Where Is the Hawaiian Language Headed? A Phonetic Study

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2005-03-01
Authors
Piccolo, Fabiana
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University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics
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2005
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Abstract
The struggle for the revitalization of the Hawaiian language, although valuable and necessary, has so far either neglected or insufficiently taken into account one important issue: the existence of various dialects of Hawaiian. The aim of the present study is to characterize the vowels of two of these dialects, Ni‘ihauan and the University of Hawai‘i (UH), on the basis of phonetic evidence. The first dialect is a natural continuation of the variety spoken on the island of Ni‘ihau, in that the Hawaiian language was never banned there, as opposed to the rest of the islands, where it was. The latter dialect evolved from that spoken on the Big Island. Although both dialects have native and non-native speakers, most of the speakers of UH Hawaiian are non non-native speakers whose first language is English. The present study compares the pronunciation of Hawaiian vowels by a native speaker of the Ni‘ihauan dialect with that of a fluent (but non-native) speaker of UH Hawaiian whose first language is English. Phonetic charts of the vowels of both varieties of the language are compared to show the possible influence of English on the UH form.
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linguistics
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Piccolo, Fabiana. 2005. Where Is the Hawaiian Language Headed? A Phonetic Study. University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Working Papers in Linguistics 36(1).
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Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike License
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