Simulating the dynamics of multilingualism and language policy issues

In the past few years, more and more scholars have come to the conclusion that language issues are inherently complex, in that they have roots in and an impact on several different fields. Multilingualism is indeed only one of the numerous aspects that constitute the diversity of many modern societies. Languages are inextricably connected to their cultural, social, economic and political context. They are a crucial element in the identity building process of every individual from birth and play a major role in the development of people’s sociality. Besides, as many other expressions of the human mind, language is the result of complex cognitive dynamics and is able to affect human cognitive processes in its turn.

Language matters display many of the recurrent traits of complex phenomena, such as non-linearity, self-similarity, and self-organization, and are usually studied by means of specific methodologies. Traditionally, simulation and agent-based modelling are first-line tools in the research of causation links in complex phenomena. This panel aims at exploring the dynamics of language-related issues, which include (but are not limited to):

  • language contact
  • multilingual communication
  • the status of language minorities
  • the inclusion and discrimination of allophone migrants
  • the cohesion of multilingual communities,
  • bilingualism and diglossia,
  • the acquisition of language skills,
  • the evolution and variation of language,
  • and the emergence of idiolects.

This panel is strongly interdisciplinary, therefore interventions coming from scholars in sociology, economics, sociolinguistics, and psychology, as well as any other academic disciplines in the social sciences, are highly encouraged.



We welcome the submission of extended abstracts (3 - 4 pages; short oral presentation) and full papers (max. 12 pages, long oral presentation). All work must be original, i.e. must not have appeared in conference proceedings, books, or journals and may not be under review for other archival conferences, books, or journals.


Important Dates

Submission of extended abstracts (3-4 pages) or full papers (max. 12 pages): 30 April 2019
Notification of Acceptance: 24 June 2019
Final Version Submission: 11 July 2019



  • Marco Civico (University of Geneva, FTI)
  • Prof. Gert Jan Hofstede (Wageningen University, INF)