Ke mau nei nō nā leo kūpuna : he papahana noiʻi no ke kiʻa hopunaʻōlelo e like me kona hoʻopuka ʻia e nā kūpuna

Kneubuhl, Hina Puamohala
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2014]
Starting Page
Ending Page
Alternative Title
The difficulties faced by second language learners seeking to develop communicative competence in Hawaiian language today are largely due to the fact that there are very few native speakers of the language left and the majority of learners have relatively little to no contact with them. Yet, the maintenance of unique aspects of Hawaiian language and worldview depends on learners developing some level of competence. This thesis explores ways in which the study of the grammar of native speech, through the use of archival audio recordings, can glean insights that both aid learners in developing communicative competence and help to preserve the unique aspects of the language. It does so by focusing on a fundamental grammar pattern called the kiʻa hopunaʻōlelo (KHO), which has been likened to the gerund in English, but has a more extensive use in Hawaiian. The driving questions are: 1) With what level of diversity did native speakers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries use the KHO? 2) What does this tell us about language use norms and Hawaiian worldview? 3) How does their diversity of use compare with what is taught about the pattern in today's popular language learning texts Ka Lei Haʻaheo and Na Kai ʻEwalu? The data collected show a high level of diversity of use of the KHO by native speakers. Insights gleaned regarding worldview are discussed, as are instances where a negative shift from English could be occurring in students' use of certain forms of the pattern. Analysis of texts shows that although they do deliver some of the forms of the pattern most commonly used by native speakers, it is but a small portion of the overall diversity observed. Such a finding is not unexpected, but is problematic in light of the current situation of Hawaiian language, i.e. low numbers of native speakers and their limited involvement in revitalization. Exposure to native speech in some form is critical in order for students to build a more nuanced understanding of the pattern and the ability to use it in a wide variety of contexts. Without this, the forms of the KHO in the texts could become regularized and a portion of the pattern's diversity lost over time. For students with limited or no access to native speakers, the use of recorded material from Hawaiian language audio archives presents a viable option.
M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
communicative competence, second language learners, Hawaiian language, archival audio recordings
Geographic Location
Time Period
Related To
Theses for the degree of Master of Arts (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Hawaiian.
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.
Rights Holder
Email if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.