Hawaii Sign Language


A language of United States

Alternate Names
HPS, HSL, Hawai’i Pidgin Sign Language, Hawaiian Sign Language


Language Status

8b (Nearly extinct).


Creole Hawai‘i Sign Language (CHSL). Not related to American Sign Language (ASL) [ase] or any other known sign language, less than 20% probable cognates with ASL (2013 J. Woodward). Most elderly Deaf use a mixture of HSL with ASL, a variety termed Creole Hawai‘i Sign Language (Clark et al 2016).


SOV (SVO in CHSL), noun-first in noun phrase, verb precedes negative, sentence-final question words. No evidence of classifiers in HSL, but some in CHSL.

Language Use

Moribund. Largely replaced by American Sign Language (ASL) [ase], starting about 1950. Elderly only. Also use American Sign Language [ase], English [eng].

Language Development



Unwritten documents [Zxxx].

Other Comments

The name ‘Hawai’i Pidgin Sign Language’ is no longer commonly used, as Hawai’i Sign Language is not a pidgin and has no relationship to Hawai’i Pidgin [hwc]. Creole Hawai’i Sign Language is a mixture of HSL and American Sign Language (ASL) [ase].

Page Views Left: