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The Digital Museum Project for the Languages and Cultures of Ryukyu: The Case of Ikema Ryukyuan

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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.

This talk is sponsored by the World Oral Litearture Project. Affiliated to the University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the World Oral Literature Project is a collaborative initiative to document and make accessible endangered oral literatures before they disappear without record. http://www.oralliterature.org/

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