Commun. Comput. Phys.,
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Volume 3.

Birth, Survival and Death of Languages by Monte Carlo Simulation

C. Schulze 1, D. Stauffer 1*, S. Wichmann 2

1 Institute for Theoretical Physics, Cologne University, D-50923 Koln, Euroland.
2 Department of Linguistics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany.

Received 1 April 2007; Accepted (in revised version) 16 July 2007
Available online 27 September 2007


Simulations mostly by physicists of the competition between adult languages since 2003 are reviewed. The Viviane and Schulze models give good and reasonable agreement, respectively, with the empirical histogram of language sizes. Also the numbers of different languages within one language family is modeled reasonably in an intermediate range. Bilingualism is now incorporated into the Schulze model. Also the rate at which the majority shifts from one language to another is found to be nearly independent of the population size, or to depend strongly on it, according to details of the Schulze model. Other simulations, like Nettle-Culicover-Nowak, are reviewed more briefly.

AMS subject classifications: 91.C15
PACS: 89.20.-1, 89.65.-s
Key words: Language competition, Schulze model, Viviane model, agent-based modeling.

*Corresponding author.
Email: stauffer@thp.Uni-Koeln.DE (D. Stauffer), (S. Wichmann)

The Global Science Journal