An Introduction to the Study of the Oceanic Languages (Classic Reprint)
This brief account of the Oceanic languages is meant as a general introduction to the study of them. It has been written because there is, so far as I know, no general sketch of the family, and books on special groups or languages, are expensive and sometimes very difficult to obtain.
It contains little that is original. I have quoted freely from well known writers, but of course the setting in which quotations appear alters to some extent the sense, so that the writers quoted might not approve of my interpretations and are not responsible for them. With this proviso I wish to acknowledge how much my essay owes both directly and indirectly to the writings of Dr. Codrington and Mr. Ray.
No doubt I am mistaken on some points, though I hope there are few errors in facts - in the interpretation of facts there may be allowable differences of opinion: and criticisms and corrections will be welcome.
Although it is a disadvantage to be far from all libraries, on the other hand I have been able to verify Melanesian words quoted in these pages by an appeal to the natives themselves.
My thanks are due especially to Dr. Comins and Mr. Palmer for help in reading through the proofs. Both were able to make many corrections and improvements, the former from his wide experience of Melanesian languages, and the latter from his accurate knowledge of Mota.
I have also to thank Miss Coombe and Miss Wilson for reading through the manuscript, and trying bravely, if ineffectually to mend my stumbling sentences.
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