Americanese - only culturally.

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The current research examines if a Chinese colleague’s likability and American’s cultural awareness, i.e., the ability to be aware of cultural differences that can affect communication, influence the linguistic accommodation of Americans towards Chinese co-workers in written online communication within an organization. Participants imagined working on a fictional project with fictional co-worker Li Wei who was born and raised in China. One group of participants received an informational text about Chinese communication customs, while the other group immediately proceeded to the messages. Li Wei sent the participants messages relating to six work situations. 59 U.S. Participants were given two answer options that entailed the same information but were either accommodated to high or low-context communication behavior. The results showed that when Americans perceived Li Wei as likable, they accommodated their language more frequently. Cultural awareness did not affect accommodation frequency. Neither was a relationship found between likability and cultural awareness. Depending on how likable their interlocutor was perceived, the more American’s accommodated. Context information was not beneficial to the accommodation behavior of Americans. However, this could be an indicator that more cultural training is needed for accommodation to be successful.
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