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Language competition with bilinguals in social networks

Xavier Castelló, Víctor M. Eguíluz and Maxi San Miguel

No 238, Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 from Society for Computational Economics

Abstract: Several models have been proposed to study the dynamics of competition between languages. Among them, and starting from the dynamics of endangered languages, recent approaches have addressed the issue of bilingualism. Along these lines we consider the dynamics of language use, allowing for bilingualism, within a social network in the case where the two languages are equivalent. Understanding this case is a first step to describe the case of an endangered language competing against a language with higher status. Local effects are analyzed, studying interface dynamics and growth laws of the system. Power laws for the decay of interface density and bilingual population density are obtained. A final state is reached, where one of the languages disappears. We also study the stability of bilingual communities, which suggests possible explanations for the difficulty of coexistence of languages in the long term.

Keywords: Complex systems; Language competition; social networks (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006-07-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mic, nep-net and nep-soc
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