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First Lessons in Maori

X. Relative Clauses

X. Relative Clauses.

§ 71.

There are no Relative Pronouns in Maori. Their place is supplied either by the position of the words forming the relative clause; or by the personal pronoun of the third person singular; or, again, by the use of certain particles.

§ 72. Who, Which.

—When the relative pronoun in English is the subject of the relative clause:

i. The predicate of the relative clause may be placed immediately after the antecedent without any expressed subject, and may be followed by one of the adverbs, (a) nei, (b) na, or (c) ra; according as the thing spoken of is near, or connected with, (a) the speaker, (b) the person spoken to, or (c) neither; but if one of these adverbs is used, and the verb is imperfect, ana must be omitted.

  • Te tangata e hanga whare ana, the man who is housebuilding.

  • Te waka i kitea e taua, the canoe which was seen by you and me.

  • Te tamaiti i korero mai ra ki a taua, the boy who spoke to us.

  • Te rakau e tu ra i runga i te puke, the tree which stands on the hill.

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ii. If the relative clause is past or future, the construction mentioned in § 55 may be used; the pronoun of the third person singular serving for all persons and numbers.

  • Te tangata nana nei i patu toku matua, the man who killed my father.

  • Ko nga tangata enei nana i tahu te ngahere, these are the men who set on fire the forest.

  • Ko te tohunga koe mana e hanga te whare, you are the skilled man who shall build the house.

iii. If the relative pronoun has a common noun joined to it, the definitive taua (pl. aua) is used to represent it.

  • E tu tonu nei taua whare, which house is still standing.

  • I noho ra ratou ki aua wahi, which places they occupied.

§ 73. Whom, or which.

—When the relative in English is governed by a verb or by one of these prepositions: by, on, at, in, with, by-means-of, on-account-of, by-reason-of, the verb in the relative clause is followed by nei, na, ra or ai, without a preposition; and in the imperfect tense ana after the verb is omitted. Use ai with the past and future only; and with the present use nei, na, or ra, according to the position of the thing spoken of; nei, if it is near or connected with the speaker; na, if it is near or connected with the person spoken to; and ra, if it is not near or connected with either.

  • Te whare e hanga na koe, the house which you are building.

  • Te wahi e noho nei a Pomare, the place at which Pomare is now living.

  • Te mea e raru ai ahau, the thing by means of which I shall be perplexed.

  • Te wai i tineia ai te ahi, the water with which the fire was quenched.

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§ 74.

When the relative is governed by the verb in the relative clause, the subject of that verb, without being expressed directly, may be implied in a possessive definitive (§ 18) placed before the antecedent.

  • Tau tangata i karanga ai, the man whom you called (for Te tangata i karanga ai koe).

  • Taku whare e hanga nei, the house which I am building.

§ 75. Inverted Construction.

—In those cases in which the relative is governed by the verb in the relative clause the construction may be inverted by making the verb passive (§ 54), with the relative as its subject, as in § 72.

  • Te whare e hangaa na e koe, the house which is being built by you (or, the house which you are building).

  • Te kakahu e whatua na e koe, the garment which is being woven by you (or, the garment which you are weaving).

  • I nohoia ra taua wahi e Te Ratu, which place was occupied by Te Ratu (or, the place which Te Ratu occupied).

§ 76. Whose, for whom, etc.

—When the subject of the relative clause in English is a noun, preceded by the possessive form of the relative, use the possessive definitives tana (pl. ana), tona (pl. ona), or simply the definite article te. In other cases in which the relative in English is possessive, or when it is governed by any other preposition than those enumerated in § 73, use the personal pronouns of the third person with the requisite preposition; but when that preposition is na, or no, or ma, or mo, use the singular pronoun for all persons and numbers.

  • He tangata kua whati nei tona waewae, a man whose leg is broken.

  • Te wahine i kahakina ra te tamaiti, the woman whose child was carried off.

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  • Te iwi nona te whenua, the people whose the land is.

  • Te tangata i hoatu nei e ahau ki a ia te pukapuka, the man to whom I gave the book.

§ 77: Whosoever.

—There is no equivalent in Maori for the word “whosoever”; it must therefore always be resolved into “the man who,” “the persons who,” “if any man,” etc., but not into “he who,” or “those who.”

  • Te tangata he patu tana, whoever has a weapon (the man who, etc.).

  • Nga tangata e matau ana ki te whakairo rakau, whosoever knows how to carve wood (the men who, etc.).

§ 78.

Whatever in a negative sentence, is often expressed by repeating the clause with the interrogative pronoun, aha, in place of the noun, thus:—

  • Kahore he kai, kahore he aha, there is no food whatever.

  • Hore he iwi, hore he aha, there was no strength whatever.