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member of the Polynesian group of the Austronesian family of languages. Of the fewer than 10,000 people who speak Hawaiian, only a few hundred are native speakers, but the language is taught in some Hawaiian schools and remains important as a symbol of ethnic identity. It also is an official language of the state of Hawaii. Proto-Polynesian, the parent language of Hawaiian, was spoken in W Polynesia c.1500–1200 B.C. Hawaiian bears significant phonological similarities to the other Polynesian languages; consonant and vowel correspondences among the languages is common. Hawaiian has five long and five short vowels and eight consonants. It differs from most of the other Polynesian languages by its lack of the consonant t, which became k in Hawaiian as it diverged from the parent language.



the language of the Hawaiians, one of the Polynesian languages, which is spoken in the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaiian was spoken by the entire population of the Hawaiian Islands until the beginning of heavy contact with the Europeans and North Americans (early 19th century). Hawaiian had a rich oral literary tradition which gradually began to disappear after the conversion of the population to Christianity (first half of the 19th century), although missionaries managed to transcribe much of it. In the first half of the 19th century the Roman alphabet was adapted to suit Hawaiian, and newspapers in Hawaiian were first published in 1834. After the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands by the USA in 1898, Hawaiian continued to be used by the ethnic group of Hawaiians, which consisted of the descendants of the earlier Polynesian population of the islands, among the prevailing majority of mixed-bloods (total population, approximately 115,000, according to a 1967 estimate). The Hawaiian language is used in everyday life, but many present-day Hawaiians now speak English.


Blinov, A. I. “Iazyki polineziitsev.” In Narody Avstralii i Okeanii. Moscow, 1956.
Pukui, M. K., and S. H. Elbert. Hawaiian-English Dictionary. [Honolulu,] 1957. (With a brief grammatical sketch.)
Pukui, M. K., and S. H. Elbert. Place Names of Hawaii and Supplement to the Third Edition of the Hawaiian-English Dictionary. [Honolulu,] 1966.
Emerson, N. B. Unwritten Literature of Hawaii: The Sacred Songs of the Hula. Washington, 1909.



1. a native or inhabitant of Hawaii, esp one descended from Melanesian or Tahitian immigrants
2. a language of Hawaii belonging to the Malayo-Polynesian family
References in periodicals archive ?
Sahlins recognised very early on the value of the notion of habitus for understanding Polynesian history, noting, for example, that Hawai'ian commoners surrendered the prescriptive dimension of social life (guided by genealogy and mythology) to ruling chiefs so that their lives were
The American Pacific concentrates on the indigenous Hawai'ian literary resurgence and its investment in sovereignty activism.
University of Hawaii political science professor Noenoe Silva, author of the book "Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawai'ian Resistance to American Colonization," will discuss the political movement for Hawaiian sovereignty and the needs of indigenous Hawaiians for self-determination.
In 1997, the 1,218 square nautical miles of coastal and ocean waters around the main Hawai'ian Islands became a National Marine Sanctuary to protect these cetaceans.
State Representative Ezra Kanoho, who chairs the committee on water, land and Hawai'ian affairs, has said in an interview that the contract gave the US-based Diversa exclusive rights to the discoveries based on research on environmental samples collected from Hawai'i's ocean resources.
For American-born Maxine Hong Kingston, this mix of cultures, languages, and images has been inspiring and explosive, and she is quite aware of the power inherent in this volatility: when she writes of the Hawai'ian mountains, translating "Leina-a-ka'uhane" as "place where souls leap off," she admits to feeling "superstitious in breaking kapu [by] saying those names aloud.
Current Hawai'ian claims for reparations are divided into both judicial and legislative claims against both federal and state governments.
In a scene with Paneke, the Hawai'ian wife of one of Cowrie's paternal cousins, the limited omniscient narrator reports that Cowrie realizes the wider implications of claiming ancestry not only for her but also for "all the other mixed-blood Pacific people, and in d eciding what responsibilities lie with this knowledge" (107).
In addition to energy and balance wristbands the company also offers innovative health solutions such as energy tubes, and will be launching additional negative ion products such as necklaces, with Hawai'ian accents, affordable for anyone that wants to feel better and reduce a wide range of physical and emotional ailments and discomfort.
Should you like to go on a Hawai'ian shopping adventure, the retail therapy scene ranges from high end, world-class retailers at The Shops at Wailea and some of the trendier spots in Lahaina to mid-priced shopping at Queen Ka'ahumanu Center in Wailuku and then there is the always funky and fabulous bargain hunting in Kahului, Lahaina and Paia.
Especially those that are the first to see it in this gyre: the Hawai'ian Archipelago and other islands in the North Pacific.
Beginning from a perspective that sees Hawai'i as a subjugated colony of the United States and aims for Native Hawai'ian control of sovereignty, the 15 essays presented here by Fujikane (English, U.