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Na Vosa Vaka Viti.

Discuss interesting facts about the history, vocabulary, and grammar of the languages of Fiji.

Members: 69
Latest Activity: Jun 9, 2018

Webpage of Dr. Raúl Aranovich, department of linguistics, UC Davis

Discussion Forum

How do you say "not" in Fijian? 4 Replies

I was intrigued by the comment that Fijian has many ways of saying "no", so I compiled some examples (from Milner's grammar). Can anyone add more forms or words meaning "no" to this list?1) SEGAThis…Continue

Started by Raul Aranovich. Last reply by Andy Ann Jan 20, 2014.

alphabets in fijian language 1 Reply

im just curious to know , how many alphabets does the fijian language have?Continue

Started by Emilee Naulumatua. Last reply by Raul Aranovich Dec 13, 2013.

What "language type" does Fijian approximate?

In my research on Fijian, one of the topics that comes up is the language type that characterizes the language. Traditionally, linguists classify the world's languages into four types. A) Analytic:…Continue

Started by Raul Aranovich Jan 13, 2012.

How Do You Say, "there is" in Fijian? 10 Replies

As I study the language of Fiji, I am stunned by the many ways to say "there is". Milner gives some examples: E tu e dua na vuniniu mai SeruaE tiko koya e dua na tamataSa dua na waqa Schütz, in his…Continue

Started by Raul Aranovich. Last reply by BULA BEE Nov 10, 2011.

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Comment by Pita Waqawai on February 8, 2012 at 11:24am

Bula vinaka. My name is Pita Waqawai. I work at the Fiji National University in Suva. I am happy to be part of this group and am looking forward to sharing with others on Na Vosa Vaka Viti. Vinaka, Pita

Comment by Raul Aranovich on February 1, 2012 at 9:14pm

Thumbs Up, a member of the group, has posted a very interesting video about the origins of the language family Fijian belongs to. You can find it here:

http://www.matavuvale.com/video/history-taiwan-connection-to

Please keep sharing clips and news like these. Totoka!

Comment by Raul Aranovich on January 19, 2012 at 11:03pm

Fijian drama seems to be a thriving genre! My colleague Apolonia Tamata has written a play entirely in FIjian, "Lakovi". However, it is not the only Fijian play I know of. Looking for literature in Fijian during my stay at the USP, I found a play by one M.M.K. Yasa, with the title "Na Tawa Vanua". For what I can tell, it stages the arrival of early Fijian ancestors to the land. The date of the play may be 1983, but I am not sure. It is reassuring to see that the Fijian language has a solid foundation in works like these. Has anyone seen or heard about either play

Comment by Raul Aranovich on December 21, 2011 at 10:06pm

Hello, I have created a new page with a dialectal map of Viti Levu. Comments are invited!

Comment by Raul Aranovich on December 6, 2011 at 2:44pm

Actually, it's Levuka that I was referring to, not Lautoka. So, what does "Levuka" mean? And why is the name of Lautoka based on "heading straight to"?

Comment by Raul Aranovich on December 4, 2011 at 9:49am

Thanks, SIvo. I've been to Lautoka, and what I remember is that it is straight west to the entrance to the lagoon, thought a gap in the reef. Do you think that this is the meaning of "heading straight through"?

Milner mentions the fact that some placenames are based on geographical features. His examples are "Nadarivatu", "Nasinu", and "Nasigatoka". He notices that these names are preceded by the article "na", which becomes part of the name. So, in some places it seems possible to say "ko Nadarivatu", with the proper article "ko" preceding "na-".

A curious fact about English and Spanish that is related to this is the origin of the word "alligator". It comes from Spanish "el lagarto", which is literally "the lizard". So, the article "el" was perceived by English speakes as part of the noun, "elagarto", resulting later in "alligator" by sound changes. 

Comment by Sivo on December 2, 2011 at 2:11pm

On Fijian nameplaces, 

Moturiki - Small (motu is reef or island, riki is small)

Ovalau  - Ova - Swim, Lau - straight towards

on that note Lautoka = "heading straight to"

Comment by Raul Aranovich on December 1, 2011 at 9:38pm

Thanks for the translation, Sivo. I got the gist of the passage, but not the nuances.

Comment by Sivo on December 1, 2011 at 8:46pm

Thats correct.

Translation: The wife of Tudravu had a miscarriage in Viria. As a tradition sign of mourning she covered her head with ashes. When they reached the new placed they named it Dravuni since the ash was still on the head of Tudrau's Wife. 

 

Comment by Raul Aranovich on December 1, 2011 at 2:43pm

A while ago I came across a colection of Fijian oral narratives. In one of them, "The ancient tale of Dravo" (Ai tukutuku makawa kei Dravo), there is an explanation for the origin of the name of a village called Dravuni:

 
A kena ni balebale ni se tikoga na dravu e ulu i wati Tudrau ena gauna ka a qili kina mai Viria ni a lutu-rove kina na luvena. Biu mai ko Natogadravu ra toso sobu mai ka yaco mai ki na dua na vanua ka ra mai vakaitikotiko mada kina ka ra mani vakatoka me Dravuni, ni se tiko na dravu e na drau ni ulu na wati Tudrau.
For what I can tell, given my current limited knowledge of Fijian, the town was christened Dravuti because Tudrau's wife (Tudrau is the chief leading the migration) had a miscarriage, and she was constanty rubbing ashes (na dravu) on her head and hair. Is this correct? 
Also, does anyone know of any other stories about the origins of Fijian nameplaces? Do you know anything about the name of the villages where you come from? I have been getting interested in Fijian nameplaces, as part of a research project on the geography of Fiji. There are so many villages named "Korovou" or "Korolevu"!   
 
 
 

Discussion Forum

How do you say "not" in Fijian? 4 Replies

Started by Raul Aranovich. Last reply by Andy Ann Jan 20, 2014.

alphabets in fijian language 1 Reply

Started by Emilee Naulumatua. Last reply by Raul Aranovich Dec 13, 2013.

What "language type" does Fijian approximate?

Started by Raul Aranovich Jan 13, 2012.

How Do You Say, "there is" in Fijian? 10 Replies

Started by Raul Aranovich. Last reply by BULA BEE Nov 10, 2011.

Books about Fijian (grammars, dictionaries, studies) 1 Reply

Started by Raul Aranovich. Last reply by BULA BEE Nov 10, 2011.

How do you say "parallel" in Fijian? 1 Reply

Started by Raul Aranovich. Last reply by Sivo Nov 7, 2011.

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