Pehea lā ka puana ʻana i ka wē?

na Laiana Wong (ka lā 28 o ʻOkakopa, 2017)

Synopsis: The “w” in Hawaiian today is sometimes pronounced like an English “w” and sometimes like an English “v”. What’s up with that?

Aloha mai kākou. ʻO kēlā nīnau e kau maila ma luna, he nīnau wāhi pūniu ia, no ka mea, ʻaʻole i mōakāka ke ʻano o ka puana ʻia o ka “w” ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi a ua hele a ʻano huikau ka poʻe ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi o kēia au. Lohe ʻia he “w” i kekahi manawa, a he “v” i kekahi manawa. A ʻo ka nīnau nui hoʻi: Ua pili anei ia lolelua i kahi o ka ʻōlelo e puka mai ai ia hua? ʻEā, e ka mea heluhelu, ke hāpai ʻia nei kēia kumuhana i mea e hōʻike ai i ke ʻano hōkai mai o ka noʻonoʻo haole i loko o ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.

Hoʻomanaʻo aʻela au i ka nīele ʻana aku i kaʻu kumu ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi ma ka papa makua o ka Pūnana Leo he 28 makahiki aku nei. Nīnau akula au iā ia no ke ʻano pololei o ka puana ʻana i ka huaʻōlelo “Hawaiʻi”?” Pane maila ʻo ia ala ua lohe ʻia he ʻehā ʻano puana ʻana, ʻo ia hoʻi ʻo Hawaiʻi, Hawaʻi, Havaiʻi, a me Havaʻi. Aloha nō. ʻO ia mau huikau nō o kahi keiki ʻike ʻole i ka puana Hawaiʻi.

Ma ia hope mai, ua hoʻi au i ka ʻimi naʻauao ma ke Kulanui a ʻo ia mau nō ka pohihihi o ia hua he “wē”. Hoʻomaopopo aʻela au i ka haʻi ʻōlelo a kahi polopeka no ka hoʻopuka ʻia o kēia mau puana hualeo ʻelua (w a me v) no ka hualeo hoʻokahi. ʻōlelo maila kēlā, ua pili nō ka puana i ke ʻano o ka woela e hahai mai ana. ʻO ia hoʻi, inā he “a”, he “e”, a i ʻole he “i” ke hahai ana, e puana ʻia ka hualeo [w] e like me ka “v” ma ka ʻōlelo haole, a inā he “o” a he “u” paha ke hahai mai ana, ua puana ʻia ma ke ʻano he “w” ma ka ʻōlelo haole. A ʻo ke kumu mai, he ʻano pilina ma waena o ia mau woela (o me u) a me ka “w” ʻoiai ua mōkio maila nā lehelehe ma ka hoʻopuka ʻana. He manaʻo maikaʻi paha ia, eia naʻe ka mea ʻāpiki, ua puana ʻia ka huaʻōlelo “woela” me ka “v”. He kūʻē lula paha?

He haumāna kālaiʻōlelo au ma ke Kulanui i ia mau lā a komo akula i loko o ka papa kālaileo a ke kauka Albert J. Schutz. Wahi āna, he mau kani ia nāna e hoʻopilipili i nā hualeo haole, a ʻo ke kani Hawaiʻi o ke au kahiko, aia ma waena o ia mau kani ʻelua (v a me w). ʻōlelo maila ʻo ia, he hana ʻia ka “v” o ka ʻōlelo haole ma o ka hoʻopili ʻana i ka pae niho o luna me ka lehelehe o lalo, a ʻo ka “w” hoʻi, ua hana ʻia ma o ka hoʻomokio ʻana i nā lehelehe ʻelua, a ʻaʻole e hoʻopili ʻia.

Wahi āna, ua ʻokoʻa ka hoʻopuka ʻana o ka poʻe kahiko i ia kani. Hoʻopuka ʻia ke ea ma o nā lehelehe ʻelua i ʻano pili koke i kahi manawa a kaʻawale hoʻi i kekahi manawa. Inā ua pili, e ʻānai ʻia nā lehelehe ʻelua e ke ea a ʻo ia ka puka ʻana mai ia o ke kani kapalili o nā lehelehe, he “v” ke lohe aku. Inā e kaʻawale nā lehelehe, puka wale mai ke ea me ka ʻānai ʻole aku i nā lehelehe a ʻaʻole kani kapalili e lohe ʻia, he kohu “w” ke lohe aku.

Ua kū mai ka ʻōlelo haole i ka moku, a i mea e hoʻopilipili ai ka poʻe haole i ke ʻano “v” o ia hua, ua pā ka lehelehe i ka niho e like me ka hana ma ka ʻōlelo haole. He ala ia i komo malū ai ka ʻōlelo haole i loko o ka puana Hawaiʻi. Hoʻokahi wale nō ia laʻana no ka loli ʻana o kā kākou ʻōlelo. Auvē!

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