Children's early word learning is not usually considered creative in the same sense as artistic productions of later life. Yet early word learning is a creative response to the intrinsic instability of word meaning. As the child acts to participate in her community, she strives for intersubjectivity, manifest in neologisms and under- and overextensions, commonly characterized as errors. Young children's innovative productions, as those of second-language learners, may raise new possibilities for rich understandings of linguistic creativity, if from dialogical approaches to linguistics the local quality of interpretations is properly incorporated into theory. Language use into adulthood, including for literary functions, continues to interplay routines and innovations; semiotic transformation is a central process of human creativity.