Structure dataset 26: Hawai‘i Creole

This language is described more fully in survey chapter 26.

Hawai‘i Creole is the mother tongue of about 600,000 speakers, i.e. roughly half of the population, on the islands of Hawai‘i, which are located in the Pacific Ocean. An additional 100,000 (approximately) can be found on the US mainland, primarily on the West Coast, in Las Vegas (Nevada) and Orlando (Florida). It is used widely on all islands in all informal situations, both at home and in the work place. While it is primarily used as an oral language, literature (fiction, drama, poetry) in Hawai‘i Creole has been published for many decades. Hawai’i Creole is not a recognized language and is generally seen as an obstacle for advancement, although the language is now slowly gaining acceptance thanks to targeted awareness programs. The default lect documented in APiCS is naturalistic speech by adults between the ages 22 and 95 at the time of recording, all belonging to the working or lower middle class social strata.

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


Pulmonic Consonants
Place → Labial Coronal Dorsal Laryngeal
↓ Manner Bilabial Labio­dental Linguo­labial Dental Alveolar Palato-
Retroflex Alveolo-
Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal
/ Epiglottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Stop p  b t  d k g ʔ
Sibilant affricate t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Non-sibilant affricate
Sibilant fricative s z ʃ
Non-sibilant fricative f v ð h
Approximant l j
Flap or tap ɾ
Trill r
Lateral affricate
Lateral fricative
Lateral approximant
Lateral flap


Front Near-front Central Near-back Back Close Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open ihigh front unrounded vowel long high front unrounded vowel uhigh back rounded vowel long high back rounded vowel ɪlowered high front unrounded vowel ʊlowered high back rounded vowel ehigher mid front unrounded vowel ohigher mid back rounded vowel əmid central unrounded vowel ɛlower mid front unrounded vowel ɛːlong lower mid front unrounded vowel ɔlower mid back rounded vowel ɔːlong lower mid back rounded vowel æraised low front unrounded vowel æːlong raised low front unrounded vowel alow central unrounded vowel long low central unrounded vowel

Special segments

Other segments
 w  voiced labial-velar glide


       Exists (as a major allophone)
       Exists only as a minor allophone
       Exists only in loanwords
No. Feature Value Details Source