Join the Seaport Museum and Ross Perlin, linguist and co-director of the non-profit Endangered Language Alliance, for a unique look at the linguistic diversity of New York City as explored in his new book, Language City: The Fight to Preserve Endangered Mother Tongues in New York. In this program, Perlin will share his race against time to map little-known languages across New York and will present a portrait of contemporary New York illustrated through six speakers of little-known and overlooked languages deep in their communities, from the streets of Brooklyn and Queens to villages on the other side of the world. He explores the languages themselves, from rare sounds to sentence-long words to bits of grammar that encode entirely different worldviews. On the 100th anniversary of a notorious anti-immigration law that closed America’s doors for decades and the 400th anniversary of New York’s colonial founding, Perlin raises the alarm about growing political threats and the onslaught of “killer languages” like English and Spanish.

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