the particle ai

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dukemasuya
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the particle ai

Postby dukemasuya » 2008-04-24, 13:13

I was wondering if someone could explain the particle "ai". I believe it is called the linking particle or anaphoric particle however it doesn't make any sense to me. If someone could explain that I would really appreciate it. Mahalo in advance!

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Ariki
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Postby Ariki » 2008-04-30, 11:32

Particle ai is by no means very easy to explain.

In most uses it is anaphorical. Anaphoric meaning "to refer back" i.e. ai is left as a trace for when one part of the sentence is shifted to another location.
Linguicide IS genocide. :)

He ingoa ōpaki a Riki; he ingoa ōkawa a Ariki.

Riki is an informal name; Ariki is a formal name.

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Ariki
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Real Name: Tāne
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Country: NZ New Zealand (New Zealand / Aotearoa)

Postby Ariki » 2008-05-16, 14:41

Aloha 'oe e Dukemasuya,

I just watched a presentation of yours on youtube about proper pronunciation of Hawaiian words. Very good!

Um, now that I look at my response I really didn't explain much so I'm going to take a second bite at it. I'm just going to go over some basic uses of ai.
Hopefully Mamo will see this and give an even better answer than I could ever give.

I'm going to run with some examples from Māori that should also work for Hawaiian based on my recollections with conversations with Mamo.

1/Kei kona ngā tāngata i kite ai au

The people who I saware by/with you.

Ai is used frequently used in subordinate clauses. Subordinate clauses occur in complex sentences. If we break down a complex into its underlying sentences we get:

Kei kona ngā tāngata

I kite au i ngā tāngata

If we combine both underlying sentences into one sentence we get:

*Kei kona ngā tāngata i kite au i ngā tāngata

What we do next is then an Equi-NP deletion. There are only two NPs in this sentence and it is the one to the right that is deleted since the VP is subordinate to the main clause.

*Kei kona ngā tāngata i kite au

After deleting the Equi-NP we then leave "ai" as a trace (i.e. as an anaphor) to indicate that a NP has been deleted and that it references the NP that was uttered before it. In this case, ai refers to "ngā tāngata".

Thus,

Kei kona ngā tāngata i kite ai au

I have underlined here what the ai is refering back to after deletion.

So an example of this in Hawaiian would be;

Mā ka hale nā w#257;hine i 'aka mai ai

Which is made up of -

Mā ka hale nā wāhine

*I/Ua 'aka mai nā wāhine

We then combine -

*Mā ka hale nā wāhine i 'aka mai nā wāhine

We then do an Equi-NP deletion -

*Mā ka hale nā wāhine i 'aka mai

Then add ai as a trace -

Mā ka hale nā wāhine i 'aka mai ai

2/Ināhea koe i ara ake ai?

When a time adverbial (including interrogatives) or location is fronted (i.e. brought to the front of the sentence) ai is left as a trace after the VP.

In the above example the underlying sentence is

I ara ake koe ināhea?

When the location or time adverbial is fronted the subject is usually fronted as well. The subject comes after the time adverbial or location.

These two uses of ai are quite frequent in any Polynesian language. I hope these explanations help you.
Linguicide IS genocide. :)

He ingoa ōpaki a Riki; he ingoa ōkawa a Ariki.

Riki is an informal name; Ariki is a formal name.


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