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.