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Core Project (Linguistics)

Description and Documentation of Language Dynamics in Asia and Africa: Toward a More In-depth Understanding of the Languages and Cultures of People Living in Asia and Africa (DDDLing)

Term: 2022.4 –2027.3
Leader: Yasuhiro YAMAKOSHI
Members: Mayumi ADACHI, Shintaro ARAKAWA, Chiyuki ITO, Keita KURABE, Tokusu KUREBITO, Norikazu KOGURA, Hideo SAWADA, Asako SHIOHARA, Daisuke SHINAGAWA, Toshihide NAKAYAMA, Izumi HOSHI, Honoré WATANABE


Today, societies in Asia and Africa are undergoing rapid changes, and more complex forms of multilingualism are emerging. In order to accurately grasp this situation, it is necessary to describe and document the linguistic situation by focusing on matters that have been difficult to capture within the framework of descriptive linguistics, such as the relationship between different language communities, diachronic changes in language, and the structure, culture, and history of the local societies that underlie these changes. In order to achieve this goal, we are working on the following projects. For this purpose, we will attempt to analyze the narratives of speakers, which have been treated as mere linguistic data, as “messages conveying experience and knowledge,” in collaboration with neighboring fields (sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology) and other fields (anthropology, history, area studies). Through these efforts, it will be possible to understand the diverse values that exist in the world along with their backgrounds. This will provide a foothold for us citizens to think about how to deal with the “fragmentation” that is currently occurring in various parts of the world, including Japan. In addition, we will explore how we can better understand each other in the multi-lingual situation that already exists in Japan and will become even more complicated in the future.

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