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First Lessons in Maori

§ 17. Definitives

§ 17. Definitives

are those words which define or determine the force of the nouns to which they are applied. The name includes what are commonly called articles, demonstrative adjectives, possessive pronouns, and the possessive cases of nouns.

A definitive in Polynesian differs grammatically from an adjective in that it stands immediately before, while the adjective stands after, the word to which it refers.

In a Maori sentence every common noun will normally be preceded by a definitive, and by one only.*