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Language documentation, preservation and revitalization
This paper deals with the morphophonemics of Ikema, a variety of Miyako Ryukyuan, spoken in Ikema Island, Sarahama in Irabu Island and Nishihara in Miyako Island. I will first give a short sketch of the phonology of the language in order to provide the transcription system. I will then discuss the morphophonemic system of the topic and the accusative forms, which make use of similar rules. I will also make references to verbal morphophonemics when necessary.
This talk deals with the verbal morphononemics of Ikema, a subdialect of Miyako Ryukyuan spoken on Ikema island, in Sarahama on Irabu island, and in Nishihara on Miyako island. There are many varieties of Miyako. According to Pellard (2009: Chapitre 9), there are three major varieties, Tarama, Ikema-Irabu and the Central Miyako, of which Tarama first diverged from Proto-Miyako, then Ikema-Irabu. Mutual intelligibility among these varieties is quite low. The fluent speakers of Ikema are generally regarded to be in their sixties or older but our recent studies have found that people in their late thirties can understand the language and can be considered to be speakers with passive knowledge of Ikema. In this talk, I will first give a short sketch of the phonology of the language to provide the transcription system. I will then discuss the morphophonemic system of the verbs . I will also make references to morphophonemics of the topic and the accusative forms, when necessary, because the same generalization is argued to be at work.
本発表では宮古島西原地区で話されている宮古語池間方言の形態音韻論について概説す る.まず, 簡単に音韻論の概説を行い, 表記を導入する. この音韻論の部分は表記のために 導入するもので, 網羅的な解説ではない. 以後の表記法は音韻論に基づいて導入した正書 法によって行う. 次に名詞提題形，対格形を中心に名詞形態音韻論について概説する. 必要に応じて, 動詞形態音韻論に触れる. 本発表の目的は池間方言の記述的な体系を示すことではなく, 池間方言の形態音韻論に関して問題点を明らかにすることである. 西原で話されている池間方言全般に関する概説は林(2009)，Hayashi(2010, 2013)を見られたい．
本稿では本稿では口頭語として存在している方言で書くことの難しさ、特に琉球の諸言語のように、書きことばである日本語共通語との距離が大きい場合の難しさを、琉球宮古語池間方言の正書法と書きことばの作成過程に即して論じる。 （2020.4. 『ことばと文字』13号 公益財団法人 日本語のローマ字社 102-110）
2018年2月3日に東京証券会館で行われた第12回NINJALフォーラム「ことばの多様性とコミュニケーション」での講演 動画は： https://youtu.be/FN_qixco4GY
This is the version presented at Cambridge University World Oral Literature Project October 4th，2010. There is an audio file of the talk and the QA session at: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/226634
In 2009, UNESCO listed eight languages spoken in Japan in the Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger: Ainu, Hachijo, Amami, Kunigami, Okinawa, Miyako, Yaeyama and Yonaguni. UNESCO’s reason for listing those languages as distinct from Japanese is that they are mutually unintelligible. Ainu had long been known as genetically unrelated to Japanese and had been recognized as a distinct language. The remaining seven languages, however, are genetically related and had usually been treated as ‘dialects’ of Japanese by Japanese scholars and the problem of mutual intelligibility had never been given a serious consideration. It is doubtful that UNESCO conducted an objective test to measure the degree of mutual intelligibility and their criteria for treating those varieties of Japanese as ‘languages’ rather than ‘dialect’ are not so obvious. In this talk I will introduce our project of designing objective tests to measure mutual intelligibility between two languages or two varieties of a language and show the results of a series of tests that we conducted in some of the languages listed above. The results show that those languages are indeed languages distinct from Japanese in the sense that they are shown to be mutually unintelligible by our mutual intelligibility tests, suggesting that contra the common belief that Japan is virtually a monolingual and mono-cultural society, it is a society with multiple languages and therefore a multi-cultural society. We will also show that the mutual intelligibility tests can be used to measure the degree of endangerment of the language to be tested because they can measure the degree of intergenerational transmission by comparing the scores of a younger generation with an older generation. They can be a very useful diagnostic for the degree of language endangerment, which is essential in designing methods for revitalization.
The object of this paper is to introduce a prototype of the Digital Museum Project in our attempt at the documentation of Ikema, one of the endangered dialects of Southern Ryukyuan, spoken on Miyakojima Island, Okinawa, Japan. The language is no longer acquired by younger people, and is spoken fluently only by people in their 60's or older. We have been studying one of the dialects of the language spoken in Nishihara since January 2006, and have made recordings of natural discourse and elicitation sessions totaling over 500 hours. The local people, especially the senior generations, are deeply concerned about the imminent disappearance of their language and culture, and have been making every effort to pass them on to younger generations. Their enthusiasm culminated in the creation of a vernacular musical titled Nishihara Muradate (The Making of Nishihara Village), depicting their migration to Nishihara from the Ikema Island, their ancestral island in 1874. It was performed in July 2007, at the 45th anniversary of the foundation of Midorikai, the local senior members club, with about a hundred people participating in the performance. It was filmed by Miyako Television, a local broadcasting station, and was made into a DVD. Attempts at documenting the language are also being made by a nursery school principal, who has written fairy tales for children, scored traditional songs, and collected proverbs about raising children, all prepared bilingually in Ikema and the standard Japanese. We will introduce a digital museum, a web-based digital storage space that we are constructing to store the recordings we have made and to make the works accomplished by local people accessible to the public.
Ikema is an endangered dialect of Southern Ryukyuan spoken on Miyakojima Island, Japan. The community is deeply concerned that the younger generation is not acquiring Ikema and has imaginatively tackled this problem by, among things, creating a vernacular musical titled Nishihara Muradate ‘The making of the Nishihara village’. The musical, depicting the migration to Nishihara from their ancestral island, was filmed and made into a DVD. Using such recordings of Ikema as a springboard, Professor Takubo will discuss the development of the Digital Museum Project, a web-based three-layered digital storage space for endangered languages. The first layer provides open-access exhibit space; the second provides password-protected access for specialist researchers while a third layer contains raw data only accessible to the research group. This talk will conclude with a demonstration of the resource. Dr Yukinori Takubo is Professor of Linguistics at Kyoto University, Japan. He has written extensively on Japanese as well as on endangered languages spoken in Japan, and currently serves as an editorial board member for Nihongogaku - Studies in Japanese Language.
本稿では、琉球八重山語白保方言の音韻を概観する。まず、白保方言の話されている場所や系統、話者数などに関して2 節で概観する。その後、3 節で音韻に関して議論する。
本論文では、八重山語白保方言の文法を概観する。まず 1 節で、白保方言の地理・系統・歴史数などを簡単に概観する。次に 2 節において音韻論を概観する。これは中川ほか (2015) を簡略化したものである。 3 節においては、文の基本構造、品詞一覧、形態法一覧などを議論する。その後、の形態論 (4 節）、動詞形態論(5 節）、形容詞形態論(6 節）をそれぞれ議論する。続いて7 節で間投詞、副詞、8 節で疑問詞と指示詞、9 節で品詞転換について概観する。さらに、10 節で名詞節で述語句について述べる。最後に、12 節において、簡単に今後の課題をあげる。
A short grammatical description of the Kamikatetsu Dialect of Kikai Ryukyuan with an annotated test.
The Ryukyuan languages are the only language family that has proven to be cognate to the Japanese language. There are five to six varieties, all mutually unintelligible from each other and from the varieties of Japanese. All are endangered due to a lack of a natural intergenerational transmission of the languages. In this paper, I consider two attempts to document and preserve these Ryukyuan languages: the mutual intelligibility test as a means to test degrees of intergenerational transmission and a digital museum project as a means to document and preserve endangered languages. (The full-text is available from the DOI.）
Language documentation, revitalization, mutual intelligibility, passive speakers, digital museum, intergenerational transmission
The Ikema dialect of Miyako Ryukyuan (henceforth Ikema) has three lexically contrastive tone classes. Ikema exhibits widespread tonal neutralization such that the three-way contrast can only be observed in quite restricted contexts. The goals of this article are to determine the prosodic conditions that bring about tonal neutralization in Ikema and to make generalizations about surface pitch patterning in utterances. Involved in the neutralization is the hierarchical prosodic structure with three prosodic constituents above the mora, that is, the foot, Prosodic Word, and Clitic Group. The three-way tonal contrast in Ikema is fully realized (and hence not neutralized) when the following two conditions are met. Firstly, the utterance as a whole consists of at least three Prosodic Words. Secondly, the Clitic Group consists of at least two Prosodic Words. Moreover, long utterances can exhibit pitch patterns resulting from the Principle of Rhythmic Alternation. The rhythmic alternation can also trigger tonal neutralization in some cases.
1. Goals of the project The purpose of this paper is to introduce our project to design a web-based museum for endangered languages that is easily updatable, and can serve as a basis for collaborative research on endangered languages. Our museum also aims to provide a forum where local people can exhibit their language products, thereby helping them have better access to their language and preserve the language and culture of the local community. We have been constructing a prototype of the museum using data from our field research conducted in a village called Nishihara, where a subdialect of Ikema, a dialect of Miyako Ryukyuan, is spoken. 1
This paper deals with the morphononemics of Ikema, a variety of Miyako Ryukyuan, spoken in Ikema Island, Sarahara in Irabu island and Nishihara in Miyako Island. I will first give a short sketch of the phonology of the language in order to provide the transcription system. I will then discuss the morphophonemic system of the topic and the accusative forms, which make use of similar rules. I will also make references to verbal morphophonemics when necessary.