Perhaps the "i" is acting as a causative, meaning "because of" - The farmer's thirst is quenched because of the water. (Hawaiian Grammar, page 134). Also kena is a stative verb here. Kena here is a stative verb
No, Mojave. Kena means to quench, so the farmer quenches, and then "i" indicates "the water"... I was trying to get "with" out of that. Being too literal, I guess. Making it harder than it needs to be. But if ma means "with", I now wonder if Kena ka mahiʻai ma ka wai" is horribly, terribly wrong? Anyone? Edit: Me, not ma, for "with." Oops
I think "i" and "ma" are just prepositions that don't always translate the same way into English. The hover-over tip gives "by" as a translation for "i", but in English we don't say "quench our thirst by water", we say "with water". "I ka wai" would be literally "by the water", but contextually it means "with water" here.
In my notes (based on the Mango Languages Hawaiian course), I have "i" as the "direct and indirect object marker used before nouns" and "ma" as "commonly used for time and location prepositions; cannot replace 'i' in direct and indirect object phrases". Based on that, "ma ka wai" is wrong here.
Hopefully that helps.
Pukui and Elbert insist that "kena" is "BE quenched/satisfied, of thirst," and give only "quenched," = "kena," no "quench," in the E-H section of their dictionary. But "mahi'ai" is clearly in subject position in the sentence so it is hard to understand why "kena" doesn't simply mean "quench/satisfy (one's) thirst." Maybe because that wording doesn't work well for "inu a kena"?
I think 'The farmer quenches his thirst with water', would be.
E kena ka mahi'ai kona make wai me ka wai.
Quenched the farmer his thirst with water.
'me' is with. 'make wai' is thirt or 'water desire'.
Nā puke wehewehe, i have found, is a great dictionary for Hawaiian.
http://www.olelo.hawaii.edu/olelo/hoolele101/index.php This is a site for Audio tracks teaching Hawaiian, very helpful.
"The farmer is quenched by water" was not accepted. What else BUT his thirst would be quenched?