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The Dynamics of Lexical Innovation

München, 06/27/2017


The mechanisms that transform an innovation into a trend and then into a widely accepted norm (or a flash in the pan) can be investigated at many levels. Scholars in the Department of English at LMU are monitoring the process at the level of everyday speech. As part of a DFG-funded project devoted to the study of “Incipient Diffusion of Lexical Innovations”, Principal Investigator Professor Hans-Jörg Schmid and his colleagues have developed a custom-tailored software for this purpose, which they use to trace the creation, propagation and lifespan of English neologisms on the Internet. They call their program ‘NeoCrawler’ (thus contributing a coinage of their own to the language).

The Neocrawler Project Group has now organized an international workshop on The Dynamics of Lexical Innovation, in which invited specialists will discuss various aspects of the project from the standpoint of their own particular discipline. The event will take place on June 28-30, 2017. “As linguists, we are primarily interested in the detailed dynamics of the process of lexical innovation itself,” says Project Coordinator Dr. Daphné Kerremans. “But the theoretical and methodological bases of our approach are interdisciplinary in nature, and can be translated into other branches of study in which the diffusion of innovations also plays a role.”

For further information on the Workshop, see: Dynamics of Lexical Innovation

For information on the project itself, see: Incipient diffusion of lexical innovations