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Language extinction and linguistic fronts

Language diversity has become greatly endangered in the past centuries owing to processes of language shift from indigenous languages to other languages that are seen as socially and economically more advantageous, resulting in the death or doom of minority languages. In this paper, we define a new language competition model that can describe the historical decline of minority languages in competition with more advantageous languages. We then implement this non-spatial model as an interaction term in a reactiondiffusion system to model the evolution of the two competing languages. We use the results to estimate the speed at which the more advantageous language spreads geographically, resulting in the shrinkage of the area of dominance of the minority language. We compare the results from our model with the observed retreat in the area of influence of the Welsh language in the UK, obtaining a good agreement between the model and the observed data

Royal Society (Gran Bretanya)

Author: Isern Sardó, Neus
Fort, Joaquim
Abstract: Language diversity has become greatly endangered in the past centuries owing to processes of language shift from indigenous languages to other languages that are seen as socially and economically more advantageous, resulting in the death or doom of minority languages. In this paper, we define a new language competition model that can describe the historical decline of minority languages in competition with more advantageous languages. We then implement this non-spatial model as an interaction term in a reactiondiffusion system to model the evolution of the two competing languages. We use the results to estimate the speed at which the more advantageous language spreads geographically, resulting in the shrinkage of the area of dominance of the minority language. We compare the results from our model with the observed retreat in the area of influence of the Welsh language in the UK, obtaining a good agreement between the model and the observed data
Document access: http://hdl.handle.net/2072/241177
Language: eng
Publisher: Royal Society (Gran Bretanya)
Rights: Reconeixement 3.0 Espanya
Rights URI: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/es/deed.ca
Subject: Llengua i cultura -- Models matemàtics
Language and culture -- Mathematical models
Equacions de reacció-difusió
Reaction-diffusion equations
Llenguatge i llengües -- Mort
Language obsolescence
Title: Language extinction and linguistic fronts
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Repository: Recercat

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