The application of growth curve modeling for the analysis of diachronic corpora

in Language Dynamics and Change
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This paper introduces growth curve modeling for the analysis of language change in corpus linguistics. In addition to describing growth curve modeling, which is a regression-based method for studying the dynamics of a set of variables measured over time, we demonstrate the technique through an analysis of the relative frequencies of words that are increasing or decreasing over time in a multi-billion word diachronic corpus of Twitter. This analysis finds that increasing words tend to follow a trajectory similar to the s-curve of language change, whereas decreasing words tend to follow a decelerated trajectory, thereby showing how growth curve modeling can be used to uncover and describe underlying patterns of language change in diachronic corpora.

The application of growth curve modeling for the analysis of diachronic corpora

in Language Dynamics and Change

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    Figure 1

    Frequency of the top 50 increasing words plotted on the same graph against time

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    Figure 2

    Graphical representation of linear model for increasing words

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    Figure 3

    Graphical representation of quadratic model for increasing words

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    Figure 4

    Graphical representation of cubic model for increasing words

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    Figure 5

    Line graph for top eight increasing words

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    Figure 6

    Graphical representation of linear model for decreasing words

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    Figure 7

    Graphical representation of quadratic model for decreasing words

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    Figure 8

    Graphical representation of cubic model for decreasing words

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    Figure 9

    Line graphs for top eight decreasing words

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