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What is the rate at which new words are being made in each language?

New words are always being made, whether they're being added to the dictionary, or being used as slang (and some slang ends up in the dictionary). What I am wondering is what is the rate of new words being made, and are some languages advancing in vocabulary more than others? How often are new words (or even new languages all together) being made, and is it happening at a faster or slower rate than in the past? Are our languages more developed and stable now than in the past, or are we increasing our vocabularies at an increasing rate?

  • Jan 11 2014: Exactly 4.
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    Gord G

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    Jan 11 2014: I imagine there isn't a definitive answer to your question. There are too many languages with a multitude of dialects, jargon and colloquialisms (Not only are words added, but they also become archaic).

    But that said...

    If you consider language growth is directly related to usage, then the predominant language should be generating the most words. And I think if you extrapolate the growth it becomes apparent the dominant language will eventually override other languages because it will be the most effective in communicating.

    I think it's clear that English is quickly becoming the dominate international language even though Mandarin is spoken by more people.

    It seems almost viral from a cultural standpoint.
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    Jan 8 2014: I think it's "every day" becuase it's people's language, we can decide to change it.:)
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    Jan 4 2014: Well, I couldn't find any good source on that... But have you heard of the Ngram viewer? Theere you can track any word usage through history.