New linguistics study shows `uptalk` transcends gender boundaries
Washington – New research has shown that the American English speech variant known as uptalk, or “Valley Girl speak” is expanding to other demographic
groups, including males.
Researcher Amanda Ritchart, a linguist at the University of California, said that uptalk is becoming more prevalent and systematic in its use for the younger generations in
Southern California and has transcended diverse socioeconomic status, ethnicity, bilingualism and gender boundaries.
The new study, which is also the first to identify the distinct melodic dialect marked by a rise in pitch at the ends of sentences, has busted the stereotype associated with uptalk
that those who speak uptalk actually ask questions instead of make statements.
Uptalk is typically associated with young southern Californian females, which leads to stereotypic parody of uptalkers as insecure, shallow or non-intellectual.
Ritchart will describe her team’s work at the166th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in San Francisco.