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Impacts of Hawaiian language loss and promotion via the linguistic landscape

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Item Summary

Title: Impacts of Hawaiian language loss and promotion via the linguistic landscape
Authors: Townsend, Claire Martin
Keywords: Indigenous health experts
Issue Date: Aug 2014
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2014]
Abstract: Social factors, such as cultural trauma via colonization, are increasingly being examined as important determinants of health. The decline in the Hawaiian language is an aspect of cultural trauma for Native Hawaiians. Indigenous health experts argue that revitalizing the Hawaiian language promotes positive self-esteem and cultural identity. True revitalization of the Hawaiian language involves promoting its use in the broader community. A bilingual linguistic landscape (BLL) may promote the Hawaiian language throughout Hawaiʻi, improve its status, and increase Native Hawaiians' connection to their culture.
This dissertation research aims to: 1) through focus groups, describe the impact of Hawaiian language decline on Native Hawaiians and their views on the impact of a BLL, 2) through focus group data and relevant literature, identify key constructs related to support for a BLL and modify a survey to accurately measure those constructs, and 3) through survey administration, describe attitudes toward the Hawaiian language and toward the creation of a BLL.
Focus group participants believed that learning the language strengthens their cultural identity, self-esteem, and the Hawaiian community, and that a BLL would improve the status of the Hawaiian language and Native Hawaiian health. A survey was modified to measure socio-demographic (e.g., age, ethnicity), attitudinal (e.g., support for a BLL), and behavioral (e.g., participation in the Hawaiian language) variables. This survey was administered to a random sample of 260 adult residents of Hawaiʻi. The results indicate that Hawaiʻi residents, regardless of ethnicity, have positive attitudes toward the Hawaiian language and support the idea of creating a BLL. Constructs significantly associated with this support were Hawaiian language skills, American identity, belief in the impact of a bilingual signs on the Hawaiian language and Native Hawaiian health, and belief in the importance of Hawaiian language perpetuation.
This research improves the understanding of how language loss has influenced Native Hawaiians and their perceptions of the impact of a bilingual linguistic landscape. The most influential factors in determining support for bilingual signs among adult residents of Hawaiʻi are attitudes, which are malleable. This has promising implications for state-wide Hawaiian language promotion campaigns.
Description: D.P.H. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/100360
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:D.P.H. - Public Health



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