Nhsc-v1-190

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nhsc-v1-190

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(for example, ku-mu would spell kumu, a type of fish, in contrast to kumu, "teacher"). A dash between vowels indicated a pronunciation including long vowels, an 'okina, or both (for example, pa-u would spell pa'u, "riding skirt," in contrast to pau, "finished"). An apostrophe between vowels indicated an 'okina (for example, ka'i would spell ka'i, "move in a procession," in contrast to kai, "sea"). 22/ These practices became more frequent in publications by Hawaiians as time went on, and the inaccuracy of the original spelling system lost some of its force. It was not until 1957, however, with the publication of the Puku'i-Elbert dictionary, that a systematic and accurate recording of long vowels and 'okina in the lexicon of Hawaiian occurred. The Puku'i-Elbert dictionary, now the standard reference for the Hawaiian language, marks the 'okina with a sinqle open quote (also described as an inverted comma) and long vowels with a macron, following standard practice adopted previously in other parts of Polynesia. Table 64 illustrates some words always distinguished in Hawaiian pronunciation, but only consistently distinguished in Hawaiian writing since 1957.

The inclusion of the 'okina and kahako (macron) into the Hawaiian writing system improved the missionaries' original alphabet. Unfortunately, it arrived too late to impact a good number of old Hawaiian names and archaic terms. Hawaiians today can only guess at the correct pronunciation of these, due to the loss of authoritative knowledge prior to recordation in the improved spelling system. Hawaiians are also losing the pronunciation of words and even family names, since those who are knowledgeable about them are not taught to record them in the modern spelling system.

Although the addition of the 'okina and the kahako have greatly improved the missionary orthography, much work remains to be done in the area of Hawaiian spelling. The missionaries established a basic alphabet, while questions of word divisions, capitalization, punctuation, and related matters were never adequately addressed. Standardization is still needed in these areas as the assignment of the 'okina and kahako has varied even within editions cf the Puku'i-Elbert dictionary. The use of 'okina and kahako is becoming standard in published material today, although many older speakers are still more familiar with the unmarked missionary alphabet. Within the English language publications, the use of the 'okina and kahako is a sign of accuracy and positive respect towards Hawaiian culture. Unfortunately, many Ehqlish speakers have a very poor attitude toward the importance of spelling Hawaiian words with anything resembling the care they give to the spelling of English, and this attitude has even rubbed off on many younger English-speaking Hawaiians. 23/

As the Hawaiian writing system expanded from the time of the first missionary contact, so too Hawaiian vocabulary has continued to expand. The Hawaiian medium schools served as a stimulus for the development of terminology useful in discussing topics such as biology and mathematics, while the civic life of Hawaiians resulted in a large body cf vocabulary related to law and politics. The expanded vocabulary of Hawaiian included terms developed by Hawaiian newspapermen in reporting World War I and World War II, linguistic terminology developed in modern monolingual language classes at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo, and expanded terms for modern gadgetry developed by the Ni'ihau community.

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