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Ka Leo Hawaiʻi tapes and the regenesis of Hawaiian

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Title: Ka Leo Hawaiʻi tapes and the regenesis of Hawaiian
Issue Date: 12 Mar 2015
Description: Ka Leo Hawaiʻi was the name of a weekly Hawaiian language radio program that was initiated in 1971 by a small committee of the Hui Aloha ʻĀina Tuahine, a Hawaiian student club of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. As the faculty advisor of that Hawaiian student club between 1971 - 1989, I served as the host and producer of Ka Leo Hawaiʻi for sixteen years from 1972 - 1988. The major purpose of the program was to broadcast live Native Hawaiian speech from among Hawaiʻi's last Native Hawaiian speakers, most of whom were in their senior years. Today, we estimate less than 30 Native Hawaiian speakers remaining, outside of the 250 or so Hawaiian speakers from the privately owned island of Niʻihau. The 417 radio programs were tape recorded onto 7 inch reels entailing approximately 320 Native Hawaiian speaking guests, totaling over 525 hours of audio recording. The interview format focused mainly on the Hawaiian lifestyle of the native speakers. Time was also given to the radio audience to phone in and converse with the guest speakers in Hawaiian.

The Ka Leo Hawaiʻi repository was digitized in 1995. The present concern is to upgrade the audio quality of the collection with current technology and to make available a Ka Leo Hawaiʻi digital audio library to the public. My paper will focus on specific areas of language behavior excerpted from the Ka Leo Hawaiʻi repository to promote native-like language fluency when for all practical purposes live interaction with the few living native Hawaiian speakers is not viable for over 10,000 or more second language learners of Hawaiian who have now become the critical link for regenerating new Hawaiian native speakers.

The following are a few types of language behavior that I will review using short audio examples and transcription.

a. Exchange of greetings (from simple to more colorful)
b. Language used in the domain of prayer
c. The expression of Hawaiian riddling and responding
d. Language of inquiry and response, in the context, for example, of introducing a guest with the cultural focus on place and family
e. Relating a brief story, personal or traditional
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/25329
Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Appears in Collections:4th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)



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