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Communication Accommodation Theory

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Most people modify their ways of speaking, writing, texting, and e-mailing, and so on, according to the people with whom they are communicating. This fascinating book asks why we 'accommodate' to others in this way, and explores the various social consequences arising from it.


Academic Paper


Title: Bilingual strategies from the perspective of a processing model
Author: Robert J. Hartsuiker
Institution: Ghent University
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics; Sociolinguistics
Abstract: Muysken argues for four general “strategies” that characterize language contact phenomena across several levels of description. These strategies are (A) maximize structural coherence of the first language (L1); (B) maximize structural coherence of the second language (L2); (C) match between L1 and L2 patterns where possible; and (D) use universal language processing principles. These strategies are seen as choices that bilingual speakers make, individually and collectively, and that are influenced by multiple social, individual, and linguistic factors. This account has the clear advantage of unifying a seemingly very diverse set of language contact phenomena using a limited set of principles. One such phenomenon is , the tendency of bilingual speakers to copy grammatical structures from a language recently used to another language (e.g., Hartsuiker, Pickering & Veltkamp, 2004), which Muysken considers an example of “bilingual interference”. In this domain, I will explore how these strategies can be realized in terms of a psycholinguistic processing model, and whether these strategies can be reduced to even more basic principles.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 16, Issue 4.

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