Documentary Featuring Swarthmore Linguist Premieres at Sundance Film Festival

Nancy Nicely

Documentary Featuring Swarthmore 
Linguist Premieres at Sundance Film Festival

by Nancy Nicely
12/17/2007

David Harrison and two of the last speakers of the Middle Chulym language 

The Linguists, a documentary featuring Assistant Professor of Linguistics K. David Harrison (left), had its world premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival this month. The film, the subject of a recent front page story in the Philadelphia Inquirer and another in the New York Times, follows Harrison and Gregory Anderson as they document disappearing languages around the world and is the first documentary supported by the National Science Foundation to screen at Sundance. View the trailer.

Harrison has traveled extensively to interview the last speakers of critically endangered languages as part of the National Geographic Society's Enduring Voices Project. He says more than half of the world's 7,000 languages are expected to become extinct by the end of the century.  more

News of the language hotspots that Harrison and his colleagues identified made headlines around the world, including in the New York Times, Los Angeles TimesWashington Post, the Guardian UK, and The Australian.  Harrison has also discussed his work on "Good Morning America" and "The Colbert Report."