Frequency patterns of semantic change: corpus-based evidence of a near-critical dynamics in language change

  title={Frequency patterns of semantic change: corpus-based evidence of a near-critical dynamics in language change},
  author={Quentin Feltgen and Benjamin Fagard and Jean-Pierre Nadal},
  journal={Royal Society Open Science},
It is generally believed that when a linguistic item acquires a new meaning, its overall frequency of use rises with time with an S-shaped growth curve. Yet, this claim has only been supported by a limited number of case studies. In this paper, we provide the first corpus-based large-scale confirmation of the S-curve in language change. Moreover, we uncover another generic pattern, a latency phase preceding the S-growth, during which the frequency remains close to constant. We propose a usage… 

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