Modeling preferences in language contact

Rosillo-Rodes, Pablo (advisors: Sánchez, David; San Miguel, Maxi)
Master Thesis (2022)

Since the publication of the pioneering work on language contact by Abrams and Strogatz in 2003, different models based on quantitative dynamical approaches have been developed to try to gain more insight in the forces that lead to the coexistence or extinction of languages. These phenomena are also observed in varieties of major languages. In this work we present a model that takes into account sociological factors to describe contact of different varieties of a same language. Our model considers both a fixed prestige hierarchy and the effect of the preferences of the speakers. Importantly, we find that preferences determine the fate of the different varieties, often independently of their prestige.

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