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
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