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Language Convergence and Meaning Divergence: A Meaning Centered Communication Theory

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Abstract:

Some communication theories have explored the processes of language convergence, but comparatively little attention has explored the ways meaning systems diverge while converging on the same set of symbols. To examine this process, a grounded theory study of social-sexual behavior in the workplace was conducted. The Language Convergence/Meaning Divergence (LC/MD) theory emerged from the analysis. LC/MD processes identified in the analysis include language convergence, meaning divergence through meaning clusters and meaning fragments, and the illusion of shared meanings. This communication-centered theory uniquely focuses on both language and meaning, making it of potential value across the discipline.

Keywords: Flirting; Language Convergence/Meaning Divergence; Sexual Harassment

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03637750802378799

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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