Adam Smith's Rational Choice Linguistics
Posted: 28 Jun 1998
Adam Smith offers an account, based on rational choice considerations, of the grammatical change experienced by languages when adults attempt to communicate across languages in such a way as to minimize transactions costs. His model predicts what is known to linguists as a "pidgin," a language learned by adults in which to make trades. His model can be extended to predict the grammatical trajectory toward pidgin experienced by dying languages.
JEL Classification: A1, B3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation