Because of its universal appeal, the folktale has aroused intense interest from scholars of diverse disciplines. Our own research into the genre has itself developed along three lines, reflecting our activities in linguistic fieldwork, folk narratology per se, and education. The first ongoing phase of the LAT project involves the collection of Taiwanese tales from native Southern Min speakers. Select tales have been transcribed from the interview tapes, using a standardized romanization, accompanied by free Mandarin and English translations. From these trilingual texts, we produce glossaries, which indicate part of speech and location of each lexeme in its respective text. This activity creates primary data for Taiwanese dialectologists. The second phase involves an analysis of the versions at our disposal, whether oral or literary, comparing their significant elements with those found in standard motif and tale type indices. The building of tale types for uniquely Taiwanese narratives represents a small step towards a tale type index for the island. Thirdly, the trilingual versions of our stories with glossaries will hopefully provide an entertaining teaching tool some day, given the island's more tolerant governmental policies towards ethnic studies. By adapting folk narratives to the classroom, familiar tales can be used in the teaching of English, and in their Southern Min or Hakka forms can help validate Taiwan's cultural and linguistic heritage.
Foreign Language Education in the Times of Globalzation Conference Proceedings of English Sessions=國際化時代之外語教學國際會議英文組論文集,pp.141-156