Nhsc-v1-174

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nhsc-v1-174

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of O'ahu describes Kahiki, a term used for all lands outside of Hawai'i:

Ua 'ike ho'i au la Kahiki
He moku leo paha'oha'o wale Kahiki
...
'A'ohe o Kahiki kanaka
Ho'okahi o Kahiki kanaka - he Haole 2/


I have seen Kahiki
Kahiki is an island with a puzzling language
...
Kahiki has no people
Except for one kind - foreigners

Many Hawaiian */ families trace part of their ancestry to voyagers from these foreign lands called Kahiki. Regular sound correspondence between k in Hawaiian with t in other Polynesian languages supports an identification of at least one Kahiki with Tahiti. Linguistic analysis of Hawaiian supports a theory that the language has its closest relatives in the Marquesas, Society, and other island groups of French Polynesia, some two thousand miles to the south. There still remains a certain amount of mutual intelligibility between Hawaiian and other Eastern Polynesian languages such as Tahitian, Cook Islands Maori, and New Zealand Maori, as shown in Table 59. (All tables appear at the end of the chapter).

The similarity among Polynesian languages has been overemphasized by casual observers who have erroneously claimed that Hawaiian and other

Polynesians all speak but "dialects" of a single language. 3/ Linguists generally accept distinct languages {as opposed to dialects) as having more than 70 percent of their basic vocabulary as cognate. Hawaiian shares 56 percent of its basic vocabulary with Marquesan and only 46 percent with Tahitian, the two languages most closely related to Hawaiian, according to linguists. Given the independent status of the Hawaiian language, it is notable that Hawaiians and other Polynesians in the independent nations of the South Pacific readily recognize the relationship among their languages and put much emphasis on this even in official government business between Hawai'i and their countries.

Unlike New Zealand Maori and Marquesan, which exhibit a number of rather different dialects, differences within Hawaiian are quite minor and were probably never much greater than today. The lack of major dialect differentiation within Hawaiian can be attributed in part to the lack of stable groupings of people, such as tribes or clans, in the traditional political system. In pre-contact times, there was continuous interchange among the various lineages across the whole island chain and constant redefinition of political boundaries across districts and islands. Tradition mentions an individual from the island of Hawai'i named Kalaunuiohua who nearly succeeded in conquering the entire island chain at one time. 4/ Usually, however, Maui controlled the neighboring islands of Moloka'i, Laha'i, and Kaho'olawe, with Hawai'i and O'ahu as separate units, and Kaua'i controlling neighboring Ni'ihau. The greatest contrasts in speech within Hawaiian are between

*/ Mr. Kimura uses the term "Hawaiian" in the same way that "native Hawaiian" is used in the majority of this Report; that is, to signify those persons who have any amount of the blood of those who inhabited the Hawaiian Islands prior to 1778.

-p174-

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