Linguist K. David Harrison Discusses Technology and Endangered Languages on Living on Earth

Susan Clarey

Linguist K. David Harrison Discusses Technology and Endangered Languages on Living on Earth

by Michael Lott
1/15/2010

Daniel Menaker '63
K. David Harrison (right)

K. David Harrison, associate professor of Linguistics, was recently interviewed on the radio show Living on Earth regarding the use of technology in his work documenting and preserving endangered languages. Harrison says that he's helping "some of these small languages cross the digital divide and to bring them over into high tech domains" so that speakers of the language see it as relevant and useful. He has also created talking dictionaries for some languages and is developing a talking dictionary iPhone application.

Harrison directs the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages. The Living Tongues Institute has partnered with National Geographic to create the Enduring Voices Project, which records vanishing languages around the world. His work with colleague Greg Anderson was profiled in the 2008 documentary The Linguists.