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Taking on the Accents of the People Near Us

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A nurse in Jacksonville, Florida, finds that, without even being aware of it, she takes on the accent of her patients, and she wonders whether that’s because she’s in a profession where she needs to make strong connections quickly with people who need her help. When trying to connect with a stranger or a group, it’s not uncommon to take on their accent or gestures. Pietro Bortone offers a helpful explanation of what’s called linguistic accommodation in Language and Nationality: Social Inferences, Cultural Differences, and Linguistic Misconceptions. This is part of a complete episode.

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