https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JimThibaul

Did an Hawaiian alphabet always exist ?

Did an Hawaiian alphabet always exist ?

Before being influenced by the European explorers was there a written language ? What we are studying today the 13 letter alphabet did not exist before the explorers found the islands.

August 10, 2019

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ueck1
  • 2118

The Hawaiian language had no writing system aside from the occasional petroglyph before the arrival of Europeans. The only probable writing system invented by Polynesians was Rongorongo, which was invented by the people of Rapa Nui (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rongorongo).

August 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/betsys2003

No. The writing system was developed by the European missionaries. That's why it uses the letters used in those languages.

August 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/okolenui

To my knowledge, there are many forms of symbolic communication, Tapa prints, Kākau (Tātau, "tattoo") and written symbols used in some kahuna schools of teachings, but nothing that would be a written language equivalent in the linguistics sense before missionary involvement.

August 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LANI-MOO-1

No, it was an oral tradition. First missionaries arrived in the islands in 1819 and learned the Hawaiian Language, then developed an alphabet to teach the "good news" to the Hawaiians.

August 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LANI-MOO-1

The missionaries came from New England to Hawaii. They were inspired by a young Hawaiian man, 'Opukaha'ia, who studied at the Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, Connecticut. (Memoirs of Henry Obookiah by Edwin Dwight)

August 15, 2019
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