Public Lecture: Endangered Languages
The world's 7,000+ languages are in drastic decline, and many are predicted to vanish before they will be adequately scientifically documented. This talk demonstrates how language extinction leads to intellectual impoverishment in all fields of science and culture. Concerted efforts to sustain, value, technologize, and revitalize our linguistic diversity are now underway in indigenous communities worldwide, and may help to reverse the process. Audio and video recordings of endangered language communities around the world help to illustrate this trend.
Speaker bio: K. David Harrison is Associate Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at Swarthmore College, and Director of Research at the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages. He has worked on documentation and revitalization of endangered languages in India, Russia, Micronesia, Paraguay, the US, and elsewhere. He is the author of "The Last Speakers: The Quest to Save the World's Most Endangered Languages."
Image: Abamu and Anthony Degio with David Harrison, recording the Koro language of India. Photo Jeremy Fahringer.