By: Alan McKane
From: University of Manchester
At: Complexo Interdisciplinar, Anfiteatro
In the first part of the talk we introduce a usage-based model of language change which is strongly motivated by ideas from population genetics. In the model a community of speakers interact with different freqencies and through conversations influence each others usage of different linguistic variants. Analogies with neutral theories in population ecology, population genetics and opinion dynamics are explored. Both numerical simulations and mathematical analysis are used to determine the mean time, T, taken for only one variant to be left in the community. Remarkably, for the model of language change, the value of T is independent of the network structure.