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Uptalk, High Rising Terminal, When Does It Indicate A Question?

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posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 06:37 AM
Good video here on uptalk in public speaking.

In some areas, cultures and languages, uptalk is part of the sound.

Other times uptalk is not helpful to communication.

Comedy video on the subject here.

We'll have different views on uptalk depending on our background. Sometimes it's appropriate, sometimes it isn't.

The problem I see in my culture is the use of uptalk by younger people who don't seem to be aware it introduces uncertainty into their presentation.

The Frank Zappa song Valley Girl, from 1982, is a musical testament to the phenomenon.

. . .

But in the UK many people take it as a given that the speech pattern arrived from Australia, going so far as to dub it the Australian Question Intonation. Some laymen go even further and trace the shift in British speech patterns to the arrival of soap opera Neighbours on British television in 1986.
Suddenly, a whole generation of British children and young adults were simultaneously exposed to the upward inflection.

. . .

Liberman and other linguists hypothesise that uptalk could date as far back as the 9th Century. "It has been suggested that this distribution of rising inflection in sentences in northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland probably had something to do with the Scandinavian influence there," he says, "but that's just a hypothesis, like everything else."

. . .

Uptalk has also become more popular, Collins believes, because of our dwindling attention span. A staunch traditionalist, she believes that the rising tones we so often hear in snatches of conversation are in fact people striving to divert their companion's attention away from their mobile phone. "People are checking as they speak to make sure you're paying attention," she says.
"Whenever a student comes to me for elocution I try to eliminate uptalk," she notes, "but English is evolving and this is something I may just have to accept at some point."

posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 07:01 AM
That drives me insane. Talking to someone who's every comment sounds like a question. Honestly, if I hear someone like that, I tune them out, because it sounds to me as if they're not really sure of what they're saying.

striving to divert their companion's attention away from their mobile phone

If I'm talking to someone and they start looking at their phone, I stop talking. If that doesn't get their attention, I walk away. I can understand business people trying to keep up with a deal or some other important conversation, but for the average person to be surfing and talking to me at the same time is rude as hell and I'll just walk away. One person asked ask why I did that. I told them "Apparently, your attention span doesn't go beyond one liners on Twitter".
And then they say I'm rude.

posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 08:21 AM
a reply to: DAVID64

One should be careful about pulling the "rude" gambit of walking off on someone when it is assume that you are not getting their full attention. It may well be that such attention was not necessary to the extent it was desired and that what you were given is a more productive way of their time than the old signal of simply giving you rolled eyes or a pained expression.


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