"Where is the hot rice?"
Translation:Aia i hea ka laiki wela?
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Aia is a word that starts sentences for location. Aia has no meaning in English but if it helps you out, you can consider it to mean "to be located". Shhh - a little secret: it is an optional word, but taking it out means totally rearranging the words in the sentence.
The most common syntax would be - Aia + the noun + the prepositional phrase of location.
When you include the question word for where - hea - then that prepositional phrase can get moved to position 2.
Aia + i hea / ma hea + the noun ?
Aia + the noun + i hea ? is less common but possible. They're flexible.
Are you sure it said "mo" and not "ma"? I refer you to kelii's excellent explanation of how to use "aia". From what I understand talking to long time speakers, "Aia i hea..." is the most common construct, but it's possible to switch order as well as use "ma hea."
They use both interchangeably, and even say for "this question" that "the ʻami “ma” and “i” are interchangeable."
That doesn't mean they always are, though. I have heard some discussions about whether "i" and "ma" are precisely equivalent or not in general. I imagine to a certain extent it depends on the person and their background. They might be used differently in a more complex sentence, where "i" has multiple meanings while "ma" pretty much always means the same thing.
But for this kind of construct, my understanding is "Aia i hea" and "Aia ma hea" are in fact equivalent.