As Giles & Clair (1979: 17) note, "language is not a homogeneous, static system. It is multi-channeled, multi-variable and capable of vast modifications from context to context by the speaker, slight differences of which are often detected by listeners and afforded social significance." Given the fact that even the most trivial aspects of speech and pronunciation can take on crucial importance, it stands to reason that individuals, consciously or unconsciously, should, among other things, seek or eschew identification with others through language.
There are several theories developed to model the process of communication between two or more individuals. One of these is the Communication Accommodation Theory. This theoretical perspective examines the underlying motivations and consequences of what happens when two speakers shift their communication styles. Communication Accommodation theorists argue that during communication, people will try to accommodate or adjust their style of speaking to others. This is done in two ways: divergence and convergence. Groups with strong ethnic or racial pride often use divergence to highlight group identity. ...Show more