Wednesday, August 06, 2014

CPIT research week - week 1 day 2

The majority of this week's presentations are for students to 'pitch' their project proposals or results. Pitch takes the form of 3 minute presentations from students studying various disciplines - engineering, outdoor education, business, computing, social work, music, languages etc. All pitches are marked and prizes awarded on Friday.

I manage to get to day 2 presentations from humanities centred around the them of 'evolving languages.

First up, Yoshi Holmes provides a summary of his masters thesis 'chronological evolution of the Urashima Taro story'. A good presentation modelling the application of comparative discourse analysis to reveal how a folk tale has evolved. This story's popularity is partly due to the adoption of the story into the Japanese school syllabus 50 years ago. Interesting to see how the story has changed as it migrated from oral to text representation and from oral story, to being read by the educated to now being part of Japanese folk lore.

Second, a fascinating presentation from Hohepa Waitoa on 'developing a haka for a bullfight'. The haka was written on request to be performed as part of a play depicting the Maori/Spanish origins of a East Coast NZ Maori family. Paniora was performed in Auckland earlier this year. Hohepa provided the rationale of how the haka used traditional words, rhythms and phrases to provide a stunning haka for the show.

Heperi Harris follows with his on-going work with Ki O Rahi. Originally, he promoted the game at CPIT for it's health and social benefits. However, the language learning opportunities are now just as important as most Ki O Rahi players are Maori, with many not fluent speakers. The game therefore provides ideal context to learn the language and protocols. Heperi described how words with similar meanings now used in the game to extend player's vocabulary and provide occasion for discussions on word origins.

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