Thursday, November 17, 2011

Convergence in action in Australia

There's a neat example here of how accommodation theory can work. When Barack Obama visited Australia he used a few Australianisms to help strike up a rapport with prime minister, Julia Gillard.

Accommodation theory, as theorised by Howard Giles, consists of convergence and divergence, the former involving speakers moving closer to each other in speech style (for example, a teacher downwardly converging with a younger student to speak more on their level), the latter showing the opposite (for example, a speaker deliberately altering their speech style to be more noticeably different from those around her).

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