Towards An Ethnobiological Theory of Biodiversity and Sociolinguistic Diversity

Date and Time: 
Thursday, 11 May, 2017 - 15:30
Abstract Key Words: 
Mapping, Biocultural Evolution, linguistics
, John Richard - University of Florida

It is now generally accepted that, in most instances, areas of high biodiversity are also areas of high sociolinguistic diversity (and vice-versa). What is less well understood is why these patterns occur. Researchers have promoted various (mostly reductionist) theories but a convincing holistic explanation has yet to emerge. This paper explores ways that the field of ethnobiology can contribute. Research is presented based on fieldwork in Latin America and Southeast Asia as well as a global database we have been developing over the last several years. Several reasons (ranging from the well-grounded to the merely speculative) are presented that explain the occurrence of biocultural diversity.