The Connection between Language Communities and Language Schools

Chitwood, Sarah
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An architectural sense of place is difficult to comprehend in a multifaceted, complex environment, stemming from the interconnection between cultural identity and architectural identity. Is there a new perspective in which we can examine the relationship between culture and architecture? Language is embedded in culture, and by understanding how language affects culture and architecture, a new way to design utilizing culture through the perspective of language will emerge. Hawai‘i is the perfect example of an eclectic environment with a variety of language communities and a diverse cultural setting in which to reexamine what it means to design with an architectural identity. This linguistic diversity has led to the establishment of a number of language schools on O‘ahu. Language schools are an important resource for many language communities aiming to pass their ancestral languages to the next-generation living in Hawai‘i. Language demographics are a powerful tool in understanding complex and diverse cultures. These demographics will be used to analyze and categorize different language schools throughout the island. This demographic data will later be used to provide an insight into what is successful or unsuccessful about each school and its language community, which can subsequently be developed as a design program. This research will culminate in the development of a language center or centers proposed will give emerging language communities their own space to preserve their ancestral languages, and will also look to future language groups by providing them with a resource and space to maintain their language.
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