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Modelling contact-induced language change in Angolan Portuguese
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Portuguese. Stockholms universitet. (Interkulturella sprÄkstudier)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8840-076X
City University of New York.
2014 (English)Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this paper we present a model for simulating language change in an expanding speech population using evolutionary game theory, in order to comment on earlier assumptions about linguistic transmission and change in language shift situations. It has largely been assumed that when a group shifts from one language to another, first generation second language (L2) speakers introduce the changes that are stabilized in the second generation of first language (L1) speakers (Fishman 1991: 9; Thomason and Kaufman 1988). Our empirical point of departure is the ongoing language shift from Bantu languages to Portuguese in Angola, which has occurred mainly after independence in 1974. We believe that a realistic model for linguistic innovation and spread needs to include transmission within generations as well as between them and should consider interaction between L1 and L2 varieties. Our computational model attempts to simulate the growth of the Portuguese speaking population in Angola since 1974, as well as the introduction and spread of a possibly contact related linguistic variant (using omission of preposition in locative phrases as an example). The population grows by recruitment of L2 speakers and birth of L1 speakers. For the linguistic feature the simulation starts with the original variant fixed. We add the probability of some individuals introducing the new variant and then allow individuals to interact and update their probabilities of using one variant or the other. By varying the weight for different kinds of interactions and population growth rates for L1 and L2 speakers, the simulation enables us to formalize hypotheses concerning the conditions required for the spread of the new linguistic variant. The outcomes of the simulations will later be compared to data from Cabinda in northern Angola that will be collected in June 2014.

Preliminary results indicate that at least one of the following two conditions needs to be fulfilled for a variant introduced by L2 speakers to spread: (i) recruitment rate of L2 speakers exceeds birth rate for L1 speakers; (ii) L1 speakers are equally influenced by interactions with L2 and L1 speakers. If birth rate of L1 speakers exceeds recruitment rate for L2 speakers and L1 speakers are less influenced by interaction with L2 speakers than with L1 speakers, the new variant does not spread in the population.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
National Category
Humanities Languages and Literature
Research subject
Kultur, identitet och gestaltning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-17102OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-17102DiVA: diva2:793694
Conference
Grammatical hybridization and social conditions,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, October 16-18
Available from: 2015-03-09 Created: 2015-03-09 Last updated: 2015-03-16Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NB
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Output format
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