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The Tonga language may be said to have four kinds of pronouns, viz. personal, possessive, interrogative, and demonstrative.
1. There are two kinds of personal pronouns: Ist, Those which come before verbs, or at least are agents, as, I go; we went; they love: 2dly, Those which either are the subjects of a verb, as, strike him; love her; or are used in answer to a ques tion, as, who goes? I; who sings? he; or are used more strongly to identify the agent, like the pronouns myself, thyself, &c. in English, when they are used in addition to the true personal pronouns; as, I myself will go, &c.
The personal pronouns, as agents to verbs.
Those governed by verbs or prepositions, or used in answer to questions, &c.
We shall speak of these several pronouns in their proper order, and first of those which are the agents to verbs.
2. Te and oo. Te is only used as the agent of a verb in the present tense, and comes between the sign of the tense and the verb; as, gooa te aloo, I go; gooa te ofa, I love or esteem. is used only in the past and future tenses, and is then usually joined in one word with the sign of the tense; as, neoo * aloo, I went; teoo aloo, I shall go; neoo ofa, I loved or esteemed; teoo ofa, I shall love or esteem.
3. Ger, thou. This pronoun is used in all the tenses, and comes between the sign of the tense and the verb. The principal thing to be observed respecting it is, that when the sign of the present tense, good, comes before it, gooa is changed into goo; as, goo ger mohe, thou sleepest; na ger mohe, thou didst sleep; te ger mohe, thou shalt sleep.
The proper sign of the past tense is na, but in the first person where oo is joined with it, it is changed into ne. The proon te is changed into oo in the future tense, probably because also the sign of that tense; and a repetition of the word te ambiguous, as tete means almost, and tete aloo would st gone.
4 la, he. This pronoun follows the verb in all the tenses; as, gooa mohe ia, he sleeps; na mohe ia, he slept; e mohe ia, he shall sleep; though sometimes ia is changed for ne, and which is then joined to the sign of the future tense; thus, tenne mohe, he shall sleep; tenne aloo, he shall go; and in the past tense ia is sometimes omitted, and the sign na changed into nai; as, nai mohe, he slept, instead of na mohe ia.
5. Mow, we. This pronoun comes between the sign of the tense and the verb; as, gooa mow aloo, we are going, &c.; but the use of it is limited to those instances in which the person spoken to is not included; as, when one person tells another that himself and others owe him much respect, saying, we greatly esteem you, the pronoun mow must be used, because the person spoken to is not involved in the sense of the word we. (See the following.)
6. Tow, we.
This comes also between the sign and the verb; its use is, however, restricted to those instances where the person addressed is meant to be included; as when one person reminds another that both of them are to go somewhere, to do something, &c.; as, we (i. e. thou and I) are going the wrong way; or, we (i. e. thou and I) are sitting here idle. In short, mow is always used in this sense, viz. I and he, or I and they; and tow is always used in this, viz. I and thou, or I and you, or I, thou, and they, or I, you, and they, &c.
7. Mo, ye; now, they. There are no particular observations to make respecting these pronouns; for examples of their use, te mo aloo, ye shall go; na now nofo, they remained, where it is seen they are placed between the sign of the tense and the verb.
In regard to the second column of pronouns, they are used either in addition to the first, the better to identify the person, by laying a greater stress; or to distinguish the dual from the plural number; or in answer to the question who? or as the subjects of a preposition.
When a particular stress is intended to be laid, as I myself, thou thyself, &c. any of these pronouns may be used in addition to the corresponding ones in the first column, with the exceptions of au, acóy, and äía; as, teoo aloo gita, I will go myself; te ger aloo coy, thou shalt go thyself; tenne aloo ia, † he
Te, the sign of the future tense, makes e in the third person singular.
If it were the past tense, as, he went himself, it would be nai aloo ia, for it would sound awkward to say, na aloo ia ia; therefore one of the pronouns is dropped, and the sign na changed
Acoo falle; my house, or houses.
Ana togi; his axe, or axes.
Those among the above phrases which have living beings for their subjects, may be converted into plurals by the use of the word toonga, (see nouns); this word coming immediately before the noun; as, thy hogs, ho toonga booaca, or toonga booaca aho: their dogs, ginówooa toonga gooli, or toonga gooli anówooa. The particle cow cannot be used for the same purpose. Those which bave inanimate subjects are either singular or plural, as they above stand: they may, however, admit a specific plural, by the addition of the numeral, but in no other way.
The possessive pronoun is sometimes used instead of the personal, particularly where the verbs my and angi are expressed; as, give it to him, angi ia ma ana, i. e. give it for his own: give it to me, my ia ma acoo, i. e. give it for my own: I will give it to you, teoo atoo ia ma ow, i. e. I will give it for your own. The pronouns possessive of the dual and plural numbers may also be used in the same way. One more observation must, however, be made respecting the singular number, that those placed first on their respective lines cannot be used according to this rule, viz. eoocoo, ho, and enne; unless some noun follows, and then these may, and not the others; as give it for his dog, angi ia ma enne gooli, not ana gooli; and so of the other two.
Interrogative pronouns are the following, and are never used but as interrogatories.
Co-hai? nhái? Who?
When they form part of a sentence, he-ha and ahái are always the end; the others are always put in the beginning; as,
Co-hai na fy?
oe-ha te ger fili?
Who did it?
Which will you choose?
The English word what, when applied to mankind, is rendered by co-hai, or ahái, as, co-hai tangata co-hena, or, coe tangata co-hena ahái? what man is that? But when brutes, or inanimate subjects are implied, it must be rendered by coe-ha, or heha; as, coe togi co-ena he-ha? what axe is that?
These are co-heni and aheni, this; cohena and ahena, that. Very little if any distinction is made between the use of co-heni and of aheni; or between co-hena and ahena: it is rather more customary, however, to adopt those with the particle co before them.
The Tonga verb is exceedingly simple in construction, perhaps more so than is consistent with perfect clearness of speech; it does very well, however, for the common purposes of discourse. At most there are three different kinds of verbs; viz. verbs regular, verbs irregular, and verbs defective; there are but three of the latter class in the whole language, viz. my, atoo, and angi; these, from the way in which they are often used, may, perhaps, be considered verbs auxiliary; but more of this when we treat of them. In regard to the verbs irregular, we have only discovered one, but probably there are a few others: this one will be given in its proper place.
The sense of the verb substantive, I am, thou art, he is, &c., is mostly involved in the regular verb, with the sign of the tense and the pronoun, and is seldom used alone: those which are usually called verbs neuter, as, to sleep, to boast, to walk, &c. are constructed the same as the verb regular; those which in other languages are called verbs passive are not known in the Tonga language; instead of saying, he was struck by a stone, they would say, a stone struck him; for the tree was shaken by the wind, the wind shook the tree.
The verb has but three tenses, present, past, and future, denoted by the signs gooa, na, and te; and three moods, indicative, imperative, and potential: the indicative is denoted by the want of a modal sign; the imperative, or precative, by the deficiency both of a modal and temporal sign; and the subjunctive by the
use of the modal sign ger. In respect to the order of construstion in the indicative mood, first comes the sign of the tense, then the pronoun, and lastly the verb; except in the third per son singular of each tense, where the pronoun is placed last. In the dual and plural numbers, the pronouns ending in ooa and toloo are also expressed, and follow the verb.
THE INDICATIVE MOOD.
The PRESENT TENSE is denoted by the sign gooa, which runs unchanged through all persons, except the second person singu lar, where the a is dropped: the first personal pronoun is te. See Pronouns.
The PAST TENSE is denoted by the sign na, which is prefixed to all the persons, except the first, where it is changed into ne, and is joined to the personal pronoun oo; in this tense, also, it must be remarked, that the third personal pronoun may either follow the verb as in the present tense, or it may be left out, and the sign changed into nai.