Since the different pronunciation of Hawaiian words leads to different meanings, the spelling with ʻOkina and Kahakō is an essential requirement for the use of Hawaiian names and terms.
The use of the Kahakō in writing is closely related to the revival of Hawaiian since the late 1950s. This revival is having an impact beyond the state. So in were Hawaiian National Park Language Correction Act of 2000 by the United States Senate renamed national parks in Hawaii, where the letters with diacritical marks 'Okina and Kahakō was the subject of a federal law. The United States Board on Geographic Names , the federal agency responsible for geographical names , has also changed its longstanding practice since 1995 and switched to using the Hawaiian spelling in the Geographic Names Information System .
- cf. Pronunciation Practice: Kahakō (ʻOlelo Online)
- Suzanne Romaine: Signs of Identity, Signs of Discord. Glottal Goofs and the Green Grocer's Glottal in Debates on Hawaiian Orthography. In: Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. Vol. 12, No. 2, December 2002, pp. 189-224
- "The presence or absence of glottal stops and macrons changes both pronunciation and meaning, ..." (p. 226); "I call particular attention to the symbols for two important elements in the spoken language: the glottal stop (reversed apostrophe) and lengthened, stressed vowels (macron). Without these symbols in the written language, pronunciation of a great many Hawaiian words cannot be determined - nor, it follows, can their meanings be accurately deciphered. ” (P. VI): Mary Kawena Pūkui, Samuel H. Elbert: New pocket Hawaiian dictionary. With a concise grammar and given names in Hawaiian. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1996, ISBN 0-8248-1392-8
- Hawaiian National Park Language Correction Act of 2000 (p. 939) ( Memento from August 14, 2013 on WebCite ) (PDF file; 123 kB) (English)
- cf. United States Board on Geographic Names
- US Board on Geographic Names: Collection and Dissemination of Indigenous Names ( Memento of July 6, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, Twenty-third Session Vienna, March 28 - April 4, 2006, Working Paper No. . 82), p. 3: "An example of this has been the addition of the glottal stop (okina) and macron (kahako) to placenames of Hawaiian origin, which prior to 1995 had always been omitted. The BGN staff, under the direction and guidance of the Hawaii State Geographic Names Authority, has been restoring systemically these marks to each Hawaiian name listed in GNIS. "