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A social network is defined as either "loose" or "tight" depending on how connected its members are with each other, as measured by factors like density and multiplexity.

This measure of tightness is essential to the study of socially motivated language change because the tightness of a social network correlates with lack of innovation in the population's speech habits.

Conversely, a loose network is more likely to innovate linguistically.

There are multiple ways to describe the structure of a social network.

Among them are density, member closeness centrality, multiplexity, and orders.

These metrics measure the different ways of connecting within of a network, and when used together they provide a complete picture of the structure of a particular network.

In the field of sociolinguistics, social network describes the structure of a particular speech community.

Social networks are composed of a "web of ties" (Lesley Milroy) between individuals, and the structure of a network will vary depending on the types of connections it is composed of.

Social network theory (as used by sociolinguists) posits that social networks, and the interactions between members within the networks, are a driving force behind language change.

The key participant in a social network is the anchor, or center individual.

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