Diffusion of Linguistic Innovation as Social Coordination

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Abstract

Linguistic creativity is a manifestation of communities’ and cultures’ innovativeness. The initial results will be presented of an empirical project analysing the character and speed of the social spread of winged words and neologisms in a microblogging site, using the tools of social network analysis applied to big-scale data. Investigating the diffusion of linguistic innovation requires an approach pooling competences from human, social, and computational sciences. Such a complex systems perspective can lead to a deeper understanding of how mutual relations and communication between Internet users impact the cultural evolution of language in time and space, and the shape and dynamics of the interactions themselves, delivering quantitative estimates on the expansion of linguistic expressions and allowing the prediction of future trends and their scale.

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