I studied Hawaiian language under Mr. Abraham Piianaia at Kamehameha School for Boys, Kapalama, during 1953-54 school year. During that time the "w" was pronounced as a "w," which it should be, because it is a "w."
When you listen to the kupuna hulu (very senior, 80-plus) speak, notice that they will pronounce the "v" like a "w." For example: Valley will be pronounced with a "w" sound like wa-lay, as in Happy Wa-lay, instead of Happy Valley. The Hawaiian consonants are h, k, l, m, n, p and w. The vowels are a, e, i, o and u.
This language was put together by the Rev. Ellis, who also did the Tahitian language. With a name like Ellis from New England, don't you think that if they wanted a "v" sound they would have put a "v" instead of a "w" in the language?
In the English language where they want a "v" sound they put a "v." Why in the Hawaiian language would they put a "w" if they wanted a "v" sound?
I'm sure Ellis knew the difference when he put the the "w" in the language. Don't you think so?
Henry P. Kahula Jr.