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A unique look at the history and language of the Marquesas islands by two eminent German philologists

BUSCHMANN, Johann Carl Eduard and Guillaume de HUMBOLDT.
Aperçu de la langue des iles Marquises et de la langue Taïtienne, précedé d'une introduction sur l'histoire et la géographie de l'archipel des Marquises.
Berlin, C. G. Luderitz, 1843. 8vo. Original publisher's printed paper wrappers. 197, [2] pp.
€ 2,250
A rare first edition of a work about the history, geography and language of the Marquesas islands.
Johann Carl Eduard Buschmann (1805-1880) was a German philologist, who resided in Mexico for a few years to study the indigenous languages of Middle America and was later employed at the Alte Bibliothek in Berlin, where he focused his research on the dialects of Malaysia, Indonesia and Polynesia. His Aperçu includes a short history of the earliest voyages to the Marquesas islands and a comparison of different Polynesian dialects. The second half includes a more detailed look at the Marquesan language.
Buschmann worked closely with linguist William Humboldt (1776-1835) and assisted him in his research of the Kawi language of Java, which resulted in a three-volume work. Humboldt passed away before it was finished, so Buschmann wrote and published the final volume alone. He had access to Humboldt's notes and revised them for publication. Humboldt's French-Marquesan vocabulary is part of the Aperçu and makes up the second half.
With two labels ("D" and "4") pasted on the front paper wrapper and a manuscript owner's inscription on the title-page ("Gorscalo de Murga(?)"). The paper wrappers are loose, the spine is cracked. Edges somewhat frayed and internally foxed throughout. O'Reilly and Reitman, Biographie de Tahiti, 5682 and 6139.
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Australia, new zealand & pacific  >  Pacific Islands
Literature & linguistics  >  Literature & Linguistics