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A Vocabulary of Words in the Hawaiian Language
Lahainaluna,: Press of the High School, 1836.. Octavo, small perforation to top margin of title-page, occasional mild foxing yet a fine copy in contemporary (?original) marbled boards with roan backstrip (joints starting), old ownership label in a cursive hand pinned to front endpaper. The first comprehensive printed vocabulary of the Hawaiian language.Reverend Lorrin Andrews was a member of the Lahainaluna Seminary school founded in 1831. The school was soon home to the first printing press operating on the Hawaiian Islands. For many years lessons and sermons at the school were delivered in Hawaiian, and Andrew's vocabulary reflects his generous understanding of the language. Forbes points out that this book is much more than a rough primer for use in the classroom, in that 'Lorrin Andrews' "Vocabulary" is perhaps more accurately the pioneer attempt to provide a dictionary of the Hawaiian language'.The scope of this book is impressive, containing over 5700 words in total. Amidst concise definitions we see many examples of Andrews's deeper understanding of the subtleties and nuances of the Hawaiian tongue, particularly the role of simile and metaphor in building layers of meaning within a single word. For example:HO-HO-LA, v. to spread out or down as a mat or garment, as darkness or dark clouds, to spread over or upon a thing; to spread out or smooth as a cloth that has been ruffled; applied to the mind, to calm, to sooth, to prepare for hearing a thing. Hence, to open, enlighten the mind; to set forth, manifest; to make a gesture, to stretch forth one's hand in speaking.Copies of the book were used at the school and also offered for public sale at $1 each. Clearly, Andrews believed the vocabulary to be the start of a greater project. Interleaved copies were distributed amongst mission staff so further notes could be made and collected for collation in the future (indeed, Forbes notes such annotated copies are held in the Bishop Museum collection). The first formal full-scale dictionary of the Hawaiian language was issued in 1865.Forbes, 'Hawaiian National Bibliography', 983.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-07-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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