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Documentary Featuring Linguist David Harrison Receives Emmy Nomination

Documentary Featuring Linguist
David Harrison Receives Emmy Nomination

by Alex Weintraub '11

The Linguists

The Linguists, the critically acclaimed documentary that follows the work of Associate Professor of Linguistics K. David Harrison and fellow researcher Gregory Anderson, recently received an Emmy Award nomination from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in the Outstanding Science and Technology Programming category. The film, which debuted as an Official Selection at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, depicts Harrison and Anderson's efforts to document endangered languages around the world before they become extinct. It was nominated for the award, which will be announced Sept. 27, after its televised debut on PBS last year.

In addition to their roles in the film, Harrison and Anderson are also depicted as members of the Nat Geo E-Team, a feature on National Geographic Kids that highlights the Enduring Voices Project.  The duo leads the scientific research for the Project, a partnership between the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages they founded and National Geographic Mission Programs.

Harrison, who teaches Languages of the World and Phonetics and Phonology, among other courses, is an authority on endangered and dying languages with particular interest in connections between language and biodiversity, ethnoecology, and cultural survival. He considers himself both an academic and an activist, writing on his website that "linguists can support community-based efforts at language preservation and revitalization, and can document languages for posterity and for science."