Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 05:56:19 -0400


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

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

well, the thing is, the "responsive speaker" thing is going to be

linked to women because women tend to more actively give and look for

response to/from their co-conversers.

the problem is not attributing the style to a certain sex or region

but assigning value-laden descriptions or motivations to the style

(like insecurity or stupidity). but when you look at the styles

associated with different groups and how those styles are interpreted

within other groups with other norms for interaction, then you can

see where stereotypes and prejudices come from.