Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 16:31:48 -0400


Subject: Re: statements spoken as if it were a question

On Sun, 22 Oct 1995, Natalie Maynor wrote:

Am I missing something, not knowing much about Southern speech?

Using a rising tone at the end of a sentence to make a question is a very

common form of question in English at large.

I thought we were talking about using question intonation in statements --

e.g., I went to the movies last nIGHT. I saw this great movIE. (caps=

rising pitch).

--Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

You're exactly right in pointing out the difference, Natalie. And while

I'm in no position to speak for the rest of the country, Southerners,

particularly Southern women, do practice this statement into question

intonation. As for its origins, it seems to me to be a very Scottish

thing--just thinking back to the interviews I've seen with Sheena

Easton, or the movie _Local Hero_, for examples. I also remember hearing

it in all those early interviews with the Beatles, so I guess it's also a

Liverpuddlian thING. I think the adjective is Liverpuddlian. Back to

the Scottish connection, there is a fairly strong Scottish strain in the

south. That's true of the NC mountains, from whence I hail.

Bob Haas

University of North Carolina at Greensboro