Physics of bubbles could explain language patterns

Posted On Aug 04, 2017


Physics of bubbles could explain language patterns

“Traditional dialectologists use the term ‘isogloss’ to describe a line on a map marking an area which has a distinct linguistic feature. Dr Burridge said: ‘These isoglosses are like the edges of bubbles—the maths used to describe bubbles can also describe dialects. My model shows that dialects tend to move outwards from population centres, which explains why cities have their own dialects. Big cities like London and Birmingham are pushing on the walls of their own bubbles.'”

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