Computer Simulation of Speech and Culture as a Complex System


ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowships




This project develops a multidimensional computer simulation that can model and display the process of emergence and adaptation of regional language differences. Existing survey data from the Linguistic Atlas Project (LAP) offers copious information about actual regional differences in speech, with which one can validate the results of the computer simulation as a representation of the process that created such regional differences. This simulation can be modified to include various social characteristics, making it possible to gauge the contributions of social factors like gender, race, education, and urban/rural residence to the patterns in the LAP data and in the simulation.