K. David Harrison

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Vice Provost of Academic Affairs

Faculty, College of Arts and Sciences


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
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    Ethnobotany and Vernacular Names of the Lycophytes and Ferns of Tafea Province, Vanuatu
    (2022-08-19) Tom A. Ranker; Michael J. Balick; Gregory M. Plunkett; K. David Harrison; Jean-Pascal Wahe; Martial Wahe
    We conducted extensive fieldwork in the Tafea Province of Vanuatu from 2014 to 2021 as part of a long-term floristic study of plants and fungi as well as analyses of changes in forest structure and plant diversity in response to the category 5 cyclone Pam. As part of this work, we documented the vernacular names and/or uses of 10 species of lycophytes and 88 species of ferns. Vernacular plant names were documented in the languages endemic to the islands of Aneityum, Futuna, and Tanna, including Anejom, Futuna-Aniwa, Kwamara, Nafe, Naka, Netwar, Nahuai, and ~ Whitesands. The uses reported by indigenous, Ni-Vanuatu, experts included: body decoration, cultural/spiritual, ornamental, clothing, food/food preparation, handicrafts, medicine, and fiber/construction.
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    Environmental Linguistics
    (2023) K. David Harrison
    Environmental linguistics is an emerging !eld at the intersection of linguistics and natural sciences. It recognizes the mutual relationship between cultural and ecological diversity, documenting linguistic structures and verbal practices by which speakers conceptualize, encode, and transmit knowledge about the natural world. It surpasses the largely metaphorical and narrative program of ecolinguistics to position language as the preeminent conceptual framework and channel for environmental knowledge. Natural phenomena—as Indigenous experts explain—cannot be understood apart from the languages that encode them, and vice versa. Language diversity is thus the key to safeguarding biodiversity and a balanced human relationship with nature. Environmental linguistics helps decolonize linguistics as our field evolves to prioritize knowledge coproduction over data extraction. Examples from my fieldwork in Tuva cover six domains of knowledge: landscapes, lifeforms, time, sound, memory, and survival. This article reviews recent literature from many cultures, emphasizing works by Indigenous authors.