In this paper, I advanced a new analysis of the word he in Hawaiian, which had been described as an indefinite singular article. There is a significant difference between the distribution of he and that of other determiners, induding the definite singular article ka/ke. The structure of Hawaiian noun phrases is illustrated by (1).
(1) [preposition±determiner±paucal marker±plural marker±noun＋modifier]
Although all other determiners can be used after a preposition, as shown in (1), he cannot used with a preposition. After examining the distribution of he, it was found that the distribution of he corresponds to that of [Preposition＋Determiner].Therefore, I advanced a new analysis shown as (2).
(2) The function of the neutral case preposition ‘o and that of the indefinite article were integrated into the word he.
Since he is equivalent to [preposition ‘o＋indefinite article], it cannot be used with another preposition. The combination of an indefinite noun phrase and a preposition other than ‘o can be realized as:
(i) Ø＋he＋Noun (i.e. omitting a preposition),
(ii) Preposition＋Ø＋Noun (i.e. omitting he), or
(iii) Preposition＋Definite article＋Noun (i.e. replacing he with the definite article).
This is the result of the conflict caused by the prepositional function of he.