image of An agent-based modelling approach to wave-like diversification of language families
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In contrast to phylogenetic tree inference, wave model approaches are often regarded as difficult to computationally implement for inference of language relatedness. This paper proposes a basic framework for the computational modelling of wave-like diversification in language families and explains the model type of agent-based models for linguistic data. The approach is based on agent-based simulations which allow for the detailed simulation of speaker interactions within speech communities. The proposed framework operates by simulating a large number of possible diversification situations with different parameter settings and selecting those runs that yield a good fit to the linguistic data of the geographical spread of different languages. The model can be fed with the geographical extent of languages and their known innovations in order to computationally reconstruct the most likely diversification scenarios of these languages under the wave model.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: phylogenetics ; wave model ; linguistic diversification ; agent-based models
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