The present volume first reexamines Polynesian language subgrouping from the point of view of shared sporadic sound changes. The main conclusion of those chapters is to support Bill Wilson's idea that East Polynesian languages might be most closely related to the languages of Tuvalu northwest of Samoa, along with the "Ellicean"
Outliers. Later chapters cover cosmogony and kin terms for the various Polynesian subgroups, traditional interests of culture historians that were not much investigated prior to the work of this thesis. The volume ends with a discussion of how language and ethnicity transformed over time in early Western Polynesia, both becoming more focused on particular island groups at about the time population pressures were first being felt in the larger island groups (Samoa and Tonga).