Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Open Access Transmission Biases in Linguistic Epidemiology

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Transmission Biases in Linguistic Epidemiology

  • PDF
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Language Contact

There is growing interest in approaching research on language contact and change through an epidemiological, population-based model which takes 'linguistic items' or equivalent as a key unit of analysis. This paper explores a number of elements of such a model, with particular attention to a set of biases which may act as conduits or filters for the transmission of linguistic items in populations. These include a number of such biases introduced in recent models of cultural transmission: a threshold bias, a sociometric bias, a model bias, a conformity bias, and a frequency bias. A further bias is of particular relevance to language, but is argued to be equally important for models of cultural transmission in general. This is a context bias, which takes into account the kind of structural context which a given item or variant presupposes for its function. The presence or absence of a relevant structural context will determine the likelihood that the item will be transmitted, and if so to what degree of faithfulness. These biases may help toward characterising an anatomy of cultural epidemiology which makes explicit the relation between individual cognition, social processes, and population-level structure.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation