Environmental Linguistics

To come with noise as wind through a hole, as a sound from a trumpet.
To make any buzzing noise as an instrument with a faulty tongue.
To breathe making a noise as when one has a cold, to pass air through the nose with noise.

(from Yamana English Dictionary – a Dictionary of the Speech of Tierra del Fuego, by Reverend Thomas Bridges, 1865)

Voice and terrain

Early travellers encountering Tierra del Fuego and its inhabitants had comments about the particular sound of their language(s). Written accounts, dictionaries and recordings reveal fascinating insights in to cultures that are deeply entangled with their natural habitat.

This project grew out of a commitment to those entanglements and attempts to trace exchanges between cultural features and material properties of the location. In particular language-landscape links that go beyond mere vocabulary encapsulations of topography, seeking instead elemental imprints of terrain and climate on the sonority of spoken words. 

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