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Grammar of the New Zealand Language

Chapter X. — Of the Particles

page 87

Chapter X.
Of the Particles.

We have thought it better to devote a separate chapter to the consideration of the following particles of Maori; first, because those words, though they strongly partake of the nature of adverbs, are yet sometimes used as conjunctions; secondly, because we are of opinion that a distinct consideration of them will be the best way to impart clear and comprehensive views of their nature.

An accurate acquaintance with these epea pteroenia “winged words” of discourse, is in most languages of very difficult attainment: but in Maori, particularly, do they require our study; that language not conceding to the verb the same prominent place that it occupies in other languages, and rather, (as we have already observed,) transacting the business of predication by pronouns, particles, &c.

They are mainly used for embellishing, defining, and impressing a sentence, and may, with the prepositions, be justly denominated the hinges of Maori.

To enumerate them all would be an endless task, and perhaps a useless one: for, in no part of Maori is there so great a discrepancy in the various districts. The following, we think, are the most general in use, and most deserving of notice: atu, mai, ake, iho, ai, ano, ra, koa, u, hoki, kau.

Atu and mai are, in most respects, exactly opposite; atu indicates an emanation forth of action from —the latter an approach or direction towards—the speaker.

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E kore ahau e rongo atu I do not hear forth. E kore e rongo mai, will not hear towards (me or us).
E rangona mai ranei tatou? shall we be heard towards (us)?
Tu atu, stand out of my way. Kati mai i kona, stand towards me there.
Tikina atu, go there and bring here, i.e., fetch thence. Tikina mai, fetch hence.
E tatari atu ana matou ki a koe, we are waiting forth to you.
E kore ahau e kaha atu, I shall not be strong forth, i.e., shall not be able to take it there. Mau mai ano, for you truly hither, i.e., it is for you to strike the first blow, &c.

N.B.—Atu will sometimes lose its peculiar meaning after a verb, (vid verbs, S.) It will also occasionally stand for other: Tera atu ano, that is another; i.e., there are other besides.

Ake and Iho. The general uses of ake and iho are, of the former up, and of the latter down, to the speaker:

  • Haere ake, come up (to us).

  • Heke iho, come down (to us).

  • E tu iho, he stands up there, i.e., down towards (us).

  • Te mea e ngangautia ake, the thing about which there is that contention below, (lit. is contended up towards (us).

Sometimes they will stand, the one for up, the other for down, to the object of the action; e.g.,

  • E kore ahau e roa ake, I am not tall enough to reach up (to it).

  • Ho ake ki a ia, give it up to him.

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  • Pataia iho te mate, ask down (to him) his sickness.

Ake and iho will sometimes denote propriety, peculiarity, self-existence, &c.; e.g.,

  • maku ake ano, for myself alone.

  • mona iho ano tena, that is for himself alone.

  • e hara i te toka tu ake, not a rock that has stood of itself.

Ake will sometimes signify the other side of the speaker, whether it be before, behind, to one side of, above, below, &c.; e.g., haere ake to a hearer in front will mean come behind me: to a person behind, it will signify come to my front.

N.B.—Iho does not seem to have any corresponding opposite to this meaning of ake.

Sometimes, also, ake is employed to designate a motion by another towards some place with which the speaker is in connexion; e.g.,

  • Ka mea, ka haere ake ki Waitemata, follow me by and bye to Waitemata.

  • He aha te tikina ake ai he ti ma te turoro nei? why has not tea been fetched (from my residence) for this patient?

  • E puta mai, ka karanga ake ki a au, when he comes you will call to me, (who am now going away).

Under these two last rules should, perhaps, be mentioned the following examples:

  • Tangohia ake te ngarara i taku tuara, take the insect off my back.

  • Ma koutou e uruuga ake, do you of the bow of the canoe steer, i.e., so paddle that the stern, where I am, may be directed rightly.

Note 1.—There are other subordinate meanings of ake and iho, of which examples have been given under the adverbs, and which do not, we think, require any further notice.

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Note 2.—Ake and iho are often used after verbs, in a manner somewhat corresponding to that of the verbal particles, (vid. verbs. S.)

Ai is a particle of great use. It is chiefly employed as a substitute for the relatives who, which, what, and has reference to the time, place, manner, cause, means, intention, &c., of an action; as in the following examples:

  • No te ra horoi whare i haere mai ai, started for here on Saturday.

  • I tona kitenga ai, when it was seen.

  • Te whare i moe ai ia, the house in which he slept.

  • Te peheatanga i meatia ai, the way in which it was done.

  • Te take i patua ai, the cause for which he was beaten.

  • Ma te aha e ora ai? by what means be saved?

  • I tuhituhi ai au nau hoki i utu i ena riwai, I have written to you because you paid for the other potatoes.

Occasionally, however, it is heard as a simple expletive; e.g.,

  • I mua ai, formerly.

2ndly. It is employed with the verbs to denote a sequence and, occasionally, an opposition of action, and might be translated by “and then,” “to,” and sometimes “but.”

  • Haere, ka hoki mai ai, go, and then return.

  • Haere ki reira noho ai, go there to stop.

  • Kua hereherea, noho ai, kawea atu ana ki a te Paki, she was enslaved, and remained such for some time, then was carried to Paki.

  • Ko te pa ano tera; noho ai ia ki Horotiu, that indeed is his village; but he dwells at Horotiu.

Sometimes, especially at Taupo, and, we understand, at the East Cape, ai is often used where the sequence or opposition of page 91 action is but faintly, if at all, expressed. The following is correct in Waikato: E pa, kei hea tetahi wahi mo matou? kokoa kotoatia ai e koe te whenua nei, friend where is there a portion for us? why you have monopolized the whole of the land.

Note 1.—The place of ai may be often supplied by nei, na, or ra; e.g., koia ahau i haere mai nei.

Note 2.—Ai is often erroneously omitted and erroneously introduced by foreigners, and those who wish to propound a statement accurately will do well to observe its use.

For ai, as used in connexion with the verbal particles, and the verbs. (See Syntax.)

Ano. This is a particle much used in assertions and replies. Its meaning will vary with that of the word to which it is postfixed.

  • Indeed; Tenei ano nga tangata o toku kainga te mahi nei i te kino, Here truly are the people, &c.

  • Ko ia ano te tikanga o te aroha, id demum est firma amicitia.

  • Naku ano taku, mine is my own.

  • Kati ano, stop I say, (or beg of you).

  • Also; No Waikato ahau, no Rotorua ano, I am from Waikato, from Rotorua also.

  • Only; Kotahi ano taku, one only is mine. (Anake would not here be used.)

  • Immediately, akuanei nei ano, now instantly.

  • Same; Ko nga kau ano nga kau, they are the very same cows.

  • Different; He tangata ano tena, that belongs to another person.

  • Again or another; Tikina ano, fetch another.

  • Same as; Ano e moe ana, as if he were sleeping.

  • Self; Mana ano, for himself.

  • I whakaae mai ranei? I whakaae ano. Was he willing? He was willing.

It is used in combination with other particles, as follows:

  • Heoi ano, that is all.

  • Ano hoki, also.

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  • Ra ano, until.

  • Nei ano, this is it, or here it is, &c.

  • Koia ano! how (fine, &c.)!

  • A, e noho nei ano? and is he still here?

  • Ano ra, whakarongo mai, (yes, or no;) but listen to me; i.e., I do not deny what you say; only listen to me.

  • Ko tena ano ra, that one I say, or that also.

Ano, in the beginning of sentences, seems with Ngapuhi to admit of a wider application than what is generally heard in Waikato; e.g., Ano ka tae ki te whare, and when he came to the house.

N.B.—No, also, with the same people, seems to admit of a somewhat similar application.

Ra is a particle corresponding in its use with nei and ra, and is frequently used to supply the place of the relative which; e.g.,

  • I kite ra koe, which you saw.

  • There; e takoto mai ra, it lies there.

It is sometimes used in commands and energetic sentences, for Then.

  • Haere ra, go then.

  • Heoi ano ra, that is all about it then.

Often in replies; E pai ana? Ae ra.

Koa is a particle used mostly in correcting, &c., another speaker or oneself:

  • E pa, e he ana koa koe, O my friend you are wrong.

  • Aana koa, yes (you are right).

It is difficult to define its meaning in the following phrases:

  • Tena & Na koa, shew it here, or give it to me.

  • E hara koa (iana or ianei or iara) ra? what else?

  • E ngaro hoki koa iana, &c., that, I confess, is (right, wrong, &c.)

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  • Ra koa ka kai iho ia i te ata o tana kai, (even though the offering be devoured,) still (does the God) eat the shadow of the food;—yet, nevertheless.

U is often used as a mere expletive. Sometimes it has force in exculpatory sentences; e g.,

  • E taea te aha u ana i te mamae? how could the poor fellow help it from the pain.

Note.—Though often used as an expletive, u will not, however, admit of being thrust into every sentence. Some foreigners seem peculiarly fond of using it. The following use of it is, at least in Waikato, erroneous: “A he tangata nui hoki a Hone, he rangatira hoki u a ratou.” We are unable, we confess, to state the meaning of this last clause. The speaker, perhaps, intended the preposition no by u a, “a chief of their party.”

Hoki; Some of the uses of hoki have been inserted under the adverbs. We shall give a brief view of the principal of them here. Its more general uses are, also, for, because:

  • He mea hoki ka tae mai ahau, in consideration of my having come.

  • Koia hoki, yes truly (he is right), &c.

  • Ina hoki, (the same as mei of Waikato,) viz., as you may judge from.

  • Kahore ano i tae mai, ina hoki te pu, te rangona, he has not arrived, as we may judge from the gun, its not being heard.

  • Nei hoki, and na, or ra, hoki; Hopukia te poaka;

  • Kua mau ra hoki, oh, it has been caught.

  • Kati te tohe, kua riro atu nei hoki te utu, cease importuning; inasmuch as the payment has been given.

This form we approve much of for expressing the following: “for the death of the Lord Jesus Christ,” kua mate nei hoki, &c., i.e., inasmuch as, &c.

  • Ki te titaha hoki ra, well then, (if you won't give that,) give me an axe.

  • Ho mai hoki, give it I say.

Kau; Riri kau, angry without cause.

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  • E ngenge ana koe? Ngenge kau! Are you tired? Why should I be tired? (lit. tired at nothing!)

  • E mau kau ana te taura, is barely fastened, i.e., it has only the name of being fastened.

  • Ka mahi kau ahau, work without nothing.

  • Tu kau, stand idle, naked, &c.