r/8 GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON THE
In collating the languages of the Archipelago, the most ordinary observer must be struck with the prodigious number of words in all the more civilized languages, radically and essentially the same. Such words are numerous in proportion to the civilization of each tribe, and are few in proportion to its rudeness ; until, among the utter savages, excluded by circumstances from all intercourse with the greater tribes, hardly a parallel word is to be discovered.
The first point in an investigation into this curious subject is, to determine the nature and character of the class of words which is common to the more civilized dialects ; but words of this nature are so various and extensive, that the selection becomes a matter of difficulty and nicety. If, on the one hand, words of this class be less essential to each language than its own radical stock, they are, on the other, more necessary to it, as the language of an improved community, than the Sanskrit, commonly the medium of introducing words more extrinsic and adventitious. I would say, generally, that the class of words indicating the existence of a great Polynesian language , are generally such as indicate the first and necessary great steps in the progress of civilization ; arguing thence, that civilization and improvement e-manated from the people who spoke it. The following may be enumerated as examples :athe
names of useful plants and grains, such as rice,