Modelling language competition: bilingualism and complex social networks

Castelló, X.; Eguíluz, V.M.; San Miguel,M.; Loureiro-Porto, L.; Toivonen, R.; Saramäki, J.; Kaski, K
The evolution of language; Proceedings of the 7th International Conference (EVOLANG7), Barcelona 2008. Eds. A.D.M. Smith, K. Smith, R. Ferrer-Cancho., World Scientific Publishing Co., , 59-66 (2008)

In the general context of dynamics of social consensus, we study an agent based model for the competition between two socially equivalent languages, addressing the role of bilingualism and social structure. In a regular network, we study the formation of linguistic domains and their interaction across the boundaries. We also analyse the dynamics on a small world network and on a network with community structure. In all cases, a final scenario of dominance of one language and extinction of the other is obtained (dominance-extinction state). In comparison with the regular network, smaller times for extinction are found in the small world network. In the network with communities instead, the average time for extinction does not give a characteristic time for the dynamics, and metastable states are observed at all time scales.

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