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Hawaiian

A language of United States

ISO 639-3haw

Population  1,000. 500 with Ni’ihau Island connections, another 500 in their 70s or 80s (1995 L. Wong). 8,000 can speak and understand it (1993 K. Haugen). In 1900 there were 37,000 L1 speakers (1995 Honolulu Advertiser). Census (2000) lists 27,160. Ethnic population: 237,128 in Hawaii (1996 Hawaii State Dept. of Health), 18.8% of the population (1990 Hawaii State Dept. of Health), and 99,269 ethnic Hawaiians on the USA mainland (1990 census), including 24,245 in California. Ethnic Hawaiians include 8,244 pure Hawaiian, 72,809 between 50% and 99% Hawaiian, 127,523 less than 50% Hawaiian in Hawaii (1984 Office of Hawaiian Affairs). In 1778 there were believed to have been more than 500,000 pure Hawaiians (1995 W. Harada).
Region  Hawaiian Islands, mainly Ni’ihau Island, Island of Hawai’i, some on all other islands.
Language map  United States of America, Alaska and Hawaii
Alternate names   ’Olelo Hawai’i, ’Olelo Hawai’i Makuahine
Dialects  Lexical similarity: 79% with Rarotongan [rar], 77% with Tuamotuan [pmt], 76% with Tahitian [tah] (Elbert), 71% with Maori [mri] (Schütz), 70% with Marquesan [mqm], 64% with Rapa Nui [rap].
Classification  Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Central-Eastern, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic, Central-Eastern Oceanic, Remote Oceanic, Central Pacific, East Fijian-Polynesian, Polynesian, Nuclear, East, Central, Marquesic
Language use  Official language in the state of Hawaii. All domains. 500 older adults; children 2 years old and older learn it as L2: 1,000 ages up to 15; 350 ages 15 to 25 (1997 R. Henze). Also use Hawaii Creole English [hce] (Pidgin) or English.
Language development  Punana Leo private schools offer Hawaiian immersion programs (as L2) for about 800 from 2-year-old ethnic Hawaiians up to high school. The University of Hawaii offers a BA in the Hawaiian language. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1838.
Writing system  Latin script.
Comments  VSO. Christian, traditional religion.