Pidgin Hawaiian

Pidgin Hawaiian is an extinct contact language spoken mainly in the Kingdom of Hawai'i in the last quarter of the 19th century, derived from earlier L2 varieties of Hawaiian. It was the primary means of communication in the sugar industry (primarily between speakers of Hawaiian, English, Chinese, Portuguese, and Japanese) prior to the rise of Hawai'i Pidgin English (the forerunner of Hawai'i Creole, described in APiCS by Viveka Velupillai) in that social context. The growing utility of the Anglophone pidgin eventually restricted Pidgin Hawaiian to interactions involving native speakers of Hawaiian by the second quarter of the 20th century. Because this is an extinct language, lectal boundaries are unclear. However data utilized in the documentation of Pidgin Hawaiian in APiCS reflect clear stylistic differences. Pidgin Hawaiian when used as the medium of court testimony tended to be more formal than the form appearing in newspapers (which more frequently attested salient basilectal features and reflected a much more reduced vocabulary). Since court testimony was much more prolific than other written sources, the representation of Pidgin Hawaiian in APiCS is skewed towards more mesolectal or acrolectal varieties. Newspaper sources on the other hand may have employed basilectal exaggeration, increasing the frequency of distinctive pidgin features. Also the Pidgin Hawaiian spoken when Chinese dominated the immigrant population (before 1890) had certain rare grammatical features generally absent in the later period (between 1890 and 1920). The default lect in the APiCS representation is the pidgin attested in the 1880s and 1890s in court testimony.

No. Feature Value % Details Source
No. Feature Value % Details Source

Consonants

bilabial
labiodental
dental
dental/alveolar
dental/alveolar
affricate
palato-alveolar
retroflex
palatal
velar
labial-velar
uvular
glottal
plosive/affricatepbtdt͡sd͡zt͡ʃd͡ʒʈɖcɟkgk͡pg͡bqʔ
aspirated plosive/affricatet͡sʰt͡ʃʰ
glottalized stop/affricateɓt͡sʼt͡ʃʼ
nasalmnɳɲŋ
trill, tap or flaprɾ
fricativeɸβfvθðszʃʒxɣχh
lateral/approximantɬlɭjw

Vowels

frontnear-frontcentralnear-backback
high
higher-mid
mid
lower-mid
low

Legend

 Exists (as a major allophone)
 Exists only as a minor allophone
 Exists only in loanwords
 Does not exist
No. Feature Value % Details Source