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"How many eyeglasses does Kaleo have?"

Translation:ʻEhia makaaniani o Kaleo?

September 22, 2019

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RossGee1

Shouldn't this be "How many pairs of eyeglasses...''?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eliza727459

Both are correct, "pairs of" is often left out in conversation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarinLynn1

Would "aia 'ehia..." be redundant, or why is it incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KiUlv
  • 1211

aia is a location marker, like "where is..." Since this question is about possession and not location, aia doesn't go here


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GaryKaHaumana

Can somebody comment on why “o” instead of “a”. Eyeglasses would seem to me to be a prime example of an a-class possession. Maybe it’s considered part of your body?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KarinLynn1

Kino o for clothes maybe?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GaryKaHaumana

Yes, I think that's the right idea, but looking this up brings out an interesting nuance. In

https://hawaiian-grammar.org/current/#h.lcxbmqnx2d57

we have some examples, and though eyeglasses are not specifically mentioned they would seem to fit the "close contact with the body" category and thus "o". However, look at this interesting note they add:

"Note that an object is O-Class when you own and control it but it is an A-Class when you are going to give it to someone else, or it’s in your possession but you are going to transfer possession to someone else." (Wilson 1976: 39-50)

This says to me that eyeglasses could actually be in either class. In this exact sentence, the most natural interpretation seems to be that we are talking about how many pairs of glasses Kaleo owns; thus, the "o" class "close contact with the body" clause would seem to apply. On the other hand, if you are actually saying Kaleo has a bunch of eyeglasses that he's going to sell in his shop, then "a" class would apply.

Fascinating language, this!

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