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PSU McNair Scholars Online Journal

Subjects

Hawaiian language, Linguistic minorities -- Government policy, Language maintenance -- Hawaii, Endangered languages -- Hawaii -- Case studies

Abstract

After the illegal overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani in 1893, ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, the language of the Kanaka Maoli, was considered a political and cultural threat to the new Republic of Hawaiʻi. In 1896, Sanford B. Dole signed Act 57 into law, mandating that the “English language shall be the medium and basis of instruction at all public and private schools” (Benham and Heck, 1998). Without the legal right to teach ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi in schools or use it in government, new generations no longer learned the language as their grandparents once did, and therefore the number of native speakers dramatically decreased. In 1978, ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi began to make its way back to the people when the State of Hawaiʻi added ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi as an official language of the state. My research follows the journey of the language, from the ban to the eventual reincarnation, while providing a case study and program evaluation of one of the most successful programs in Hawaiʻi, in terms of language and cultural revitalization. The two goals for this study are: (1) to contribute to the improvement and understanding of the history and future of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi; and (2) to provide an example of a successful program which can be used by other Indigenous cultures as a model for the possible development of an immersion institution.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Samuel Henry

DOI

10.15760/mcnair.2013.143

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/12944

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