M. Lynne Murphy 104lyn[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]muse.arts.wits.ac.za

Department of Linguistics phone: 27(11)716-2340

University of the Witwatersrand fax: 27(11)716-4199

Johannesburg 2050


I am so glad to see this response to the upspeak debate. My main

experience with upspeak took place in the classroom as well, but I was

the student. My teacher's use of that style intrigued me and had just the

effects that Lynne imagines in her class. I felt engaged by the upspeak,

as if the lecture were much more like a conversation than most lectures

and as if my teacher maintained constant care and attention to our needs

as listeners.

I don't like the idea that upspeak is related to women or Southerners (by

the way, I am a woman and a Southerner) because it attributes what seems

to me to be a useful and responsive style to more negative causes

(insecurity, even incompetence). I know that disliking a set of possible

causes is no valid reason for discounting them, but again, I'm really

glad to see (for the first time) another person's response to upspeak as

positive and not necessarily gender- or region-oriented.

Does anyone else either feel uncomfortable with the gender- and

region-oriented explanations or find the responsive speaker hypothesis to

be valid?


Ohio University