Daniel Everett discusses the Pirahã and their language. The language has no words for numbers, no words for right and left and lacks any examples of recursion. This last trait forces us to rethink everything we thought we knew about language.
The discussion of the Pirahã language itself is excellent, but Everett’s discussion of why endangered languages need to be preserved is absolutely fascinating. His recommendations for preserving endangered languages include preserving natives speaker’s land and their heath. He also recommends studying and documenting these languages over a long period of time, as he has done with the Pirahã language.
More information on this seminar is available at http://blog.longnow.org/2009/03/23/daniel-everett-endangered-languages-lost-knowledge-and-the-future/