Regensburg 2019 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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SOE: Fachverband Physik sozio-ökonomischer Systeme

SOE 12: Poster

SOE 12.4: Poster

Dienstag, 2. April 2019, 16:00–19:00, Poster A

Mapping mathematical models for language shift to linguistic reality — •Katharina Prochazka1,2, Michael Leitner3, and Gero Vogl11Fakultät für Physik & VDSP, Universität Wien, 1090 Wien, Austria — 2Institut für Slawistik, Universität Wien, 1090 Wien, Austria — 3Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ), Technische Universität München, 85748 Garching, Germany

When people stop speaking one language and adopt another, this is called language shift. In language shift, the ``new'' language spreads while the ``old'' one retreats. To describe this process and see how and why it happens, mathematical models can be used. These models are often based on the analogy between the spread of particles (physical diffusion) and languages (language diffusion) and comprise differential equations (macroscopic reaction--diffusion systems) as well as agent-based approaches (microscopic models as in [1]).

In this contribution, we focus on the interpretation of such models: How do abstract parameters correspond to what is actually going on during language shift? What can be learned from models which do not incorporate empirical data? And on the other hand: Which model is appropriate under which conditions?

More concretely, we explore the modelling of different processes of language shift by using empirical data from two examples in Austria and Hungary. For these cases, we show how the available data and conditions such as geographical structure inform the choice of a certain model.

[1] K. Prochazka and G. Vogl, PNAS 114, 4365 (2017)

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