaltic groups of the Caroline or West very Micronesian Islands. The main island has a number of ones lying close about it, and the whole is surrounded by a reef seventy or eighty miles in circumference. The principal island is about sixty miles in circumference, and rises to nearly three thousand feet of height. The population was believed in 1856 to be about five thousand, divided into five tribes: Metalanim, Kiti,

Wanega, Nut, and Jekoij. The first two are the largest and most important, and possess each about two sevenths of the coast, and nearly all the fine land of the island; each of the others having about a seventh. The Kiti tribe is on the southern shore; the Metalanim, on the eastern; the Wanega, on the north-eastern; the Jekoij, on the north-western; the Nut, the weakest of the five (numbering but two or three hundred), lies between the last two. The language has decided affinities with those of islands to the west, and traditions show some knowledge of these islands. But the natives even of most Micronesian islands are not understood on their first arrival here. The American mission was established on the island in 1852, the author being settled among the Metalanim tribe, and his colleague, Mr. Sturges (who still remains there), among the Kiti.

More detailed information respecting Ponape and its history during the past twenty years may be obtained from the "Missionary Herald" of those years (especially that for 1857, pp. 41-8), from a lecture by the author printed in the "Polynesian" (Honolulu) in 1860, and from a series of articles contributed (also by the author) to the "Friend" (Honolulu) between 1854 and 1857.






Presented to the Society October 21st, 1870.

THE venerated memory of Sir William Jones must abundantly suffice to justify the publication of the following letters; and I have only to say, by way of introducing them, that I am indebted, for the favour of being allowed to make them public, to Charles H. Moore, Esq., who possesses the originals.

My dear Sir,



Goverdhen Caul Pendit has just brought a certificate of his qualifications, to which I see the respectable signature of Cáshynáth, your Pendit: if I give my voice in favour of Goverdhen, it will be owing to the testimonial of the good man, who brought me three daisies at Benares, and of whose learning, since you employ him, I can have no doubt. We have proposed that the candidate shall be examined by some learned Pendits. Will Cáshynáth be one of the number, and give his opinion fairly without being biassed by his good-nature? I shall be much obliged to you, if you will sound him, and discover his real opinion of the man. It is of the utmost importance, that the stream of Hindu law should be pure; for we are entirely at the devotion of the native lawyers, through our ignorance of Shanscrit.

I am going to the gardens till Monday; and earnestly hope, that, while you stay in India, you will give as much of your company, as you can spare, to,

my dear Sir,

faithful and

obedt servt,




6 Jan. 1784.

Dear Sir,

I trouble you with a proof of my Hymn to Cámdew, and earnestly request you to send it back with the freest corrections, that you may not receive the fair copy, which I will have the pleasure to send you, in an imperfect state. My conjecture about the ancient people of Hetruria may be new and whimsical; but it is confirmed by some of the Hetruscan antiquities, and may lead to further discoveries.

If you have another copy of the beautiful Gazal of Hafiz, with which you so elegantly flattered me, I shall be much obliged to you for it; and am, dear Sir,

your faithful humble serv1,




7 Jan. 1784.

Dear Sir,

Many thanks for your kind letter and remarks, which will be of great use. Gopieng I will certainly correct, and Affection, if the measure will allow me.

For Dipue I have no authority (besides Mr. Johnson's Pundit) except the word in Persian letters,, which I saw on some Hindú drawings: it is said to signify ardent desire, and to be the name of the lost musical mode.-Give me leave to remind the Gazal of Hafiz, and believe me, dear Sir,

most cordially yours,





My dear Sir,


You have been long enough at Benares to be completely settled among the venerable scholars and philosophers of that ancient city, and are making, no doubt, considerable advances every day in the untrodden paths of Hindu learning. If envy can exist with an anxious wish of all possible entertainment and reputation to the person envied, I am not free from that passion, when I think of the infinite pleasure which you must receive from a subject so new and interesting. Happy should I be to follow you in the same track; but life is too short and my necessary business too long for me to think at my age of acquiring a new language, when those which I have already learned contain such a mine of curious and agreeable

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