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date: 17 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter briefly addresses some of the issue and concerns about documentation and preservation of traditional and local knowledge about the environment and biodiversity, particularly as conceptualized within human languages. Parallels between the practices of biological science and language documentation are discussed as models for thinking about issues in language preservation. Language legacies are described as being both the details and the context of persistent use within communities of humans living in specific locations where their languages evolved. Local language complexities are largely based upon long-term interactions with, and observations of, local environments with resulting interpretations becoming important structural details of the language legacy. Non-local expertise in sciences (or other specialties) may be helpful for documenting local language details held by local experts that would otherwise be difficult for a linguist to understand. Collaboration between linguists and other scientists through incorporation of traditional and local knowledge about biodiversity will enable the collaborating scholars to increase the quality and relevance of their work for conservation of languages and life on earth.

Keywords: biodiversity, collaboration, ecosystems, documentation, preservation

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