14 aprile 2014

Twitter provides 'selfies' of evolving language

Twitter and other social media are an immense resource that can offer linguists the opportunity to explore how our words and phrases are changing.

More and more researchers are beginning to work on projects consisting in analysing tweets to catch the next most popular word.

Why Twitter? 

Because its data is public and immediately available. A huge data consisting of around 340 million tweets sent every day, according to Twitter.

Twitter offers records of language mutating in real time and space. Many tweets provide location data and the time they were sent allowing thus to map out the way in which new words become popular and spread.

Because tweets tend to be rather informal, there are a lot of types of creative usages of words. Tweets appear similar to spontaneous speech, making them particularly valuable to the study of the spread of new words and expressions.