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Aynu itak : on the road to Ainu language revitalization

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Title: Aynu itak : on the road to Ainu language revitalization
Authors: Martin, Kylie Browse this author
Issue Date: 11-Aug-2011
Publisher: 北海道大学大学院メディア・コミュニケーション研究院
Journal Title: メディア・コミュニケーション研究
Journal Title(alt): Media and Communication Studies
Volume: 60
Start Page: 57
End Page: 93
Abstract: In the last 30 years, the indigenous Ainu in Japan have begun to reclaim and revitalize their ancestral culture and language. In 1983, the first Ainu language school was established by Shigeru Kayano in Nibutani, Hokkaido, and today there are a number of Ainu language and culture classes held throughout Hokkaido and other regions of Japan. There appears to be a strong desire to learn the language in Ainu communities, although the number of students in Ainu language classes still remains low. An ecological perspective on indigenous language revitalization as outlined by Mühlhäusler (1996, 2000, 2003) and Mufwene (2002, 2004) will be used to explore the dynamic nature of Ainu sociolinguistic communities. This allows for an examination of the dynamics of past and present Ainu sociolinguistic ecologies, and those large-scale socio-historical and political processes and pressures which have impacted on Ainu language usage over time. A case study of an Ainu sociolinguistic micro-system will also be discussed to provide an example of how local interactions in a small town in Hokkaido are connected to the large-scale processes of colonization and its legacies within Japanese society. Focus will be given to those linguistic and non-linguistic factors which have affected the desire to learn this endangered language as this is directly connected with actual language learning and language use. The responsibility of this language now rests with the second language learners of Ainu and the broader Japanese community through their recognition and respect for this indigenous language of Japan.
Type: bulletin (article)
Appears in Collections:メディア・コミュニケーション研究 = Media and Communication Studies > 60

Submitter: Kylie Martin

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