LINGUIST List 21.2431|
Wed Jun 02 2010
Qs: Negation in Hawai'ian
Editor for this issue: Danielle St. Jean
We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate.
In addition to posting a summary, we'd like to remind people that it is usually a good idea to personally thank those individuals who have taken the trouble to respond to the query.
To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at http://linguistlist.org/LL/posttolinguist.cfm.
Negation in Hawai'ian
Message 1: Negation in Hawai'ian
From: Ljuba Veselinova <ljubaling.su.se>
Subject: Negation in Hawai'ian
E-mail this message to a friend
I am working on negative existentials in Polynesian languages. Right
now I'm trying to sort out the uses of the two main negation markers in
Hawai'ian, the standard negation 'a'ole and the negative existential
'a'ohe. I was told that they are completely interchangeable in all
contexts. However, I wonder if this is entirely true.
In the grammars I consulted (Elbert and Pukui, 1979, Hawkins, 1982,
Judd, 1978, Kahananui and Anthony, 1975), I found examples where
the perfective marker ua is replaced by the standard negator 'a'ole plus
i when negated.
(1) Hawai'ian (Elbert and Pukui, 1979: 142)
Ua hele ke kanaka
PFV go DET man
'The man has (just now) gone.'
(2) Hawai'ian (Elbert and Pukui, 1979: 142)
'a'ole i hele ke kanaka
NEG PFV.NEG go DET man
'The man did not go.'
My first question is about (2) above - it is possible to use the negative
existential 'a'ohe instead of the 'a'ole? If yes, does the use of 'a'ohe
lead to any difference in meaning - stylistic or something else?
The negative existential 'a'ohe appears to be used in a negated verbal
sentence when the perfectivity/completeness of the action has been
indicated by the o-possessive constructions:
(3) Hawai'ian (Elbert and Pukui, 1979: 142)
'o kō lāua hele akula nō ia
SUBJ POSS 3.DU go DIR indeed then
'The two then went.'
(4) Hawai'ian (Kahananui and Anthony, 1975: 372)
'a'ohe o lakou hana
NEG.EX POSS 3.PL work
'They didn’t work.'
It appears to be used with negated modal meaning as well:
(5) Hawai'ian (Kahananui and Anthony, 1975: 346)
'a'ohe o'u 'ike/lohe au iā ia
NEG.EX 1.SG.POSS see/hear I OBJ 3SG
'I can’t see/hear him/her.'
My questions about (4) and (5) above are as follows:
- Is it possible to use 'a'ole instead of ’a’ohe in any of these sentences?
- If yes, is there any kind of difference between the use of 'a'ole instead
of 'a'ohe or is there any known preference for one over the other?
Any pointers to literature or language experts who can help me with
information on this issue will be greatly appreciated. I will post a
summary if there is any interest.
Many thanks in advance and my best wishes,
Elbert, Samuel H., and Pukui, Mary Kawena. 1979. Hawaiian Grammar.
Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. [Reprinted in 2001].
Hawkins, Emily A. 1982. Pedagogical Grammar of Hawaiian. Honolulu:
Hawaiian Studies Program-University of Hawai'i at Manoa.
Judd, Henry P. 1978. The Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian-English
Dictionary. Honolulu: Hawaiian Service Inc.
Kahananui, Dorothy M., and Anthony, Alberta P. 1975. E Kama'ilio
Hawai'i Kakou (Let's Speak Hawaiian). Honolulu: The University Press
of Hawaii. [Reprinted in 1975].
Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue
Page Updated: 02-Jun-2010
While the LINGUIST List makes every effort to ensure the linguistic relevance of sites listed
on its pages, it cannot vouch for their contents.