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Grammar of the New Zealand Language

Of Intensity

Of Intensity.

Pai rawa, tino tika, tino pai rawa, kino whaka-harahara, tika pu, he noa iho, tini whakarere, tika tonu; all these adverbs stand for very or some modification of it; e.g.,

  • I hoki rawa mai koe ihea? what is the exact, or last place from which you have returned?

  • Pokuru iho, pokuru iho te namu, densely clustered the sandflies.

  • Kahore kau, not at all.

  • Haere ra pea, go now, I say, &c.

  • Haere ra, idem.

Maori, as might be expected in the language of a rude people, abounds in adverbs of intensity. We shall have to mention some of these hereafter, (vid. adjective, comparative degree, Syntax.) They sometimes elegantly supply the place of verbal particles, as page 86 we shall have occasion to show when we treat on the Syntax of the verbs.

From the preceding table the student will see that Maori has the power of increasing its adverbs to any extent, and that the chief process by which a word may be converted into an adverb, is by placing it in immediate connexion with the rerb or adjective,

It, should, perhaps, be here noticed, 1st, that Maori inclines to this mode of construction. Thus, where we should say, the women and the children must all roll the log; a native would most probably employ the adverb; e.g., Huri tane huri wahine. Such a mode of construction, though loose, is, however, concise and emphatic.

2ndly. That the adverb, in this case, admits of the same variations as the verb—admits of number, voice, and the form of the verbal noun. For this, however, vid. Syntax.

3rdly. That another process for the creation of adverbs is by prefixing whaka, or a to the preposition, noun, or adverb.

4thly. That the compound prepositions, especially when time and place are denoted, will very often take the adverbial form.*

5thly and lastly. It would be a very useful exercise for the student to examine those sentences, the place of which would be supplied by an adverb in English, and notice the nature of their construction. Some, for example, he will find rendered by the verb, some by the verbal noun, some by the substantive in the possessive case, some by the pronoun, &c.

We have dwelt so long upon this subject, that we are unwilling to occupy his attention any further with it.

* It has been objected by a learned friend that the compound prepositions are more properly adverbs, and that in such a sentence as “ket roto i te whare,” i is the governing preposition, and reto is an adverb, With all deference, however, to his very superior critical abilitles, we submit, that if a preposition be “a particle denoting the relation of one substantive to another” then roto is a preposition; for it clearly indicates a local relation between roto (or i roto, if you plcase,) and the thing spoken of. Those who feel sceptical on this point, we would beg to examine the composite prepositions of Hebrew. For example, the Hebrew preposition under (tahuth) is recognised as a preposition by grammarians, even though it may require the prepositions from and to in combination with it to exhibit its meaning. So also, in English, such prepositions as according to, out as, out of, &c., are not considered as disfranchised by the supplementary prepositon annexed to them. At the same time it is to be noted, that where there is a break between the compound preposition and its supplement, then the former must be considered as an adverb; thus, in the sentence, “Kei raro, kei te whare,” it is below, it is in the house; raro is here, as it is in English, an adverb joined to is; the line of connection being broken by a comma. In such a construction as this, the same preposition that precedes the compound preposition, (or rather, in this case, the adverb,) must also follow it.