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Using Social Media to Investigate Linguistic Variation and Change

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Data from social-media platforms such as Twitter have been used to investigate how new words diffuse geographically. However, they have been little used to answer core questions in historical linguistics and language variation and change, such as, what grammatical variation exists and how new grammatical variants spread. This talk will explore their use in this domain, demonstrating some of the methods being developed as part of the ESRC -funded project Investigating the diffusion of morphosyntactic innovations using social media, and will consider whether social media data provide a good proxy for spoken data.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Language Sciences Annual Symposium series.

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