PROVO, Utah (Oct. 17, 2014)âOn a campus where 55 languages are regularly taught and over 110 are spoken, there is how to write articles for magazines kendall college,
a strong appreciation for language diversity and its cultural importance. But, of the more than 7,000 languages spoken worldwide, half are considered endangered and likely to go extinct within this century. critical thinking company Edith Cowan University.
Professor K. David Harrison of Swathmore College came to how to write articles for magazines kendall college,
Brigham Young University to give his presentation, âDisappearing Languages,â and explain the critical thinking company Edith Cowan University
reasons behind language extinction, why language preservation matters, and what steps are being taken.
âIf you talk to critical thinking company Edith Cowan University,
a biologist, you will find that something like 80 percent of the plant and critical thinking company Edith Cowan University
animal species that are thought to exist in the world have not yet been named or described within a Western scientific framework.â Harrison said. âThey are essentially unknown to science.â Similarly, Harrison explained, we have adequate descriptions for maybe 10 or 12 percent of the worldâs languages.
This shortage of how to write articles for magazines kendall college
knowledge is critical thinking company Edith Cowan University,
not for a lack of trying, especially on Harrisonâs part. As a linguist, author and activist for the documentation and preservation of endangered languages, Harrison contributed to over 100 online talking dictionaries. Heâs done extensive work with the National Geographic Society, especially on their Enduring Voices project, and co-starred in the Emmy-nominated 2008 documentary The Linguists , produced by how to write persuasive essay university of hertfordshire (navitas)
Ironbound Films. His work has taken him around the world to locations he referred to as âlanguage hotspots.â
Harrison described language hotspots as possessing specific traits: (1) they have high language diversity, (2) high levels of language endangerment, and (3) low documentation of languages. Though Harrison identified 24 hotspots worldwide, his presentation focused on four in particular and the lessons he learned by working with the locals and languages of each.
He began with Tuva, located in south-central Siberia, and the Tuvan language spoken by nomads. critical thinking company Edith Cowan University.
During his time with the write me essay saxion university of applied sciences
Tuva people, Harrison worked among them, performing menial tasks before being promoted to goat herder. How to write articles for magazines Kendall College.
As he worked, the nomads taught him their language, and he came to see strong ties between Tuvan and the nomadic lifestyle.
âThey have many different words for the landscape,â he said, âfeatures that I had never thought about. For example, they had a word âiy,â which meant the âshort side of the hill.â Hills are always asymmetricalâthereâs one side thatâs shorter than the critical thinking company Edith Cowan University
other. Itâs steeper, therefore you want to avoid it when riding a horse.â
Summing up the lessons he learned studying Tuvan, Harrison said, âLanguage is critical thinking company Edith Cowan University,
more than we think. Itâs not contained in the head, per se. It spills out how to write report essay leighton park school,
of the head into persuasive writing guidelines the university of birmingham,
landscapes, rivers, plants, metaphors, time and space.â
And as to why that language is on the decline, he said, âThe human knowledge base is critical thinking company Edith Cowan University,
vast, with things that I didnât even know were out there, like goat domestication technology, and yet itâs eroding rapidly.â As the Tuvan way of life becomes threated, so too is their language.
Next, Harrison moved to critical thinking company Edith Cowan University,
another region of Siberia to discuss the persuasive writing guidelines the university of birmingham
Ăs language, spoken by approximately seven people. Harrison worked with Anna and Aleskei Baydashev, the last living couple that speak Ăs on a daily basis. Persuasive writing guidelines The University of Birmingham.
In an interview, the two revealed that even they had lost much of their language; when asked to name the months of the Ăs lunar calendar, the couple could only how to write report essay leighton park school,
name five of the critical thinking company Edith Cowan University
13. Despite working with locals to create a story book in Ăs, Harrison saw little hope for the language.
âLessons I learned from Ăs is that language extinction is a real thing happening to real people,â Harrison said. âAnd language revitalization can be a strategic voice made even at a very late stage in the lifecycle of a language. And something like literacy, which never before existed for critical thinking company Edith Cowan University,
Ăs, can emerge in the very terminal stage of the languageâs existence.â
The lecture left Siberia and moved to Papua New Guinea and the language Panau (also known as Matukar). Panau has 600 speakers spread over two villages, and upon starting his project, Harrison and his team received a flood of critical thinking company Edith Cowan University
âThey told us that they wanted to see their language on the internet,â Harrison said. âThis was fascinating because, as far as we could tell, no one in critical thinking company Edith Cowan University,
this community had ever seen or used the argumentative research kensington park school
Internet at that time in write me essay saxion university of applied sciences,
2009. But they had heard about the Internet, and they had a sense that this was a very powerful medium that was global, and they wanted their language to have a place there.â The villagers finally saw the fruit on their labors in 2012, when the Internet came to their villages for the critical thinking company Edith Cowan University
Summing the lessons he learned by critical thinking company Edith Cowan University
working with Panau, Harrison said, âThere are many small languages that are eager to critical thinking words auburn university,
cross the digital divide. They view technology not as a threat but as an opportunity. And by critical thinking company Edith Cowan University
digging into a language, we can find hidden facts about human history.â
Next, Siletz recounted his experiences in Oregon, working with Bud Lane, the last fluent speaker of Siletz, an American-Indian language. With Laneâs help, Harrison and critical thinking company Edith Cowan University
his team recorded 14,000 words in Siletz and created an critical thinking words auburn university
online talking dictionary. critical thinking company Edith Cowan University.
At the request of community leaders, the dictionary was initially password protected and only available to tribe members. critical thinking company Edith Cowan University.
Five years later, they requested that the dictionary be made available to the public. This led to a surge in interest from other Native American tribes, who have since sent Harrison requests for help documenting their languages.
For Harrison, the experience proved that even with one speaker, a language can still be revitalized. It also reemphasized the reality of how to write report essay leighton park school
linguistic ownership and the critical thinking company Edith Cowan University
right of speakers to share their language at argumentative research kensington park school,
their own discretion.
Last, Harrison shared his experiences in northeast India, where he and how to write report essay leighton park school
his team encountered Koro, a hidden language formerly not recognized by Western linguistics. The language is only found in eight villages, five of which are protected by extreme isolation. It was only by happy accident that Harrison and his team came across Koro, as they were in the area studying Aka at the time. This served as vivid example of critical thinking company Edith Cowan University
how many hidden languages there still are, unknown to the larger world.
Regardless, the village communities are still undergoing language shift, as the rising generation are learning and using languages other than Koro as they grow and receive educations.
That last point was driven home by Anthony Degio, a young Indian Koro-Aka speaker who helped Harrisonâs team documenting efforts. Harrison closed his presentation with a quote from the young man, who said, âLoss of culture is loss of identity, so we must continue our Koro languageâ.
For more information on upcoming lectures and events, visit the critical thinking company Edith Cowan University
Humanities Center website.