Languages are in some sense alive. They're born, they reproduce and evolve, and some ultimately die. As major languages such as English, Spanish, and Chinese increasingly dominate our interconnected world, many other languages face the threat of going extinct. At a AAAS symposium on Friday, 17 February, researchers will discuss how social media, online audio dictionaries, and other tools are revitalizing some endangered languages, helping to preserve this important part of human culture.
Join us at a special time, 3 p.m. EST Friday 17, February, when several of the speakers will be with us on ScienceLive to take readers' questions on the past, present, and future of languages. You can leave your questions beforehand in the comments section on this page.
K. David Harrison
An authority on endangered and dying languages with particular interest in connections between language and biodiversity, ethnoecology, and cultural survival, Harrison's research has focused mainly on the little-documented Turkic languages of Central Siberia and Western Mongolia. He is the author of When Languages Die: The Extinction of the World's Languages and the Erosion of Human Knowledge (Oxford University Press, 2007), as well as the co-founder and research director of the non-profit Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages.
Margaret Noori / Giiwedinoodin (Anishinaabe heritage, waabzheshiinh doodem) received an MFA in Writing and a PhD in English and Linguistics from the University of Minnesota. She is Director of the Comprehensive Studies Program and teaches American Indian Literature at the University of Michigan. Her work focuses on the recovery and maintenance of Anishinaabe language and literature. Current research includes language proficiency and the study of indigenous literary aesthetics. Visit www.ojibwe.net to hear and see more.