The Role of Language in Structuring Social Networks Following Market Integration in a Yucatec Maya Population.
Kramer, Karen L
Frontiers Media SA
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Padilla-Iglesias, C., & Kramer, K. L. (2021). The Role of Language in Structuring Social Networks Following Market Integration in a Yucatec Maya Population.. Front Psychol, 12 https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.656963
Language is the human universal mode of communication, and is dynamic and constantly in flux accommodating user needs as individuals interface with a changing world. However, we know surprisingly little about how language responds to market integration, a pressing force affecting indigenous communities worldwide today. While models of culture change often emphasize the replacement of one language, trait, or phenomenon with another following socioeconomic transitions, we present a more nuanced framework. We use demographic, economic, linguistic, and social network data from a rural Maya community that spans a 27-year period and the transition to market integration. By adopting this multivariate approach for the acquisition and use of languages, we find that while the number of bilingual speakers has significantly increased over time, bilingualism appears stable rather than transitionary. We provide evidence that when indigenous and majority languages provide complementary social and economic payoffs, both can be maintained. Our results predict the circumstances under which indigenous language use may be sustained or at risk. More broadly, the results point to the evolutionary dynamics that shaped the current distribution of the world's linguistic diversity.
Psychology, bilingualism, Maya, market integration, behavioral ecology, cultural evolution, social networks, language shift, Mexico
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.656963
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/332378