Hawaiian
Language facts sheet by Niklas Jonsson
©1997-1999 POLLI & Niklas Jonsson

A bibliography of works refered to in this file may be found in the Polynesian Literature List.


Country/territory where spoken
Hawai'i

Geographical region
Formerly all inhabited Hawaiian Islands; presently mainly Ni'ihau Island and the Big Island of Hawai'i.

Language codes
HAW (POLLI); HWI (Grimes 1996: Ethnologue); HAW (Biggs 1971)

Alternate language names
Hawai'i

Genetic affiliation
Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Central Pacific, Eastern Fiji-Polynesian, Polynesian, Nuclear Polynesian, East Polynesian, Central Polynesian, Marquesic

Hawaiian speaking population
2,000 mother tongue speakers in Hawai'i (Lilikala Dorton 1987), 0.2% of the Hawaiian population; 2,000 total or more. 200,000 to 220,000 ethnic Hawaiians live in Hawai'i, out of which 8,000 are pure Hawaiians and 81,000 at least half Hawaiian (Honolulu Star Bulletin 1987). 24,245 ethnic Hawaiians live in California (Honolulu Star Bulletin 1990).

Status of language
Official language (together with English) in the American state of Hawai'i.

Media
There are newspapers in Hawaiian.

Alphabet
A, E, I, O, U, ', H, P, K, L, M, N, W.

Word order typology
VSO

Remarks
79% lexical similarity with Rarotongan, 77% with Tuamotuan, 76% with Tahitian (Ethnologue), 71% with Maori (Ethnologue). Formerly Hawaiian was spoken throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Almost all speakers are bilingual in Hawai'i Creole English (pidgin), and many in Standard English. The University of Hawai'i offers a BA in the Hawaiian language. Punana Leo private schools are offered in Hawaiian for 2-year-old ethnic Hawaiians through elementary school.

Data last updated
16 December 1998



SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY - HAWAIIAN

ELBERT, SAMUEL H./KEALA, SAMUEL A.
1961 (3rd edition). Conversational Hawaiian. Honolulu

ELBERT, SAMUEL H./PUKUI, MARY KAWENA.
1979. Hawaiian Grammar

ELBERT, SAMUEL H./PUKUI, MARY KAWENA.
1986. Hawwaiian Dictionary. Honolulu. University of Hawaii Press

KAHANANUI, D.M/ANTHONY, A.P.
1970. E kama'ilio hawai'i kakou (Let's speak Hawaiian). Honolulu. University of Hawai'i Press

[TRAD.].
1838. The Bible

[TRAD.].
1832-1836. New Testament

[TRAD.].
1828-1976. Portions of the Bible



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