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Dynamic preferences and self-actuation of changes in language dynamics
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (Cultural Matters Group)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6194-1355
2019 (English)In: Language Dynamics and Change, ISSN 2210-5824, E-ISSN 2210-5832, Vol. 9, no 1, p. 61-103Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A puzzling fact about linguistic norms is that they are mainly stable, but the conventional variant sometimes changes. These transitions seem to be mostly S-shaped and, therefore, directed. Previous models have suggested possible mechanisms to explain these directed changes, mainly based on a bias favoring the innovative variant. What is still debated is the origin of such a bias. In this paper, we propose a refined taxonomy of mechanisms of language change and identify a family of mechanisms explaining self-actuated language changes. We exemplify this type of mechanism with the preference-based selection mechanism that relies on agents having dynamic preferences for different variants of the linguistic norm. The key point is that if these preferences align through social interactions, then new changes can be actuated even in the absence of external triggers. We present results of a multi-agent model and demonstrate that the model produces trajectories that are typical of language change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Brill Academic Publishers, 2019. Vol. 9, no 1, p. 61-103
Keywords [en]
language change, dynamic preferences, S-curve, self-actuation of changes
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-383951DOI: 10.1163/22105832-00901003ISI: 000469390400003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-383951DiVA, id: diva2:1318098
Available from: 2019-05-26 Created: 2019-05-26 Last updated: 2019-06-24Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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Output format
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