The Evolution of Egalitarian Sociolinguistic Conventions
- (pp. 572-77)
AbstractMotivated by historical examples and ideas from socio-linguistics, in particular the "non-reciprocal power semantic" of Brown and Gilman (1960), we extend evolutionary models of language to incorporate intentional linguistic innovations among conventions that may convey social superiority and inferiority, despite being ambiguous, in the sense of less efficiency in communicating information. We show that egalitarian and unambiguous linguistic conventions can be stochastically stable but also identify conditions under which ambiguous linguistic conventions that are imperfect signals of status differences may be stochastically stable.
CitationNaidu, Suresh, Sung-Ha Hwang, and Samuel Bowles. 2017. "The Evolution of Egalitarian Sociolinguistic Conventions." American Economic Review, 107 (5): 572-77. DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20171089
- D02 Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
- D63 Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- J15 Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
- Z13 Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification