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Constructing a digital museum with a large-scale archive for endangered languages

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Title: Constructing a digital museum with a large-scale archive for endangered languages
Authors: Takubo, Yukinori
Motoki, Tamaki
Tida, Syuntaroo
Kajita, Shoji
Yamada, Masahiro
show 2 moreAsao, Yoshihiko
Yagi, Keisuke

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Issue Date: 12 Mar 2015
Description: In this presentation we will propose a design for a digital museum for endangered languages. Just like a real museum, the digital museum proposed here consists of (1) a storage space, where items are archived, and (2) an exhibition space, where a selection of items from the storage are exhibited. Currently, in language documentation and conservation, the archives and the web pages are treated separately. Language archives are created mainly for the purpose of storing language data permanently for future reference. The web spaces for language conservation or exhibition are usually constructed without direct reference to the archived data.

In our previous work presented at the first ICLDC, we proposed a basic design for a digital museum and demonstrated its prototype, featuring Nishihara village, where Ikema, a dialect of Miyako, one of the endangered languages of Ryukyuan, is spoken. It consisted of three layered digital spaces, the first layer is used for the exhibition, the second for the storage of past exhibits and the third for the raw data. The proposed digital museum has been implemented by an open source content management platform, providing a webpage easily updatable and extendable to other languages, making a step forward in the documentation and conservation of endangered languages. The museum was made public early this year ( As it is, however, the site has not been linked to the data archives, mostly due to technical reasons.

With the recent development of cloud technologies and services, however, we are now able to construct a digital museum, in which the large-scale archive space is directly linked with an exhibition space. The archive is constructed in a large-scale cloud space from which files can be directly linked to the web exhibit space. We will use an open source video asset management platform on the private cloud service at our university, which manages audio-visual files and controls the security and privacy of the archives constructed on the cloud. The archive space can be compartmentalized into “publishers,” each of which can serve as a distinct password protected archive for a different language conservation project. The publishers can also be used for exchanging files with other members of the same project.

The system enables us to construct a digital space for endangered languages linked to a large-scale archive at an individual level and at a manageable price, thereby providing us with a powerful tool for language documentation and conservation.
Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Appears in Collections:4th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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