Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 13:50:43 -0400

From: Merri Lisa Johnson mj906388[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU

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

On Mon, 23 Oct 1995, M. Lynne Murphy wrote:


i catch myself doing this while lecturing. now, this is a time when

i know what i'm doing and am confident. but i think the reason why i

do it is to try to keep peoples' attention. the times i've caught

myself doing it, i've been lecturing here to (all female, in many

cases) undergraduates, who have no qualms about having their own

conversations while the lecture is going on. so i guess i'm trying

to grate on their nerves? or get them involved in what i'm saying?



granted, this doesn't account for why people do whole monologues

"upspeaking" the end of every sentence, clause, and sometimes smaller

pieces. (e.g., "i was at the gap? at the mall?") but it does seem

to me to be a way of making sure that the audience is coming along

for the ride with you.

then again, since the rising intonation may be associated with the

end of a turn, and since women expect (friendly) interruption and

positive minimal responses and the like, perhaps this rising is

offering places for such responses.