K. David Harrison

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K. David Harrison
Born 1966 (age 51–52)
Ponoka, Alberta, Canada
Nationality American-Canadian
Citizenship United States, Canada
Alma mater American University, Yale University, Jagiellonian University
Occupation Linguist, anthropologist, author, language activist
Known for Author, When Languages Die: The Extinction of the World's Languages and the Erosion of Human Knowledge; The Last Speakers: The Quest to Save the World's Most Endangered Languages, Documentary film star in 2008 film The Linguists[1]
Home town Springfield, Pennsylvania

K. David Harrison (born 1966, Ponoka, Alberta, Canada), is a linguist, anthropologist, author and activist for the documentation and preservation of endangered languages. He is a Professor of Linguistics teaching at Swarthmore College and a Fellow of the National Geographic Society. His research focuses on the Turkic languages of central Siberia and western Mongolia. He co-starred in Ironbound Films' Emmy-nominated 2008 documentary film The Linguists.[1] He serves as director of research for the non-profit Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages.[2][3]

Harrison has done field work on several endangered languages in Siberia and Mongolia including Tuvan, Tsengel Tuvan, Tofa, Ös, Monchak, Munda, and also in Paraguay, Chile, Papua New Guinea, India, Micronesia and Vanuatu. He specializes in phonology, particularly vowel harmony, lexicography, and in the study of language endangerment, extinction and revitalization, environmental knowledge, and digital lexicography .[4]


  1. ^ a b David and Greg,"The Linguists"[1], National Science Foundation under Grants No.0452417 and 0438121 and the Nonprofit Media Group.
  2. ^ K. David Harrison, Ph.D., Swarthmore College Linguistics: Research, accessed May 2010
  3. ^ Brooks, Anthony (25 January 2008). "'The Linguists': Saving the World's Languages". WBUR. Retrieved 22 February 2009. 
  4. ^ K. David Harrison, Ph.D., Swarthmore College Linguistics, accessed May 2010

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