Putting I’ma on the Map.. Again

The other day I came across another great tool for looking at the geographic distribution of word usage at Lexicalist.com. Here’s what they have to say about how it works:

Lexicalist works by analyzing rich sources of information online, including blog posts, news sources, and social networking sites like Twitter. Each bit of information is subjected to rigorous natural language processing, which includes a likelihood distribution of being authored over all geographic, age and gender demographics.

All of the statistical results displayed here are then normalized against the volume of information coming from each demographic to see what words are most commonly associated with certain populations. The result is a descriptive snapshot of language as it’s used today.

Below you’ll find demographic maps of imai’maimmagonna, & going. Though I don’t have it included here, you can also look at a breakdown of who’s using each word by age & gender. I like this because it looks at more than just data from Twitter.

Demographics of “ima” on Sep 09, 2011 (from Lexicalist.com).

Demographics of “imma” on Sep 09, 2011 (from Lexicalist.com).

Demographics of “i’ma” on Sep 09, 2011 (from Lexicalist.com).

Demographics of “gonna” on Sep 09, 2011 (from Lexicalist.com).

Demographics of “going” on Sep 09, 2011 (from Lexicalist.com).

So compared to the SeeTweet maps from an earlier blog post, here it is much clearer that I’ma & its variants are restricted to the South. The maps of gonna & going show pretty much equal distribution across the United States. Neat! I think I’ll be using this tool more in the future.

Megan L. Risdal

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