THE AFRICAN EVIDENCE
We now have conclusive evidence (basic vocabulary, morphology, sound correspondences) that Maori and the other Malayo-Polynesian languages are African and are related to Bantu and the Niger-Congo group. Bantu kumi “ten”, Maori kumi “ten fathoms”, Bantu pía “fire”, Maori ahi (Malay api) “fire”, Bantu NÚ “drink”, Maori inu(drink). The Maori singular and plural articles and possessives match singular and plural prefixes (e.g. 5 & 6) in Bantu. Indeed most of the Bantu noun prefixes can be identified in Maori. The following investigation reveals a relationship that envelopes the entire grammatical systems of Maori and Niger-Congo. This cannot be due to chance.
Maori is known to be a Malayo-Polynesianlanguage, but has deeper connections with the Austro-Thai group (Benedict 1975). The name Thai (Maori tai “sea, coast, tide”) is common in China, Thailand and Hong Kong. Places called Taiping are found in both China and Malaysia. There is however a place called Taï on the Ivory Coast of Africa, and a Niger-Congo language called Taita. India has a mausoleum called the Taj Mahal. The Niger-Congoroot *ta means “dwell”. Maori taiao signifies “world, country”. The Egyptian hieroglyph (N16) t3 means “land” (flat alluvial land with grains of sand beneath it is depicted). Maori rā “sun, day” matches Egyptian ra “sun, day”, also Niger-Congo ra, la, d.a “sun, day”. Genetics indicates an early migration out of Africa into Asia, and from Asia into the Pacific (Cavalli-Sforza 2000). We can tracethe Maoris back to Asia. They came from Taiwan (root tai). Mitochondrial DNA connects Chinese, Polynesians and Maori (Prof. F. Sin).
Other placenames point to Africa: Bali (Cameroon), Bali (Indonesia); Sarawak (Indonesia), Sara (Nilo-Saharan) + Waka (Benue-Congo), Nandi (Nilo-Saharan tribe), and Nande (Niger-Congo), Nandi (Fiji), Loma (Niger-Congo), Loma- (Fiji), Baule (Niger-Congo), Bau(Fiji); Samo (Mande language), Samoa (Pacific Island), Tonga (Benue-Congo language), Tonga (Pacific Island), Tahiti (Polynesian Island) which shows tai is from taCi (PPN *tahi, Tongan tahi, Fijian taci & tai “seacoast”).
Related placenames also occur in the Americas and West Indies. We have the tribal names Arawak, in Guyana (= Indonesian Sarawak), with pockets of Arawakan language furthersouth and near Peru, and Taino in Antilles (compare the Maori canoes Arawa, Tainui). Taino culture was aceramic and illiterate, as was Maori. The Arawakan languages are the remnant of a large language group once extending from Florida to the Argentina border (Suárez in NEB 1989 : 22, 793). The (American) kumara or sweet potato (from PWS ku “yam”) was known to the Maoris. So expeditions from thePacific to the Americas must have taken place.
THE EVIDENCE Page 4
GRAMMAR Page 8
THE NOUN Page 19
ADJECTIVES Page 34
NUMERALS Page 36
PERSONAL PRONOUNS Page 41
THE VERB Page 43
PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES Page 51
SENTENCE & CLAUSE MARKERS Page 54
WORD ORDER Page 57
PHONOLOGY Page 58
VOCABULARY Page 73
“Today’s morphology is yesterday’s syntax”.
One might add that old morphology survives like bones buried in the lexicon, from which it can be recovered by analysing the form and meaning of words.
The most reliable evidence for genetic language relationships is morphology. Both Maori – like other languages of its group such as Tagalog (Rubino 2002 : 9etc) – and Niger-Congo are agglutinative in their morphology and employ prefixes, suffixes, infixes. Infixation (affix insertion) in both Maori and in Niger-Congo is not well understood. It was productive in Afro-Asiatic. Williams speaks of Maori “letter insertion”. Thus -te-, -a- etc are interpolated (e.g. in archaic songs) for reasons that are often obscure (Best 1925/2005 : 202). Niger-Congo...