Mapping Categories of the Past and Present for the Future: Hunter-Gatherer Motion

Friday, 13 February 2015: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Room LL21E (San Jose Convention Center)
Niclas Burenhult, Lund University and Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Lund, Sweden
Present-day hunter-gatherer communities provide fascinating insights into the construal of human motion and a window on representational strategies that may have been prevalent during much of human evolution. In this talk I will report on psycholinguistic research targeting categories of motion among such (typically endangered) communities. We use modern GIS and video technology to collect, analyze, visualize, and document linguistic categorization of terrestrial and arboreal locomotion among foragers, especially in rainforest communities in Southeast Asia. The resulting data is curated in multimedia environments dedicated to persistent and sustainable storage and enrichment, for the benefit of future generations of researchers as well as the language communities themselves.