Employing an approach informed by language ecology and linguistic ethnography, Exploring Multilingual Hawaiʻi examines situated language usage and underlying ideological beliefs to explore and understand Hawaiʻi’s multilingualism. This book begins with a description of the ideologies that developed as a result of contact with the West and then offers analyses that concentrate specifically on the roles of Hawaiian, Pidgin, Japanese, and the languages of Micronesia, and also the occurrence of language mixing in Hawaiian society. Scott Saft’s discussion and analysis underscore how continued exploration of language usage in Hawaiʻi can contribute to our general understanding of multilingualism as a dynamic phenomenon.
Saft's Exploring Multilingual Hawai'i is a new landmark in Hawai'i Studies and has two clear strengths that set it apart from previous studies. . . because the book focuses on various ethnic groups and demonstrates the breadth and depth of approaches to sociolinguistics, it will be beneficial not only for scholars of Hawai'i Studies but also for those specializing in studies of language in society and multilingualism. . . . Saft's volume will be influential for discourse analytic studies of multilingualism and beyond, especially because of its methodological eclecticism. Personally, I have already drawn inspiration from the book and started designing a new research project to explore multilingual Tokyo (which is another linguistically diverse society).