March 3. 2013

Researchers from the University of Hawaii announced the confirmation of a unique sign language, distinct from American Sign Language (ASL), on March 1. The team will formally unveil their findings at the 3rd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation on March 3.

"Hawaiian, the indigenous language of this state, has been brought back from the brink of extinction… But what we didn't know until very recently is that Hawaii is home to a second highly endangered language that is found nowhere else in the world."
– William O'Grady, linguistics professor at the University of Hawaii
Researchers interviewed about half of the 40 people who are thought to communicate with Hawaiian Sign Language. Most are in their 80s. Linguists videotaped 19 elderly deaf people, and 2 adult children of deaf parents, using the sign language.