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Discuss five ways in which linguistic topographic knowledge systems of small languages that Harrison talks about differ from large global languages and modern maps. What do place-names and na(t)ive maps reveal about the “mental life” of Tofa and Tuvan people?What is the role of Tuvan stories, myths, songs, and prayers in establishing the relationship between the features of the natural landscape and their culture/way of life?
After learning that the Tofa local guide, hired by Harrison on his route across Siberian landscape, got lost in the forest, an older member of the Tofa community, “Aunt Marta” commented, “Our young people don’t know their own forests nowadays.” Explain the significance of this statement. Why does Harrison believe that linguistic topographic knowledge systems are more “ephemeral” than the knowledge systems embedded in modern maps?Why do Tuvan people have a rich repertoire of words that describe animal sounds, water sound and echoes? How does talking about sounds relate to Harrison’s discussion of maps in this chapter?
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