Northwestern Events Calendar

Oct
30
2020

Linguistics Colloquium Series: Shiri Lev-Ari - Language from a social networks perspective

When: Friday, October 30, 2020
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM  

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Talant Abdykairov   847.467.3384

Group: Linguistics Department

Category: Academic

Description:

Language is created and used by networks of people. In this talk I will show how the structure of the community, and the position of individuals in the community network can influence the type of language that the community creates, how well community members understand the language, and individuals’ role in spreading and changing the language. I will particularly focus on network size and show how the obstacles of interacting in larger groups can lead to the emergence of more robust systems and representations. Thus, larger communities develop more systematic languages, individuals with larger networks develop better and more robust communicative skills, but it is individuals with smaller networks who spread linguistic changes. Together the findings show that taking a networks perspective can shed new light on the source of cross linguistic differences and individual differences in linguistic skills.

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