Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America ( IF 9.412 ) Pub Date : 2021-06-15 , DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2103683118 Rodrigo Cámara-Leret, Jordi Bascompte
Over 30% of the 7,400 languages in the world will no longer be spoken by the end of the century. So far, however, our understanding of whether language extinction may result in the loss of linguistically unique knowledge remains limited. Here, we ask to what degree indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants is associated with individual languages and quantify how much indigenous knowledge may vanish as languages and plants go extinct. Focusing on three regions that have a high biocultural diversity, we show that over 75% of all 12,495 medicinal plant services are linguistically unique—i.e., only known to one language. Whereas most plant species associated with linguistically unique knowledge are not threatened, most languages that report linguistically unique knowledge are. Our finding of high uniqueness in indigenous knowledge and strong coupling with threatened languages suggests that language loss will be even more critical to the extinction of medicinal knowledge than biodiversity loss.
到本世纪末，世界上 7,400 种语言中的 30% 以上将不再使用。然而，到目前为止，我们对语言灭绝是否会导致语言独特知识丧失的理解仍然有限。在这里，我们询问药用植物的本土知识在多大程度上与个别语言相关，并量化了随着语言和植物的灭绝有多少本土知识可能会消失。我们重点关注具有高度生物文化多样性的三个地区，结果表明，在所有 12,495 种药用植物服务中，超过 75% 在语言上是独一无二的——即，只为一种语言所知。虽然与语言独特知识相关的大多数植物物种没有受到威胁，但大多数报告语言独特知识的语言却受到威胁。