Enduring Voices channel on YouTube

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I'm a bit tardy in reporting this, but better late than never: the endangered language research team of K. David Harrison and Greg Anderson, in collaboration with National Geographic, have started a YouTube channel for their Enduring Voices mission. (Read more about it here and here.)

Enduring Voices on YouTube

The last time I'd mentioned Harrison and Anderson on Language Log, back in July, their documentary The Linguists had just received an Emmy® nomination for "Outstanding Science and Technology Programming". Since then, Harrison's book The Last Speakers: The Quest to Save the World's Most Endangered Languages has been published (in September), and there was an associated splash in the media (in October) concerning Harrison and Anderson's discovery of the 'hidden' Tibeto-Burman language Koro. Sorry, I've been away from my desk. I'll try to do better.


  1. Jangari said,

    November 18, 2010 @ 7:52 pm

    Head: meet desk.

    [EB] — Your head appears to have landed on your keyboard, where it managed to bang out some unnecessary nastiness.

    I'm a little tired of hearing about these guys so often. So many people forwarded me the article about the 'discovery' of Koro, an event which actually occurred two years ago. The announcement in September was made to coincide with the publication of their book.

    [EB] — This is of course one possibility; another is that the news media work as they do, and nobody bothered to get on this story until the book was published.

    I'll confess to not having read their book, but I'd wager that Nick Evans' Dying Words: Endangered Languages and what they have to tell us (2010) would be a much more insightful read.

    [EB] — I hope many readers take you up on the wager, and that everyone buys both books and systematically compares them for their relative insightfulness. We'll even host the discussion here on Language Log; all we'll require is proof of purchase of both books.

    I read now that Koro has been known since 2005, when research suggested it was related (probably dialectally) to Aka, and was classified as such in Ethnologue 16 (2009). So this 'discovery' is merely the decision by the linguists that Koro was more divergent from Aka than dialecthood would imply.

    [EB] — There's a reason I linked to the Wikipedia entry on Koro, where you "now read" your information about Koro. Clearly there's more to the story here, and interested readers are welcome to find out more.


    [EB] — Gesundheit!

  2. malkie said,

    November 21, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

    When I read "endangered language research team" I wondered what was endangered – the research team or perhaps the languages that they (the research team) concern themselves with.

    Having reasoned that, if this phrase referred to a team whose members research endangered languages, the first two words would be hyphenated to make a compound adjective, I conclude that the language research team is in danger.

    However, the name of Harrison's book suggests otherwise.


  3. K. David Harrison said,

    December 2, 2010 @ 1:17 am

    Thank you for this posting.

    I'm pleased to report that the new YouTube channel devoted to video recordings of endangered languages has had over 30,000 visits in its first month. I envisioned the channel as a way for speakers of small languages to make their voices heard to a global audience.

    As for Koro—(which we have been documenting since February 2008)—no more eloquent statement could be made about the need to maintain Koro than that by a young speaker Anthony Degio, which I invite you to watch.


    I believe Anthony's appeal speaks for itself, and for the value of promoting, publicizing, supporting and valuing Koro and languages like it.

    Best wishes,

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