Issue with accomodating


When mutual intellgibility is not an issue, accomodation mainly occurs when speakers like each other or want to appear likeable.

We diverge from those that we don't like, although this may be rarer - In general, speakers adopt pronunciations that they think are socially desirable in a situation (see Mather 2012 and the classic study by William Labov it is based on).I beg to disagree with @Skippy's opinion that people "without a firm sense of identity or an underdeveloped ego" are more likely to accomodate or converge with another speaker.Background: I often notice that when I talk with someone with an accent that I often unconsciously start to imitate their accent.Similarly, you see some people that very quickly after moving to a country start to adopt the local accent whereas others maintain their original accent for many years.

It rather appears that converging with an interlocutor is a social skill connected to empathy.You speak more like your interlocutor or a group you interact with so that you will be accepted as one of the team.


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