Front cover image for When languages die : the extinction of the world's languages and the erosion of human knowledge

When languages die : the extinction of the world's languages and the erosion of human knowledge

K. David Harrison (Author)
In When Languages Die, K. David Harrison illustrates the individual face of language loss, as well as its global scale. Languages are the accretion of thousands of years of a peopleʼs science and art - from observations of ecological patterns to creation myths. The author shows that the disappearance of a language is a loss not only for the community of speakers itself but also for our common human knowledge of mathematics, biology, geography, philosophy, agriculture, and linguistics. In this century, we face a massive erosion of the human knowledge base. The global abandonment of indigenous languages will bring a massive loss of accumulated knowledge and culture - this book argues for the irreplaceable nature of these unique knowledge systems and the urgency of documenting them before they are lost forever. --Book jacket
eBook, English, 2007
Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007
1 online resource (x, 292 pages) : illustrations, maps
9780198040170, 9781281162519, 9780199870622, 9780199707287, 9781429486996, 9786611162511, 9780199884629, 0198040172, 1281162515, 0199870624, 0199707286, 1429486996, 6611162518, 0199884625
A world of many (fewer) voices
An extinction of (ideas about) species
Case study : vanishing herds and reindeer words
Many moons ago : traditional calendars and time-reckoning
Case study : nomads of western Mongolia
An atlas in the mind
Case study : wheel of fortune and a blessing
Silent storytellers, lost legends
Case study : new rice versus old knowledge
Endangered number systems : counting to twenty on your toes
Case study : the leaf-cup people, India's modern 'primitives'
Worlds within words
Electronic reproduction, [Place of publication not identified], HathiTrust Digital Library, 2010