Part travelogue and part scientist's notebook, The Last Speakers is the poignant chronicle of author K. David Harrison's expeditions around the world to meet with last speakers of vanishing languages. The speakers' eloquent reflections and candid photographs reveal little-known lifeways as well as revitalization efforts to teach disappearing languages to younger generations. Thought-provoking and engaging, this unique book illuminates the global language-extinction crisis through photos, graphics, interviews, traditional wisdom never before translated into English, and first-person essays that thrillingly convey the adventure of science and exploration.
K. David Harrison, a National Geographic Society fellow, travels around the world to interview last speakers of nearly extinct tongues. He is a leading spokesman for endangered languages and co-stars in the Sundance documentary film The Linguists. Harrison received his doctorate from Yale University, is currently an associate professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College, and resides in Philadelphia.