Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The Sāmoan or Samoan language is the traditional language of Samoa and American Samoa and is an official language — alongside English — in both jurisdictions. It is a member of the Austronesian family, and more specifically the Samoic branch of the Polynesian subphylum.
There are 370,337 Samoan-speakers worldwide, nearly half of them in the Samoan Islands. Thereafter, the greatest concentration is in New Zealand, where Samoans are the third largest ethnic group after Pakeha and Maori: the 2001 New Zealand census recorded 81,036 speakers of the Samoan language, and 114,435 ethnic Samoans. Separate data showed that 71,769 ethnic Samoans in New Zealand could speak Samoan — 62.7 per cent. The majority of Samoans in New Zealand (76,581 persons or 66.9 per cent), and by implication the greater proportion of Samoan speakers in the country, reside in the commercial capital, Auckland.
According to the 2001 census, there were 22,711 speakers of Samoan in Australia, and 28,091 ethnic Samoans.
Like many Austronesian languages, Samoan has separate words for inclusive we and exclusive we, and distinguishes singular, dual, and plural. The root for the inclusive pronoun may occur in the singular, in which case it indicates emotional involvement on the part of the speaker.
Samoan personal pronouns
In formal speech, fuller forms of the roots mā-, tā-, and lā- are 'imā-, 'itā-, and 'ilā-.
Posted by imarealist hoi at 9:25 AM