Hawaiian Languages Of Native Languages

919 WordsJun 20, 20164 Pages
As a child, around the age of five, I became friends with the children of a family that had just moved to our neighborhood from Hawaii. The parents would occasionally make statements in a language that the children could not speak. I realize now that they were making these statements in Hawaiian, although they did not speak the language fluently, and their children did not speak the language at all. Unfortunately, this loss of language from one generation to the next has been quite common in Hawaii since the early nineteen-hundreds when the influence of the United States resulted in institutionalized language death. Hawaiian language, also known as Ōlelo Hawai‘I, is a Marquesic language related to other Oceanic languages of the Eastern Malayo-Polynesian group in the Austronesian language family. Hawaiian is a language with no known dialects, however, some linguists note that there is a slight distinction between Hawaiian spoken throughout the islands, and Hawaiian spoken at the university. The language is named, “Hawaiian,” after the group of islands where it was first developed and recognized; Hawaii is a volcanic archipelago located in the Central Pacific, hence the language relation to other Oceanic languages (UCLA, Language Materials Project). Previous to the influence of the United States, there were a reported 400,000 to 800,000 Native Hawaiian speakers living in Hawaii. Hawaiian developed as a solely oral language, with a rich tradition of storytelling and music.

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