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First Lessons in Maori

II. Nouns and Personal Pronouns

II. Nouns and Personal Pronouns.

§ 4.

The nouns have no Inflections, nor any distinctions of Gender.

Obs. The interrogative pronoun aha, what, is treated as a common noun.

The Number of a common noun is denoted generally by the number of the definitive in connexion with it. (§§ 17, 18.) The following words have one vowel lengthened in the plural, thus:

Singular. Plural.
Mătua, parent. Mātua, parents.
Tŭpuna, ancestor. Tūpuna, ancestors.
Tăngata, man. Tāngata, men.
Wăhine, woman. Wāhine, women.
Tuăhine, sister (of a man). Tuāhine, sisters.
Tuăkana, elder brother. Tuākana, elder brothers.
Těina, younger brother. Tēina, younger brothers.
Tamăhine, daughter. Tamāhine, daughters.
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The word tamaiti, child, is used in the singular only, tamariki being always used for the plural.

§ 5.

The personal pronouns have three numbers, Singular, Dual and Plural, as shown by the following table.

Table of Personal Pronouns.
Singular. Dual. Plural.
Ahau or au, I, me. tāua, thou and I, we two, us two. tātou, you and I, we, us.
māua, he and I, we two, us two. mātou, they and I, we, us.
Koe, thou, thee. korua, you two. koutou, you (more than two).
Ia, he, she, him, her. rāua, they two, them two. rātou, they, them (more than two).

The pronouns, like the nouns, have no inflexions.

The personal pronouns are not used in speaking of inanimate things.

§ 6.

The Singular Personal Pronouns ahau, koe, ia, are replaced respectively by -ku, -u, -na, when they follow any of the possessive prepositions, a, o, na, no, ma, mo; or the possessive particles, ta and to (which are equivalent to the article te, with the prepositions a and o). Owing to this irregularity the preposition and pronoun in each case are generally written as one word. (Compare §§ 18 and 22.)

Ahau, I; āku, or ōku, of me; nāku, or nōku, belonging to me, mine; māku or mōku, for me; tāku, or tōku, my (literally, te a ku, the..of me).

Koe, thou; āu, or ōu, of thee; nāu, or nōu, belonging to thee, thine; māu, or mōu, for thee; tāu, or tōu, thy.

(Tŏ and ŏ are sometimes used for tāu and āu.)

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Ia, he or she; āna, or ōna, of him or her; nāna, or nōna, belonging to him or her, his or hers; māna, or mōna, for him or for her; tāna, or tōna, his or her.

§ 7.

Self is expressed by the addition to the pronoun of either of the adverbs, ake or ano, which may also be used with a possessive, (§ 18), to express own. In the latter case ake may be placed after either the possessive or the noun, ano only after the noun.

  • Ki a raua ake, to themselves.

  • Toku ake whare, or toku whare ake, my own house.

  • Ana tama ano, his own sons.

§ 8. Local nouns.

—There are certain nouns which are invariably used without a definitive, (§ 18), though the force of a definitive must be expressed in translation. The majority of these have a place signification, hence the designation, local nouns; but there are others also with a time signification, which belong to the same grammatical category, and are subject to the same rules.

The following is a list of the most important of these:—

  • Runga, the top, the upper part.

  • Raro, the bottom, the under part.

  • Roto, the inside, the midst.

  • Waho, the outside, the exterior.

  • Mua, the front, the fore part.

  • Muri, the rear, the hind part.

  • Waenga, waenganui, waengarahi, the middle, the midst.

  • Hea, whea, what place, what time (future).

  • Ko, yonder place, the distant time.

  • Konei, this place (near me).

  • Kona, that place (near you).

  • Reira, that place (before-mentioned).

  • Tāwāhi, tarawāhi, the other side (of a river or valley).

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  • Tua, the other side (of a hill, house, etc.).

  • Tātahi, the sea shore (as opposed to places inland).

  • Uta, the inland (as opposed to tatahi).

  • Uta, the dry land, the shore (as opposed to the water).

  • Tai, the sea (as opposed to the dry land).

  • Tahaki, the shore (as opposed to the water), one side.

  • Aianei, naianei, the present

  • Aoake, the day before, the day after.

  • Karehā, the day before yesterday, the day after to-morrow.

  • Nahea, what time (past).

  • Nanahi, yesterday.

  • Napō, last night.

  • Namata, the past time, long ago.

  • Nehe, nehera, the ancient times.

  • Pahaki, the near distance.

  • Raurangi, another time, another day (past or future).

  • Tahirā, the day after tomorrow, the day before yesterday.

  • Taitua, the further side (of a solid body).

  • Tawhiti, the distance, a distance.

§ 9. Nominal prefix

.—i. The particle a is used before the names of persons or months* and the pronouns wai and mea,

(a) When they stand as subject in a sentence, or are repeated by way of explanation.

  • He rangatira a Tāreha, Tareha is a chief.

  • E mahi ana a Turi, Turi is working.

  • Ka hoki taua tangata a Kupe, The man, Kupe, returned.

(b) When they follow any of the prepositions ki, i, hei, kei; but not when they follow ko (§§12, 37), or any of the prepositions a, o, ma, mo, na, no, e, me. (§§ 15, 16.)

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  • Ki a Titore, to Titore.

  • Kei a Wahanui, in Wahanui's possession.

  • No Paikea, belonging to Paikea.

  • Ma Ruatapu, for Ruatapu.

ii. It is used with personal pronouns (except ahau, though au follows the rule) only when they follow the prepositions ki, i, hei, kei; or when they are repeated by way of explanation; not ordinarily when they stand as subject in a sentence.

  • He kupu na Rangi ki a koe, a word from Rangi to you.

  • Haere mai ki ahau, come to me.

  • A wai? Who? A koe. Thou.

Obs. The nominal prefix is generally unaccented; but when any of the singular personal pronouns, au (not ahau), koe, ia, thus follows one of the prepositions, ki, i, hei, kei, the pronoun is unaccented, and the accent is thrown back on a, thus Kei à ia. I à koe.

iii. It is also used with the name of a place or a local noun (§ 8), only when it stands as subject in a sentence, or is repeated by way of explanation.

  • He mānia a Kaingaroa, Kaingaroa is a plain.

  • A hea? A Kaingaroa. What place? Kaingaroa.

  • Ka wera a waho, the outside is burnt.

§ 10. Ma.

When any person is spoken of in connexion with others whom it is not necessary to specify put ma after the name, thus:

Kahutia ma, Kahutia and his companions, or Kahutia and the others.

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Also when addressing more persons than one it may be used with the different forms of address, thus:
  • E hoa ma! Friends!

With the pronouns wai? and mea (§ 6) it makes a dual or plural.
  • A wai ma? Who? (pl.).

  • A mea ma, such and such persons.

§ 11.

When a number of persons or things are enumerated severally, the particle or preposition that is used with the first should be repeated with each of those that follow.

Nga rangatira o Rotorua, o Rotoiti, o Tarawera; the chiefs of Rotorua, Rotoiti, and Tarawera.

§ 12.

When speaking of a number of persons collectively use a dual or plural pronoun, as the case may be, followed by the name or names of the additional persons, introducing each name with the specific particle, ko; but if the names are preceded by a preposition, the preposition will not be repeated.

  • Maua ko Ripi, Ripi and I.

  • Koutou ko Ripi, ko Maui, You and Ripi, and Maui.

  • Ki a korua ko Heke. To you and Heke.

When names are enumerated in the third person, one of the names must precede the pronoun unless one of them has been previously mentioned.

  • A Ripi raua ko Haokai, Ripi and Haokai.

  • Ki a Haokai ratou ko Ripi ma, to Haokai, Ripi and the others.

  • Ko wai ma era? Ko Ripi ratou ko Pau, ko Maui. Who are those? Ripi and Pau and Maui.

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§ 13.

When nouns are in apposition (i.e., when a second noun is added to explain the first), repeat the preposition, etc., of the first noun with the second, and place the most general noun first, the most particular afterwards.

  • Ma tona tupuna, ma Pau, for his grandfather Pau.

In this example, tona tupuna is a more general term than Pau, and it therefore stands first: and the preposition ma is repeated with the particular name, Pau.

§ 14. Common Nouns as Adjectives.

—Any common noun may be used as an adjective, indicating material, purpose, etc. (§ 23).

  • He whare kowhatu, a stone house.

  • He rua kumara, a pit for kumara.

  • He tunga whare, a site for a house.

* The names of the days of the week are treated like common nouns; but always take the definite article te.