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Examining "talker accomodation"

Research Achievements

Examining "talker accomodation"

IGERT-trainee Sarah Drucker (3rd year, Psychology) has begun a substantive integrative collaboration with IGERT faculty members Delphine Dahan (Psychology) and Jiahong Yuan (Linguistics). She analyzed a large corpus of spoken conversations to examine 'talker accommodation' whereby talkers alter their speech patterns (i.e., dialect) in certain social contexts. This could be due to automatic imitative constraints on production, or influences from demographic and interpersonal factors. By analyzing talkers with different regional dialects, several findings emerged: First, talkers exhibit some local accommodation, in which productions of the same words are more similar when they follow the other talker closely in time. Second, talkers tend to become more similar across the time course of a conversation. Third, talkers of Southern dialects of American English significantly shift their pronunciations away from regional norms when conversing with Northern speakers.