Author(s): Trevor Lloyd
English and Maori are separated by as great a distance as any two languages on earth, but this book reveals a previously unrecognised connection between their vocabularies. The existence of equivalent sounds and elements of meaning in many words of two unrelated languages is very surprising and cannot be explained by current linguistic theory. This book describes the elements of words that constitute what may be called an alphabet of word meaning common to every language. Although word meaning is fundamental to language, linguists have not been able to shed much light on how it is constructed. This 'alphabet' provides an answer to one of the enduring puzzles of language.
Trevor Lloyd is an independent language researcher who lives in Wellington. He has no academic credentials in linguistics but he has been investigating how word meaning works in the mind for some years. His earlier book on the subject, Fossils of Language, was published by Steele Roberts in 2003. So far, his work has aroused little interest from linguists, for reasons explained in the book. The astonishing similarity between English and Maori words that he describes, and his explanation for it, may change this situation.