Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft Leibniz-Gemeinschaft

Christian Döhler in "bild der Wissenschaft": How diversity of biology and language are connected


The May issue of "bild der Wissenschaft" also features ZAS researcher Dr Christian Döhler. The article reports on an astonishing correlation between the genetics of grizzly bears and indigenous language families in British Columbia. A study shows that three genetically distinct grizzly subpopulations can be determined, each of whose habitat correlates with the territory of a particular language family. One possible explanation could be the idea of "tribal bears", i.e. while the "own" bear was left alone, the others were driven away.   

Dr Christian Döhler also sees a correlation between species diversity and language diversity. He sees political relevance above all in their threat. If common niches of humans and animals are destroyed, this can lead to the disappearance of both. Döhler advocates the "biocultural diversity" approach, according to which biological measures such as species protection should always be linked to cultural measures, such as language promotion in the context of a language documentation project. 

More information can be found in the new issue of "bild der Wissenschaft"!