Abstract: Human societies are organized on different levels spanning from the individual; through the tribe, town, and provinces; all the way up beyond states. Mediating this complex organization we find human language, a property unique among species. Conversely, the organizational structure of societies can affect language use itself – e.g. the rate at which coexisting tongues are dropped or adopted. In a budding line of research, we look at sociolinguistic processes to study social organization, and how structures at different (perhaps conflicting) scales can affect the sociolinguistic unfolding. In this talk we show some insights about these questions obtained from the study of Galician-Spanish coexistence in northwest Spain. In the future, we hope to generalize these results to other sociolinguistic scenarios, hopefully obtaining universal regularities about how social systems get assembled in general.
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