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Grammar of the New Zealand Language

Potential and Subjunctive Moods

Potential and Subjunctive Moods.

Present and imperfect.—(For examples of these vid. on e page 136, on ka 138, and on ai 146), ko ahau kia mate, ko ia kia ora; vid. on kia (§. c. 1,) also our remarks on. ahei, taea, &c., as auxiliaries.

Pluperfect.—Kua riro au, na te mate o taku kotiro i noho ai, I would have gone; but 1 remained in consequence of the sickness of my daughter: lit., I departed, my daughter's sickness was the cause of my having remained; e noho ana, na Hone i ngare, he would have stopped, but John sent him: lit., he is remaining, John sent him; E murua a Hone, naku i ora ai, John would have been plundered, but I saved him; me i kahore ahau kua mate, if it had not been for me, he would have died; kua hemo ke ahau, me i kaua ahau te whakapono, I. should have fainted if I had not believed; penei kua ora, in that case he would have been saved; ka hua ahau, i haere ai, e rongo; I thought that they would have listened (which) was the cause of (my) having gone; maku i runga e kore e marere, when I am at the Southward (it) is never granted; ma raua e rere e kore e hohoro a Raiana, when they both run, Lion does not make haste; me i maku e keri, keihea? page 158 if it had not been for me to dig it where (should I have been now)? i.e., I should have dug to a vast distance.*

The following combinations of times are incorrect: i te mea i arahina nga Hurai, while the Jews were being led; it should be e arahina ana. I kite hoki ratou i a ia, a, i rere, for they saw him and fled; it should be, a, rere ana. To ratou taenga atu ki te pa, i reira ano mahara ana ratou ki a ia, and when they had reached the pa, they then recognised him; it should be na, ka mahara, &c. Ma Hone e whakaki o koutou peke, pera hoki me o matou, John will fill your bags as full as ours; it should be, kia penei me o matou. It may be here noted that when two tenses are connected together, not in the way of government, but are rather in apposition with each other, the latter will generally be the same as, or at least correspond to, the former; e.g., the following constructions are erroneous:— Korerotia atu, mea ana, speak, saying; it should be, meatia. A ki atu ana a Hone, ka mea; it should be, mea ana. Ka tahi ahau i kite, now for the first time have I seen; it should be ka kite.

Note.—Sometimes, however, we meet with exceptions to this rule: (1) when there is a clear case for the operation of epanorthosis; (2) when the particles a or no intervene.

The character of the sentence will sometimes be found to affect the time of the verb; as, for example, in animated narration, where a large measure of certainty, or when contingency is to be denoted, &c.; e. g., Kihai i u ki uta, kua tae ki te whare, kua totoro ki te maripi, ki te paoka, E kai ana, he had not landed, before he Had reached the house, Had stretched out

* Note.—The student is recommended to nonce the various forms contained in the preceding table, and to endeavour to add to them from his own observation. It would also be most useful to throw into one form all the various examples of simple and compound times that he will find in pages 37, 41. to 44, as well also as those coutained in the preceding part of this chapter.

page 159 (his hand) to the knife and fork, (he) is eating
, i.e., immediately as soon as he landed he began to eat; E pa ma, kia kaha, Kahore kua u, My friends be strong, (in pulling the oar), O no, we have landed, i.e., we are close to shore. A request or command, given to be conveyed to another, will often be put into the imperative, just as if the individual, to whom the request, &c., is to be delivered, were really present; e.g., Mea atu ki a Hone, Taihoa e haere, say to John, Don't go for a while. E kite, koe i a te Keha, Haers mai, if you see Keha (say to him), Come here.

Note.—This form is generally adopted when the speaker wishes to be animated and abrupt. Sometimes, as in the first example, it is the only form admissible.

Verbs associated to qualify each other.— It should here also be noted that when two verbs are associated together, the latter of which is modified in meaning by the former, in a way somewhat similar to that in which the infinitive in Eatin is modified by its governing verb, the two verbs will, generally, be in the same tense and voice; e.g., Kua haere, kua koroheke hoki, he has begun to get old, lit., he is gone, he is old; kei anga koe, kei korero, don't you go and say, &c.; e aratakina ana, e patua ana, it is led to be killed.

Repetition of Verbs.—The same verb will frequently be repeated in Maori when contingency, intensity, distribution, diversity, &c., are intended, and, particularly, when the speaker desires to be impressive and emphatic; e.g., Ko te mea i tupono i tupono: ko te mea i kahore i kahore, (the karakia Maori) is all a work of chance: sometimes there is a successful hit, sometimes a failure, lit., that which hit the mark hit it, that which did not did not; e pakaru ana, e pakaru ana ki tana mahi (it does not much signify) if it breaks, it is broken in his service; okioki, okioki atu ki a i a. trust, trust in him, i.e., place your whole trust in, &c.; haere ka haere, kai ka kai, in all his goings, page 160 in all his eatings, i.e., whenever he walks, or eats, (he retains the same practice); heoi ano ra, heoi ano, that is all about it, that is all about it; hapai ana, hapai ana, raise both ends at the same time; i.e., while you raise, I raise.

Note.—A similar usage obtains in other parts of the language; e.g., ko wai, ko wai te haere? who, who is to go? ko tera tera, that is another, or a different one; he kanohi he kanohi, face to face; ko Roka ano Roka, ko ahau ano ahau? are Roka (my wife) and I different persons? lit., Is Roka Roka, and (am) I I?

Sometimes the former verb will assume the form of the verbal noun; e.g., te haerenga i haere ai, the going with which he went, i.e., so on he proceeded; na, ko te tino riringa i riri ai, so he was very angry.

Note.—The learned student need not be reminded of the remarkable parallel which Maori finds to the four last rules in Hebrew, From this cause it will be sometimes found that an exactly literal translation will be more idiomatic than another. Thus Gen. 1, 7, “dying thou shalt die” could not be rendered more idiomatic than if it be done literally: “na, ko te matenga e mate ai koe.”

Of the Passive Verbs.—It has been already observed (p.p. 49, 56) that passive verbs are often used in Maori in a somewhat more extended sense than is met with in most languages. It may naturally, therefore, be expected that their use should be more frequent than that of active verbs: and such we believe to be the case,—Maori seeming to incline peculiarly to the passive mode or form of statement, especially in the secondary clauses of a sentence, independently of other uses which they subserve, (such as often supplying a more animated style of narration, being sometimes the more convenient—as being the more loose or general—mode in which to advance a sentiment, &c.), there are two of considerable importance which may be here noticed. 1st. They are most frequently employed when the relative pronoun is understood, and are generally page 161 equivalent to the active verb with ai or nei, &c., after it; e.g., nga mahi i wakahaua e ia, the works which were ordered by him. The active form here, without ai after it, would be seldom used. Vid. also, the examples p.p. 49, 51. 2ndly. They sometimes supply the place of a preposition; e.g., he aha te mea e omakia nei? what is the matter About Which it is being run? Te tangata i korerotia nei, the man about whom we were talking. The following sentence, ka korero ahau ki te whakapakoko, literally means, I will talk to the image; it should have been, ka korerotia to whakapakoko. This usage, however, does not extend to all the prepositions; and, when some of them are understood, the verb will require ai after it. The following sentence, for example, is erroneous: te tangata e kainga ana te poaka, the man by whom the pig is eaten; it should be e kai ana, or e kai nei, or e kainga ai.

Constructions will not unfrequently be found in which the active form usurps the place of the passive, and vice versa; e.g., Ko tena kua hohoro te horoi, let that be first washed; kua tahu te kai o te kainga nei, the food of the settlement has been kindled, i.e., the oven is kindled for cooking; Kei te uta to matou waka, our canoe is loading; Ko tehea te patu? which is to be killed? ko tera kua panga noa ake, that has been much longer on the fire: lit., has been thrown; taria e kawhaki te poti, let not the boat be taken away (by you) for a while; he mea tiki, a thing fetched; kua oti te keri, it is finished, the being dug; me wero e koe, it must be (or, let it be) stabbed by you; ka timata tena whenua, te tua, that land has commenced (I mean) the being felled; kei reira, a Hone e tanu ana, there John (lies) buried; Kate arai taku ahi e koe, my fire is being stopped up by you, i.e., you are intercepting the communication, &c.; kia rua nga waka e hoe mai e koe, let there be page 162 two canoes that will be paddled here by you. The following form is not frequent:—kei te atawhaitia, it the (pig) is being taken care of; kei te takina te kai, the food is being taken off (the fire). When ambiguity might arise from the object of the action being considered as the agent, the passive form is almost always used; e.g., ka poto nga, tangata o reira te kitea, when all the men of that place have been seen; ka tata tena tangata te nehua, that man is near being buried.

Neuter Verbs which assume the passive form.— Some neuter verbs assume the passive form (1) without any material alteration of meaning; e.g., ka hokia he huanga, if it is come backwards and forwards to you, it is because I am a relation.* (2.) Most frequently, however, they derive a transitive meaning from the change. Thus, in the example already adduced, page 50, horihori, to tell falsehoods; to mea i horihoria e koe he tangata, the thing which you erroneously said was a man. Again,—Tangi, to cry: te tupapaku e tangihia nei, the corpse which is being cried, i.e., which is the subject of the crying; he tangata haurangi, a mad person; to tangata i haurangitia nei, a person for whom another is bewildered.

* The passive verbs wheterongia, titahangia, &c., to which we allude, page 39, note, may, we think, on reflection, be most correctly reduced to this head.