TitleNeologisms are epidemic: Modeling the life cycle of neologisms in China 2008-2016
AuthorsJiang, Menghan
Shen, Xiang Ying
Ahrens, Kathleen
Huang, Chu-Ren
AffiliationPeking Univ, Dept Chinese Language & Literature, Beijing, Peoples R China
Hong Kong Polytech Univ, Dept Chinese & Bilingual Studies, Hong Kong, Peoples R China
Chinese Univ Hong Kong, Dept Phys, Hong Kong, Peoples R China
Hong Kong Polytech Univ, Dept English, Hong Kong, Peoples R China
HK PolyU PKU Res Ctr Chinese Linguist, Hong Kong, Peoples R China
Hong Kong Polytech Univ, Res Ctr Profess Commun English, Hong Kong, Peoples R China
Shenzhen JL Computat Sci & Appl Res Inst, Shenzhen, Peoples R China
Issue Date3-Feb-2021
PublisherPLOS ONE
AbstractThis paper adopts models from epidemiology to account for the development and decline of neologisms based on internet usage. The research design focuses on the issue of whether a host-driven epidemic model is well-suited to explain human behavior regarding neologisms. We extracted the search frequency data from Google Trends that covers the ninety most influential Chinese neologisms from 2008-2016 and found that the majority of them possess a similar rapidly rising-decaying pattern. The epidemic model is utilized to fit the evolution of these internet-based neologisms. The epidemic model not only has good fitting performance to model the pattern of rapid growth, but also is able to predict the peak point in the neologism's life cycle. This result underlines the role of human agents in the life cycle of neologisms and supports the macro-theory that the evolution of human languages mirrors the biological evolution of human beings.
Appears in Collections:中国语言文学系

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