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K. David Harrison

Opening Keynote

K. David Harrison
Tuesday, 12 March 2019
5:30 pm–7:00 pm

Endangered Languages


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Half of the world's languages are endangered and may go extinct in this century. The loss of these languages will have dire consequences not only for their speakers, but also for culture, science, and the environment. Around the world, speakers of endangered languages are mounting strategic efforts to save their languages. This presentation features photos and video clips of speakers of some of the world’s most endangered languages, from Siberia, India, the USA and other locations, and will demonstrate how indigenous speakers and linguists are working to sustain languages through technology and digital activism.

Dr. K David Harrison, anthropologist and linguist, has been a National Geographic Fellow and co-director of the Society’s Enduring Voices Project, documenting endangered languages and cultures around the world. He has done extensive fieldwork with indigenous communities from Siberia and Mongolia to Peru, India, and Australia. His global research is the subject of the acclaimed documentary film The Linguists, and his work has been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, USA Today, and Science. David is both a professor of linguistics and associate provost for academic programs at Swarthmore College.

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