Vol. 11, No. 3
Lexicons in Contact: A Neural Network Model of Contact-Induced Change
Department of Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego
Languages often interfere with one another through contact, with effects which are often large and sometimes surprising. Many theories have been advanced, but, because of the impossibility of running controlled experiments, it is difficult if not impossible to gauge the relative importance of various factors with any degree of accuracy. Such con- trolled experimentation is, however, possible with a model. I present a neural network community model which is capable of reproducing “Finglish”, or American Finnish, which arose in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. This model is suggested as one which could ultimately be used to explore the relative importance of various factors which have been suggested as influencing the outcomes of language contact situations.