Accommodation Strategies in Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus


  • Lauretta O. Chinyeaka


accommodation, speech style-shifts, speech styles, power, convergence, divergence


The paper examines accommodation strategies adopted by speakers in their interactions. Accommodation strategies in oral discourse are convergence and divergence. Speakers are said to be in convergence when they adapt to the communicative behaviours of their interlocutors and to be in divergence when verbal differences are emphasized. A person can induce another to judge him or her more favourably by reducing differences between the two done possibly to gain social approval. This is convergence behaviour. Conversely, if a person desired to be judged less favourably, the shift in behaviour will be away from the behaviour of the person or others. Using Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus, the story of Kambili, a young girl of fifteen years growing up under a father who is an overzealous Catholic and stiff disciplinarian, this study identifies the accommodation strategies adopted by the characters and the motivations for the strategies. It also determines the impact(s) on the behaviour of the interlocutors. Six sample excerpts purposively selected from the text were used as data. Findings revealed that convergent and divergent strategies identified were mainly motivated by the situations and age of the addressee. More so, convergence strategy adopted by the characters promoted feelings of solidarity and strengthened the cordial relationship while divergence strategy provoked hostility and indicated dissociation from the negative behaviour of the addressees concerned.  In conclusion, convergence accommodation strategy promotes cordiality and enhances social interactions.




How to Cite

Chinyeaka, L. O. (2024). Accommodation Strategies in Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus. AWKA JOURNAL OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERARY STUDIES, 10(1), 268–289. Retrieved from