Hawaiian Influence on
Hawaiʻi Creole English
(HCE) Intonation
Kelly Murphy
University of Calgary
SALSA XX Symposium
University of Texas
Hawaiian Influence on HCE
Intonation
 Hawaiʻi Creole English (HCE) has a falling Yes/No
Question intonation.
 Many languages in contact in HawaiʻiWhere does HCE get this intonation structure?
Timeline
 800 AD (or earlier) Hawaiian Islands settled by Native Hawaiians
 1778 Captain Cook arrives
 1820-1880’s
 Whaling Era (Roberts, 1998) (Siegel, 2001)
 Mid 1800’s-1940’s
 Plantation Labor
 Languages and Cultures in Contact





Hawaiian
Portuguese
Chinese
Japanese
English
Substrate Influence Hawaiian
Imprint
 Siegel (2001) credits Portuguese and Cantonese as
dominating languages during the stabilization of HCE due to
large populations at the time.
 Hawaiian language not credited as a substantial contributor
due to decrease in Hawaiian population during stabilization
(suggested by Siegel)
 Speaker Intuition suggesting Pidgin and Hawaiian similar
intonation
Founder’s Effect
 “…in terms of lasting impact, activities of a few
hundred, or even a few score, initial colonizers can
mean much more for the cultural geography of a place
than the contributions of tens of thousands of new
immigrants a few generations later.”
(Zelinsky, 1973)
Mufwene (2007) applied same principle to explain creole
genesis. Structure predetermined by the
characteristics of the founding population.
Hawaiian Question Intonation
 Hawaiian has falling Yes/No Question Intonation
 Question and statement sentence structure is the same- the
intonation is what changes
Statement:
 Kapu kaʻaina ma Kona.
The land in Kona is sacred.
Question:
 Kapu kaʻaina ma Kona?
Is the land in Kona sacred?
Hawaiian Statement
Hawaiian Yes/No Question
Hawaiian Yes/No Question and
Statement
Hawaiian Data Sources
 Clinton Kanahele Collection (BYU)
 University of Hilo, HAW 101 podcast
 Youtube videos, Ahonui Mims Learning Hawaiian
 KSDL Online Hawaiian Lessons
HCE Question Intonation
 Striking Falling Yes/No Question intonation
 HCE is an English lexified creole, but has retained the
imprint of substrate language intonation (Hawaiian)
 Examples taken from Anykine Kine podcast as well as
Youtube videos, interviews
HCE Yes/No Question
HCE Yes/No Question
HCE Yes/No Question
HCE Data Sources
 Anykine Kine Podcast
 HPU Students Guess Who? Game
 KSDL
 Ahonui Mims Living Aloha Spirit
 Lee Tonouchi, ‘da pidgin guerilla’
 Full on Pidgin, archived
 Youtube videos
Comparing Hawaiian, HCE,
and English
 Hawaiian Yes/No Question
 Starts higher, peaks at the end to emphasize the fall,
showing a more dramatic fall
 HCE Yes/No Question
 Starts higher, peaks at the end to emphasize the fall,
showing a more dramatic fall
Yes/No?
Wh-?
Tag
Echo
Hawaiian
Falling
Falling
Rise/Fall
Fall
HCE
Falling
Falling
Rise/Fall
Fall
English
Rising
Falling
Rise
Rise
Why Hawaiian?
 Why Hawaiian and not:
 Portuguese? Rising Intonation in Yes/No Questions
(Vigario and Frota, 2003 )
 Chinese? Tonal Language, global raising and final rise.
No terminal fall (Ma, Ciocca, and Whitehill, 2006)
 English? (Gussenhoven, 2004), no slump exists in
English, English Echo questions invariably rise (Hirst, Di
Cristo, 1998) Hawaiian Echo questions fall as well as
HCE.
Implications of Study
 Substrate Influence because:
 Universalist theory would predict raising Yes/No Question




intonation
Hawaiian recognized as substantial contributor to HCE
Answer question about HCE intonation that has been
implied by speaker intuition
Language Identity
Provide much needed documentation of Hawaiian and
HCE intonation structure
Conclusion
 Hawaiian has influenced HCE with Yes/No Question
intonation
 Future studies
 Language identity and attitudes
 Questions?
References

Anykine Kine. Podcast, San Francisco. 12 February 2006. Retrieved on 23 Mar 2006,

Clinton Kanahele Collection, Brigham Young University. Retrieved January 2012.

Full on pidgin. (n.d.). Retrieved Mar. 23, 2006, from Full On Pidgin Web site: http://www.extreme-hawaii.com/pidgin/vocab/.

Gussenhoven, C. (2004) The Phonology of tone and intonation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Hirst, D., Di Cristo, A. (1998) Intonation Systems: A Survey of twenty languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Kulaiwi.(2005) Kamehameha Schools Distance Learning. Online Hawaiian language lessons. Retrieved Mar. 26, 2006, from http://ksdl.ksbe.edu/kulaiwi/.

Ma, J. K-Y., Ciocca, V., & Whitehill, T. L. (2006). The effect of intonation on Cantonese lexical tones. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 120 (6), 39783987.

Mufwene, Salikoko (2007). The ecology of language evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Roberts, S. J. (1998) The role of diffusion in the genesis of Hawaiian Creole. Language 74 (1)

Siegel, J. 2000. Substrate influence in Hawai'i Creole English. Language in Society 29 (2), 197-236.

Vigário, Marina & Sónia Frota. 2003. The intonation of Standard and Northern European Portuguese. Journal of Portuguese Linguistics 2-2 (Special Issue on
Portuguese Phonology, edited by W. L. Wetzels), 115-137.

Zelinsky, W. (1973) The Cultural Geography of the United States. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.
December 2009, January 2010. http://anykinekine.blogspot.com.
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Hawaiian Influence on HCE Intonation