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Analyzing lexical emergence in Modern American English online 1


This article introduces a quantitative method for identifying newly emerging word forms in large time-stamped corpora of natural language and then describes an analysis of lexical emergence in American social media using this method, based on a multi-billion-word corpus of Tweets collected between October 2013 and November 2014. In total 29 emerging word forms, which represent various semantic classes, grammatical parts-of-speech and word formation processes, were identified through this analysis. These 29 forms are then examined from various perspectives in order to begin to better understand the process of lexical emergence.

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The research reported in this article was funded by AHRC, ESRC and Jisc (grant reference number 3154) as part of Round 3 of the Digging into Data Challenge. We would also like to thank Alice Kasakoff, Bernd Kortmann, Emily Waibel and two anonymous reviewers for their comments on this article.

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