Investigating the effects of prestige on the diffusion of linguistic variants

Monica Tamariz, Tao Gong, Gerhard Jäger

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Abstract

    Language, arguably the cognitive capacity that distinguishes humans, is a dynamic complex adaptive system whose structure and evolution is influenced by a host of factors. This paper takes a population dynamics approach to investigate the diffusion of linguistic variants in populations, focusing on the effect of differential prestige of linguistic variants and of speakers. A novel method that combines computer simulation with mathematical modeling is applied to the specific aim of identifying factors that formally constitute selective pressures on variant diffusion. Of the factors studied, only the intrinsic prestige of variants is found to pose selective pressure, while speakers’ prestige merely modulates variant spread.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
    EditorsLaura Carlson , Christoph Hölscher , Thomas F. Shipley
    PublisherCognitive Science Society
    Pages1491-1496
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Print)978-0-9768318-7-7)
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    Event33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society - Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    Duration: 20 Jul 201123 Jul 2011

    Conference

    Conference33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
    Abbreviated titleCogSci 2011
    CountryUnited States
    CityBoston, Massachusetts
    Period20/07/1123/07/11

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  • Cite this

    Tamariz, M., Gong, T., & Jäger, G. (2011). Investigating the effects of prestige on the diffusion of linguistic variants. In L. Carlson , C. Hölscher , & T. F. Shipley (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1491-1496). Cognitive Science Society.