English in Hawai‘i

“How come I come I stay you go? Cuz was
going when came. How come you come no call? How I going
call when I stay coming already? Eh, when you stay going come, go try call. Next time I
no come, I going. Ok, next time you going come I stay, me I no go. But if
you go stay come and me I no stay, no stay—go!
Course! I no
go see you stay gone. But me, if I stay coming and you stay gone, then when I
stay going and you stay coming, what? Then no go come first place. In da first
place I going call I stay coming, and if you going go, me, I no going come
cause when I call for see if you going go already stay. Pardon me?

—Rap Replinger, “Local Argument #7”

“Eh brah, next time wear flip flops”

—Chinn Ho Kelly to Danno, Hawai‘i 5-0

This course will examine the development of English in
Hawai’i in relation to history, language, politics and literature. The goal of
the course is to better understand the complexity and evolution of English
within and beyond these four areas, considering also the tensions and
contestations within social, educational, ethnic, cultural, and business
contexts. We will also closely examine the relationship between ‘olelo Hawai’i
(Hawaiian language) as a foundation for HCE (Hawai’i Creole English or
“pidgin”) and its influences and effects on English, as well as the influences
of other languages, as well as the intersections between spoken and written
forms, and the difficulties encountered in reconciling them. Some introductory
questions we will consider: Is English different in Hawai’i? How does the
multicultural and multilinguistic landscape influence the development of
English in Hawai’i? What kinds of conflicts and tensions does this allow? Why
is “authentic representation” a challenge to artists in multimedia formats?
Where (and how) are inside/outside dynamics of linguistic (and cultural)
representation in relation to Hawai’i English drawn? What kinds of effects do
these (mis)understandings and contestations have, and on who?

Requirements: Informal writing, such as
reaction/response papers, formal writing (two shorter essays, a longer research
paper), a midterm, a final exam, weekly posting and participation on Laulima
discussion board, individual and group presentations/research project on topics
relevant to the course, attendance and class participation (both in-class and

Readings: ‘OIWI: A
Sage U‘ilani Takehiro’s HONUA, Lee Tonouchi’s DA WORD, and LIVING
PIDGIN, Lee Cataluna’s plays, Lois Ann Yamanaka, Lisa Linn
Kanae, Joe Balaz, Braddah Joe, and others.  Selected audio recordings such as Joe Balaz’s ELECTRIC
LAUALU and video clips. 
A course reader with selected critical essays and creative work from
John Reinecke, Derek  Bickerton and
Pila Wilson, Kent Sakoda, Charlene Sato, Suzanne Romaine, Kevin Kawamoto, Manu
Meyer, Larry Kauanoe Kimura, ku‘ualoha ho‘omanawanui, Haunani Kay Trask, and