The likelihood that a man will match his language to that of a female conversation partner depends on how fertile she is, according to a study published Feb. 8 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.
Linguistic alignment between conversation partners is well documented, and is often interpreted to reflect affiliation between the speakers.
This study, however, reports that higher female fertility levels were associated with lower levels of linguistic matching from male conversation partners. The authors, led by Jacqueline Coyle of at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, write that this result could be explained in the context of recent data suggesting that such non-conforming behavior may be a way for men to display their mating fitness.
EurekAlert. 2012. "Female fertility affects men's linguistic choices". EurekAlert. Posted: February 8, 2012. Available online: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-02/plos-ffa020612.php
Citation: Coyle JM, Kaschak MP (2012) Female Fertility Affects Men's Linguistic Choices. PLoS ONE 7(2): e27971. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0027971