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This model is part of an article that discusses the adoption of a complexity theory approach to study the dynamics of language contact within multilingual communities. The model simulates the dynamics of communication within a community where a minority and a majority group coexist. The individual choice of language for communication is based on a number of simple rules derived from a review of the main literature on the topic of language contact. These rules are then combined with different variables, such as the rate of exogamy of the minority group and the presence of relevant education policies, to estimate the trends of assimilation of the minority group into the majority one. The model is validated using actually observed data from the case of Romansh speakers in the canton of Grisons, Switzerland.
The objective of this agent-based model is to test different language education orientations and their consequences for the EU population in terms of linguistic disenfranchisement, that is, the inability of citizens to understand EU documents and parliamentary discussions should their native language(s) no longer be official. I will focus on the impact of linguistic distance and language learning. Ideally, this model would be a tool to help EU policy makers make informed decisions about language practices and education policies, taking into account their consequences in terms of diversity and linguistic disenfranchisement. The model can be used to force agents to make certain choices in terms of language skills acquisition. The user can then go on to compare different scenarios in which language skills are acquired according to different rationales. The idea is that, by forcing agents to adopt certain language learning strategies, the model user can simulate policies promoting the acquisition of language skills and get an idea of their impact. In this way the model allows not only to sketch various scenarios of the evolution of language skills among EU citizens, but also to estimate the level of disenfranchisement in each of these scenarios.