As we look more closely at variation in speech style, we can see that it is not only a function of speakers’ social class and attention to speech, but it is also influenced by their perception of their listeners. This type of variation is sometimes described in terms of ‘audience design’, but is more generally known as speech accommodation, defined as our ability to modify our speech style toward or away from the perceived style of the person(s) we’re talking to. We can adopt a speech style that attempts to reduce social distance, described
as convergence, and use forms that are similar to those used by the person we’re talking to. In the following examples (from Holmes, 1992), a teenage boy is asking to see some holiday photographs. In the first example, he is talking to his friend, and in the second example, he is talking to his friend’s mother. The request is essentially the same, but the style is different as the speaker converges with the perceived speech style of the other.
C’mon Tony, gizzalook, gizzalook
Excuse me. Could I have a look at your photos too, Mrs. Hall?
In contrast, when a speech style is used to emphasize social distance between speakers, the process is called divergence. We can make our speech style diverge from another’s by using forms that are distinctly different. In the third line of the following example, the Scottish teenager shifts to a speech style with features that differ substantially from the first line.
: I can’t do it, sir.
: Oh, come on. If I can do it, you can too.
: Look, I cannae dae it so...
The sudden divergence in style seems to be triggered not only by a need to add emphasis to his repeated statement, but also by the ‘We’re the same’ claim of his teacher. This teenager is using speech style to mark that they are not the same.
- XhosamenschLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
後一個例子就是說這個蘇格蘭學生為了反駁老師說「we are the same」這句話，而故意使用鄉音，為了疏遠和老師的距離。