Uptalk/vocal fry
Posted: 07 December 2013 12:16 AM   [ Ignore ]
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http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/28/science/young-women-often-trendsetters-in-vocal-patterns.html?_r=2&emc=eta1

On my radio there was a segment on how men are starting to use “uptalk”. I was familiar with the speech pattern, but I was not familiar with its identity.  I went online and did a little research, but I’m not too convinced with the theories for these kinds of speech patterns.  Personally I find these vocal trends annoying.

I don’t hear this practice--ending a declarative sentence with a rising pitch--in Europe, or too much on the east coast in America. Is anyone on this forum familiar with this kind of speech and will it endure?

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Posted: 07 December 2013 04:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It’s gotten so bad that it’s seeped back in time to dust bowl era Okies.

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/index.php?s=uptalk

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Posted: 07 December 2013 09:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Germans use “oder” to end a declarative sentence with a note of indecision. It survives in Milwaukee-ese as ”aina?" (ain’t it?). “The bus is a bit late, aina?” Is it a statement or question? I don’t know.

I also hear “inso” in the place of “aina” as in “isn’t it so?”

When my German friends visit, they use the English “or” in the same way as if changing the word from German to English will make it a useful construction. It ain’t so.

edit: supplied link

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Posted: 07 December 2013 11:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Logophile - 07 December 2013 12:16 AM

I don’t hear this practice--ending a declarative sentence with a rising pitch--in Europe, or too much on the east coast in America. Is anyone on this forum familiar with this kind of speech and will it endure?

It’s extremely common in the UK and has been for a long time (mostly among the younger generation).

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Posted: 07 December 2013 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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A recent piece at somewhere called this “Valley Girl” talk.  I went to find a link and Google News pulled up perhaps a dozen ghits for in the last couple of days.

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Posted: 07 December 2013 07:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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@aldo: (sorry for the twitterlike ‘@’ but no multi-quote facility here I idly add)

I quite agree, but I seem to think that the Australians had this before us (in the few years I tuned into ‘Neighbours’).

@droogie:

The ‘Valley Girls’ Zappa song was one of the few singles he ever had that made it to the top… well, fifty or so. But I remember hearing it as one of the only listenable tracks (in about a quadeillion) on an LP a Zappafreak inflicted on me. Even then (early eighties, song no doubt a year or two previous) I didn’t find it weird, just Australian. Does any of that make any sense?

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Posted: 07 December 2013 08:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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[quote author="Logophile" date="1386425779"

I don’t hear this practice--ending a declarative sentence with a rising pitch--in Europe, or too much on the east coast in America. Is anyone on this forum familiar with this kind of speech and will it endure?

Just read an article about uptalk spreading from females to males in southern California on a BBC site:  More men chat in girls’ ‘dialect’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25232387

That brought back memories of a former spouse, a native Californian from a place near Disneyland, a little to the south of Los Angeles.  Our courtship was nearly interrupted by uptalk.  She would make a statement, with
her voice rising at the end of a sentence.  I kept asking, “What is your question?” Then I met some of her female friends and had a BFO (Blinding flash of the Obvious).  They all talked that way.

Will it endure?  What I related took place in the late 1970s, so it seems, sadly, to have some staying power.  Quoting from the BBC page, an author of a study of the spread from females to males in SoCal says,

“It grates on people, some people think it sounds really ditzy or insecure. This does not accurately come across like that to the native speakers.”

I think she means the native speakers who use the speech pattern.  For other native speakers it can be grating.
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Posted: 07 December 2013 08:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Why “sadly”?

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Posted: 07 December 2013 08:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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OP Tipping - 07 December 2013 08:37 PM

Why “sadly”?

See my last sentence. 

Subjective, opinionated...call it what you will.  The best I can say about uptalk is that it is, for non-uptalkers, ambiguous as to intent.

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Posted: 07 December 2013 09:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Among the courses I sometimes teach is a seminar series for juniors and seniors, which among other things involves making scientific presentations.  One of the things I work hard at is trying to get the female students* not to end declarative sentences with a rising inflection. It’s not just a question of finding it irritating; when they do it, it makes them sound tentative and unsure of what they’re talking about, which is bad for any sort of professional presentation.

Vocal fry is not the same thing, though.

*I try to eliminate this habit in students of either sex, but it only rarely shows up in the males.

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Posted: 07 December 2013 11:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Dr. Techie - 07 December 2013 09:52 PM

Among the courses I sometimes teach is a seminar series for juniors and seniors, which among other things involves making scientific presentations.  One of the things I work hard at is trying to get the female students* not to end declarative sentences with a rising inflection. It’s not just a question of finding it irritating; when they do it, it makes them sound tentative and unsure of what they’re talking about, which is bad for any sort of professional presentation.

Vocal fry is not the same thing, though.


*I try to eliminate this habit in students of either sex, but it only rarely shows up in the males.

What is interesting and perhaps an indication of reverse peer pressure are women in their forties and fifties who"uptalk" and use the incessant “like” as conversation fillers.

A friend of mine from South America, who is fifty-six years of age, and English is her second language, sometimes speaks in uptalk. I alert her to the fact, because in my opinion it’s such an irritating and juvenile speech pattern.

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