Linguistic Family Trees in Hawai’i

Posted in : Current Research Projects on by : satocenter , freemium Comments: 0

2013 – present

This research project serves to document processes of language shift, language loss, language maintenance and language addition across generations of speakers in Hawai‘i  and seeks to understand the reasons for these phenomenon such as interethnic marriage and the growth of diaspora communities.  The project is also interested in whether and to what degree language ideologies related to the mainland United States influence people’s choices to maintain or lose languages in Hawai’i, including Pidgin.

Through sketching a family tree with attention to the languages spoken by participants, their parents, and their grandparents, the project documents change over generations in Hawai’i. Through interviews with participants, the project also evaluates participants emotional and attitudinal responses to changes in their own families’ linguistic repertoires.

If you would like to participate in this project, email Christina Higgins at cmhiggin(AT)