Predicting language diversity with complex networks

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Abstract

We analyze the model of social interactions with coevolution of the topology and states of the nodes. This model can be interpreted as a model of language change. We propose different rewiring mechanisms and perform numerical simulations for each. Obtained results are compared with the empirical data gathered from two online databases and anthropological study of Solomon Islands. We study the behavior of the number of languages for different system sizes and we find that only local rewiring, i.e. triadic closure, is capable of reproducing results for the empirical data in a qualitative manner. Furthermore, we cancel the contradiction between previous models and the Solomon Islands case. Our results demonstrate the importance of the topology of the network, and the rewiring mechanism in the process of language change.

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Raducha, T., & Gubiec, T. (2018). Predicting language diversity with complex networks. PLoS ONE, 13(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0196593

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