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Grammar of the New Zealand Language

Chapter XX. — Of the Prepositions, Adverbs, and Conjunctions

page 163

Chapter XX.
Of the Prepositions, Adverbs, and Conjunctions.

These have been considered at large in chapters 8, 9, 10, 11, and require now but little notice. We proceed to consider the prepositions which follow the verbs, and to offer a few other remarks respecting them.

Verbal postfixes.—An active verb will (as was observed page 60) take i after it, to denote the object of the action. Sometimes, however, ki will be found to supply its place; e.g., mohio ki a ia, matau ki a ia, wehi ki a ia, whakaaro ki tena mea, karanga ki a ia, kua mau ki te pu, seized his gun. Whiwhi ki te toki, obtain an axe, &c.

Between these two prepositions, however, as verbal postfixes, there is often a very important difference; e.g., na ka whakatiki ahau i a ia ki te kai, so I deprived him of food, i.e., I withheld food from him; na te aha koe i kaiponu ai i to paraikete ki a au? why did you withhold your blanket From me? he pakeha hei whakawhiwhi i a matou ki te kakahu, an European to make us possess clothes; ki te hoko atu i taku poaka ki te tahi paraikete moku, to sell my pig for a blanket for myself. Europeans generally page 164 employ mo, but erroneously. Sometimes other prepositions will occupy the place of i; ka haere ahau ki te whangai i taku kete riwai ma taku poaka, I will go feed my basket of potatoes for my pig, i.e., I will feed my pigs with my basket of potatoes; hei patu moku, to strike me with,—a form similar to hei patu i a au.

Note.—Verbal nouns will take the same case as their roots Occasionally no sign of case will follow the active verb, (1) when the verb is preceded by such auxiliaries as taea, pau, taihoa, &c., e.g., e kore e taea e ahan te hopu tena poaka, it cannot be accomplished by me (I mean) the catching that pig; or, e kore e taea tena poaka e au, te hopu. (2.) When the verb is preceded by the particle me, or by the prepositions na and ma; e.g., me hopa te poaka e koe, the pig must be caught by you; naku i hopu tena, the having caught that (pig) was mine. To this rule, exceptions are sometimes heard.

Neuter Verbs will sometimes take an accusative case of the noun proper to their own signification; e.g., e karakia ana i tana karakia, he is praying his prayers; e kakahu ana i ona, he is garmenting his clothes; i.e., is putting them on.

Note.—Considerable variation will be found in the prepositions which follow such verbs as heoi, ka tahi, &c.; e g., heoi ano te koti pai nou, the only good coat is yours; ka tahi ano te koti pai, nou, idem; manawa te tangata korero teka, he pakeha (Taranaki), a European is the greatest person for telling falsehoods; ka tahi ano taku tangata kino, ko koe (or ki a koe, or kei a koe); ka tahi ano tenei huarahi ka takahia ki a koe, you are the first person, who has trodden this path; if it had been e koe, the meaning would have been you now for the first Time walk this road; often, also, the preposition will be omitted, and the noun put into the nominative; e.g., noho rawa atu he whenua ke, settled in a foreign land; ka whakamoea atu he tangata ke, given in marriage to another man; te huihuinga mai o Mokau, o whea, o whea, ko te Wherowhero, the musterings of Mokau, &c., &c., are to Whero-whero, i.e., Wherowhero is the grand object of interest.

Between i and ki when following neuter verbs, or adjectives, there is often a considerable difference; e.g., mate ki, desirous of; mate i, killed by; kaha i page 165 te kino, stronger Than sin, i.e., overcoming it; kaha ki te kino, strong IN sinning; ngakau kore ki tana kupu, disinclined to, &c.; ngakau kore i, discouraged by.

Foreigners often err in the use of these, and other prepositions; e.g., i a ia ki reira, while he was there; it should be, i reira. E aha ana ia ki reira? What is he doing there? it should be i reira. Kati ki kona; it should be i kona. E mea ana ahau kia kai i te Onewhero, I am thinking of taking a meal at Onewhero; it should be, ki te Onewhero. Hei a wai ranei te pono? hei a Maihi ranei, hei a Pita ranei? with whom is the truth? with Marsh or with Peter? it should be, I a wai, &c. He aha te tikanga o taua kupu nei kei a Matiu? what is the meaning of that expression in Matthew? it should be i a Matiu. Again,—kahore he mea no te kainga nei hei kai, there is nothing in this settlement for food; it should be, o te kainga nei. Enei kupu no te puka-puka, these words of the book; it should be, o te pukapuka. Ko nga mea katoa no waho, all the things outside; it should be o waho. He kahore urupa o Kawhia i kawea mai ai ki konei? Was there no grave in Kawhia that you brought him here? it should be, no Kawhia. Again,—he mea tiki i toku whare, a thing fetched from my house. The meaning of this, as it stands, is “a thing to fetch my house;” it should be, no toku whare, as in the following proverb: “he toka hapai mai no nga whenua.” In constructions like these, the agent will take either e or na before it, but most frequently the latter. In some tribes to the Southward of Waikato, the following form is in common use:—he pakeke ou, yours are hardnesses, i.e., you are a hard person; he makariri oku i te anu, I have colds from the cold (air). The singular forms tou and toku are mostly page 166 used in Waikato, or the preposition no; e.g., he pakeke nou, and makariri noku, or Toku.

Prepositions are sometimes used where a foreigner would expect a verbal particle; e.g., Kei te takoto a Hone, John is lying down; i te mate ahau, I was poorly; No te tarai ahau i tena wahi, I have been hoeing that place. This form belongs chiefly to Ngapuhi. Ka tae te pakeke o te oneone nei! kahore i te kohatu! How hard this soil is! it is not at a stone, i.e., it is like a stone. Kahore ahau i te kite, I don't see. This last form is used chiefly in the districts Southward of Waikato.

Adverbs.—Most of the adverbs will (as was observed, page 85) assume the form of the word with which they are connected; e.g., rapu marie, rapua marietia, rapunga marietanga, &c. In some districts, however, they will assume the form of the verbal noun, after the passive voice; e.g., rapua marietanga. Instances will, also, occasionally be found in all parts of the island in which they undergo no change; e.g., whiua pena, throw it in that direction. Whiua penatia is, throw it in that manner.

Negative Adverbs.—Most of these will, when in connexion with the verb, take a verbal particle before, or after, them; e.g., hore rawa kia pai; kahore i pai, or (sometimes), kahore e pai; kihai i* pai; e kore e pai; aua e haere, kiano i haere noa, e hara i a au, it is not mine, or, it is different from me (i.e., it was not I), &c.

Kihai i and kahore i are most frequently used indifferently one for the other. An experienced page 167 speaker will, however, we think, sometimes notice points of difference, and particularly that kihai i is most frequently employed, when reference is made to an act previous to a past act, and kahore i when some allusion is made to the present time. Thus, in the following sentence, nau i kai nga kai kihai nei i tika kia kainga e te mea noa, we should prefer kahore nei i to denote which Was not, and is not, lawful to be eaten by a person not tapu. In Waikato, haunga with kahore sometimes governs a genitive case; e.g., Kahore haunga o tena. Kahore, when it takes a possessive case after it, will require it to be in the plural number; e.g., Kahore aku moni, I have no money, lit., there is a negativeness of my monies. So also the particle u, vid. page 93.

In answering a question, the answer will always be regulated by the way in which the question is put, e.g., Kahore i pai? ae; Was he not willing? Yes; i.e., Yes, he was not willing. If the answer was intended to be affirmative, the speaker would have said “I pai ano.”

* Some foreigners, we observe, omit the i after kihai, when it immediately follows it. That this error, however, arises from the I being blended into the ai of kihai in the pronunciation is clear from its being distinctly heard when a word intervenes to prevent elision, as in the following example:—kihai ahau i pai.