a capital letter does in English: i Vat, 'the Rock;' i Vavae, 'the Word;' i Nun, 'the True One.'
It is probably a consequence of native names having always a significance with them, that, whether interrogatively or demonstratively, the personal article used with the word for 'thing' means a person. Thus, gene, 'a thing;' o gene iloke, 'this thing;' i gene iloke, 'this person.' O sava? 'what?' I sava? 'who?' The feminine is iro. Ro is prefixed to native female names, not to foreign ones, and can be used without i as well as with; but i is the article, ro not.
The presence of ro shows the word to have become a native feminine name; as in ordinary personal names, and, as above, in personification; and shows, in the same way, a female to be spoken of or inquired about: iro gale, 'the female deceiver;' iro gene, 'the woman;' iro sava? 'what woman?'
Ro is not used with foreign names, because they have no signification: i Sara, i Mary, i On̈o. I and iro are used with names also of animals. The plural is ira, masculine; ira ro, feminine ; but the article of these is i.
Nouns Substantive, i. e. the names of things, are divided in Mota (as in Fiji), into two classes, viz., those that do and do not take the pronominal affix, with the article na. This division is almost exhaustive; there are but very few words with which, according to strict native usage, the two forms of the possessive can be used.
(Caution.—In our translations, till of late, errors are common.)
The principle of this division appears to be a nearer or more remote connection between the possessor or the possessed. Parts of a body, or of an organization, the ordinary equipment and properties of a man, things in which proprietorship seems most nearly involved—these