Talk:Hawaiian language

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 Definition One of the two official languages in the State of Hawaii [d] [e]


Good start! I think the paragraph opening 'History' would be better as an introduction to the whole article, and it should give some word examples to illustrate reduplication and syllable structure (i.e. the consonant-vowel pattern). Also, the plantation workers: I think many, if not most of them, actually acquired pidgin Hawaiian rather than Hawaiian itself at the time, i.e. they used the vocabulary of Hawaiian, with some changes, as a lingua franca with grammar mostly drawn from elsewhere. Acquisition of Hawaiian itself might have been much later. But I'm not fully familiar with the history. John Stephenson 11:35, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Every source I've looked at says they learned Hawaiian. I've got web sites, textbooks, and a few newspaper articles on the history of the language. I know sources aren't always right, but I'd rather follow the sources until I have evidence otherwise. As far as I know, the pidgin didn't come until the white people owned all the plantations.Drew R. Smith 14:41, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
I've had a look myself, and found that clearly some of the indentured labourers did learn Hawaiian, but for others a pidgin emerged. It seems that originally there were several English-based pidgins brought to Hawaii that were from elsewhere in the Pacific region, alongside Hawaiian and the emerging Hawaiian pidgin. This was around 1835, when the first sugarcane plantation was set up. From about 1852, there was significant Chinese immigration, and later many other groups, and these new workers generally learned Pidgin Hawaiian. Children raised in Hawaii in the later 19th century learned their parents' language first, because workers were segregated by ethnic group. Later, they learned Pidgin Hawaiian, Hawaiian, and some English. Meanwhile, an English-based pidgin emerged in urban areas and later spread. Pidgin Hawaiian died out. I got this from Siegel's 'The Emergence of Pidgin and Creole Languages' (2008), who references Roberts (1995) 'Pidgin Hawaiian: a sociohistorical study' in the Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages. John Stephenson 06:17, 27 June 2009 (UTC)