Project Canterbury

In the Isles of the Sea: The Story of Fifty Years in Melanesia

By Frances Awdry

London: Bemrose & Sons, Limited, 1902.


1. NAMES OF ISLANDS.--The names given by the Spanish navigators, who discovered the Islands 300 years ago, are retained; others, in a few cases, have English names, as Lepers' I., Star I., Saddle I. The larger islands have not usually a native name denoting the whole island; but they are sometimes divided into districts which are named, e.g., Bugotu=S.W. part of Ysabel; Gaua=E. part of Santa Maria; Lakona=W. part of Santa Maria. In some cases islands have names amongst their neighbours which are unknown to themselves, e.g., Vava, for the Torres Islands, where there is no such name of any island or district.

2. PRONUNCIATION.--Vowels are pronounced as in Italian. The syllables are of even quality, i.e., no syllable is accented, to the slurring of others; e.g., Nukapu=Nu-ka-pu, no accent on one syllable more than the rest.

Consonants--b=mb; d=nd; g, very soft guttural; g [with double dots over it]=nng, as in "finger"; j=ch; m [with double dots over it] is nasal; n [with double dots over it]=ng, as in "singer"; q=kpw.

Project Canterbury