Birds of a Feather Talk Together: User Influence on Language Adoption

Kersgaw, Daniel
Rowe, Matthew
Noulas, Anastasios
Stacey, Patrick
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Language is in constant flux be it from changes in meaning to the introduction of new terms. At the user level it changes by users accommodating their language in relation to whom they are in contact with. By mining diffusion's of new terms across social networks we detect the influence between users and communities. This is then used to compute the user activation threshold at which they adopt new terms dependent on their neighbours. We apply this method to four different networks from two popular on-line social networks (Reddit and Twitter). This research highlights novel results: by testing the network through random shuffles we show that the time at which a user adopts a term is dependent on the local structure, however, a large part of the influence comes from the global structure and that influence between users and communities is not significantly dependent on network structures.
Language, influence, social networks, diffusion, language change
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