Endangered Languages / Discussion 4: Local Languages and Geography

Read Harrison’s reading: https://rutgers.alma.exlibrisgroup.com/leganto/readinglist/citation/16757081180004646?institute=01RUT_INST&auth=SAML
Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMtSdL_r1gc
We’ve already talked quite a bit about the various types of information (cultural, historical, scientific) that may be encoded in local languages. Narrowing our focus once again, our question for this week is What can place names tell us about a geographic area and the people who live there?
In addition to cultural information, ecological data, and traditional time reckoning systems, indigenous languages can also encode quite a lot of geographic information as well. In roughly 150-200 words, citing specific examples from the readings in Harrison, Heckewelder, and Reichel, talk about the different types of information that is encoded in indigenous place names and the “human geography” of a given region–geographical, ecological, historical, mythic (giving examples of each type if possible). You will not receive full credit for participation if you do not address the material covered in the readings, citing them by the author and page numbers.
You will also be expected to offer a response to one of your classmates, in order to get full credit for the week. This can take the form of a counterpoint (disagreeing with your classmate’s position, and offering evidence to the contrary), or a supporting argument (offering additional information to support the claim of your classmate). For this response, you need not be limited to the material covered in this week’s readings.

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