Publication details [#63315]

Swol, L.M. van and Cassandra L. Carlson. 2017. Language Use and Influence Among Minority, Majority, and Homogeneous Group Members. Communication Research 44 (4) : 512–529.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
SAGE Publications


This paper examines tests conversion theory via linguistic analysis of group debates and also examines the effects of linguistic mimicry in homogeneous groups and minority/majority groups. Supporting conversion theory, majorities had a more interpersonal, outward focus as tested via use of more third person plural pronouns (“they”). Supporting conversion theory’s validation process, minority members who employed a higher percentage of causation words were more influential. Majority members who employed more second person pronouns (“you”) had less influence in the group, in support of prior inquiry that found that “you” words were counterproductive with conflict. It was hypothesized that there would be a positive relationship between linguistic mimicry and discussion of information shared by all group members, but this was only found in homogeneous groups.