Date: Sun, 29 Oct 1995 00:19:59 CDT


Subject: Re: upspeak

Out of the blue, a colleague who is a Cajun asked me whether there had

been much research on intonational patterns like what the Cajuns do.

He said that it is common for them to use a rising intonation on

statements to indicate "I know you don't believe this, but it's really

true." He associated the pattern with a kind on negotiation of credibility,

with the "upspeaker" indicating confidence rather than lack thereof.

I had no reason to doubt his analysis in the slightest. He has recently

been to the Amer Folklore Soc meeting in Lafayette and had visited his

relatives, some of the elders with only limited fluency in English. I've

noticed this intonation in his speech. but it's not the same as what I

heard in Georgia the last time I was there. M. Lynne Murphy was on target

in pointing out that posters are lumping several phenomena together perhaps.