Skip to Main Content

Pacific Linguistics: Research Strategies

A guide to basic Pacific-related linguistics research.

Common Pacific language codes

  • bis = Bislama
  • cha = Chamorro
  • chk = Chuukese
  • fij = Fijian
  • gil = Gilbertese (Kiribati)
  • haw = Hawaiian
  • hmo = Hiri Motu
  • kos = Kosraean
  • mah = Marshallese
  • mri = Maori
  • nau = Nauruan
  • niu = Niuean
  • pau = Palauan
  • pon = Pohnpeian
  • rap = Rapanui
  • rar = Rarotongan
  • smo = Samoan
  • tah = Tahitian
  • tkl = Tokelauan
  • ton = Tongan
  • tpi = Tok Pisin
  • tvl = Tuvaluan
  • yap = Yapese

Subject Headings

Main Subject Heading

When doing a keyword or subject browse search, the main subject headings will be useful in retrieving relevant results.  Books about a language have subject headings that are constucted as follows:

  • Chuukese language
  • Drehu Language
  • Fijian language
  • Fiji Hindi language
  • Samoan language
Subject headings for Pidgin languages are contructed in various different ways.  Some are constructed similar to those mentioned above.
  • Tok Pisin language
  • Bislama language
Others use different subject headings, sometimes with geographical location used as a sub-heading:
  • Pidgin English
  • Pidgin English -- Hawaii
  • Pidgin English -- Papua New Guinea
  • Creole dialects, English -- Hawaii
  • English language -- Dialects -- Hawaii
  • Pidgin languages -- Fiji
  • Pidgin languages -- Melanesia
  • Pidgin languages -- Oceania

Subject Sub-headings

Sub-headings can be added to a search as keywords for a more specific search, or following the main subject heading in a subject browse search.  Start with your main subject heading, and then any of the following:

  • Accents and accentuation
  • Alphabet
  • Compostition and exercises
  • Conversation and phrase books
  • Dialects
  • Dictionaries
  • Foreign words and phrases
  • Glossaries, vocabularies, etc.
  • Grammar
  • History
  • Orthography and spelling
  • Phonetics
  • Phonology
  • Possessives
  • Readers
  • Roots
  • Terms and phrases
  • Texts
  • Verb
  • Vowels
  • Vocabulary

1. Search UHM Pacific Collection by language code

Finding Pacific language material held at the UHM collection is a two-step process:

1. Find the unique 3-letter code in one of three ways:

  • The most common codes are listed in the box to the left
  • Search Ethnologue (Requires UH login)
  • Download this spreadsheet: 

2. Input the 3-letter code into the search box below:



A new page will open listing all the publications that are written in or include examples of that language.

If you want to search a different language, enter the new 3-letter code into this same search box above. (The search box at the top of the pop-up database will not have the same search functions). 

This search function was made possible by a 3-year NEH grant "Making Pacific language Materials Discoverable"

Please note: at this time the above widget is searching UHM library's old database. You will be able to find material, but you cannot put in a request for the material in the old database.

To request a book from the Pacific Collection you need to do a 3rd step which is open the new database, OneSearch Manoa, and find the book using the title or call number found in the old database.

We will update the search widget so it queries the database, but this is on a long to-do list to make the new database functional.

2. Search UH Resources by subject or keyword

3. Search the Googles by keyword