Topics Digitization of languages data in research recording tape of Dr. Yasutoshi Yukawa and publication of their metadata


This project digitalizes research materials on Bantu languages in Africa collected by Dr. Yasutoshi Yukawa (1941-2014), past research staff of the ILCAA, and publishes their metadata.

Bantu languages spoken in the southernmost region of the African continent, are a large family of languages that belong to the family of Niger-Congo languages with more than 500 languages. As a pioneer of research of Bantu languages, Dr. Yukawa conducted field studies to record 121 languages/dialects over more than 30 years since the first investigation in 1975 and wrote many books and research articles on his study findings. Even now, descriptive studies on many languages of the Bantu family are not exhaustive. Therefore, it is really surprising that one linguist collected a considerable number of primary sources on the languages. Furthermore, materials including audio tapes and field books left by Dr. Yukawa, who was particularly known for his research on the accents in verbs in the Bantu language studies, are very valuable for younger researchers and show the parts of the history of these languages.

In addition to digitizing all of these materials including audio materials (500 cassettes) and written materials such as field books, this project makes a list of enormous quantity of metadata such as the names of languages, published articles relating to each language, vocabulary research materials, field books, and cassettes, in order to publish them. In addition, a map showing the places in which each language is spoken is provided. You will be astonished to learn that one linguist had been exploring the area indicated in this map on foot.

The list of Prof. Yukawa’s field linguistic data on Bantu languages

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