Date: Fri, 20 Sep 1996 16:34:58 +0900


Subject: Re: "uptalk"

I have a question about this:

One of the things Cindie has pointed out is how widespread it is, and

how malleable to social function-- she studied a Texas sorority where

it obviously couldn't "mean" the identity "young white female" since

every single member was obviously that.

I see what you mean about it being unnecessary for these young white females to demonstrate to

each other that they were young white females. But I thought identity played a bigger role in

language use than that. Can't the use of certain langauge variants (or whole varieties) serve

the purpose of reinforcing a speakers identity, not just to show the others people in the group

that "I'm one of you", but to continually reinforce that message?

For example, in Japanese, women use "women's language" in a variable way, especially when they

want the person they want to be sure that the listener is *consciousness* of the fact that they

are a woman (when acting romantic, as opposed to acting businesslike, etc.). I think the same

thing could be said here of "men's language", or of USA BEV, etc. even in cases where it obvious

that the speaker is a male, or is African-American, etc.

Danny "like, who doesn't use uptalk?" Long