Diversity in and of languages: how we can measure and model its emergence to unveil underlying social drivers

Many are the ways in which human language varies and the social variables that give rise

to these variations. The work I will present here shows how simple models can help build

a good basis for understanding of these social mechanisms, and how online corpora from

social media can be of great value to direct this modelling endeavour.

We will first take a bird's-eye view to uncover the spatial arrangements of language

groups in multilingual countries. We will show how bilingualism can not only belong to a

transition period leading to language extinction, but also remain a stable state keeping

alive a favoured minority language.

We will then zoom in on English in the UK specifically, and gauge the existence of a

link between the socio-economic background of individuals and their tendency to deviate

from the standard form of their language. Our empirical results provide a more nuanced

picture, also reflected in a model, that shows that social mixing plays a crucial role.

Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/98286706234?pwd=bm1JUFVYcTJkaVl1VU55L0FiWDRIUT09

Contact details:

Tobias Galla

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