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The Phenomenon of Rising Intonation


  • Date Published: January 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107123854

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About the Authors
  • 'Uptalk' is commonly used to refer to rising intonation at the end of declarative sentences, or (to put it more simply) the tendency for people to make statements that sound like questions, a phenomenon that has received wide exposure and commentary in the media. How and where did it originate? Who are the most frequent 'uptalkers'? How much does it vary according to the speaker's age, gender and regional dialect? Is it found in other languages as well as English? These and other questions are the subject of this fascinating book. The first comprehensive analysis of 'uptalk', it examines its historical origins, geographical spread and social influences. Paul Warren also looks at the media's coverage of the phenomenon, including the tension between the public's perception and the views of experts. Uptalk will be welcomed by those working in linguistics, as well as anyone interested in the way we talk today.

    • A unique overview of the uptalk phenomenon, bringing together a wealth of research in a single volume
    • Offers a global perspective on uptalk, with coverage of different varieties of English and other languages
    • Chapter on research methodologies presents guidance for new research
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'My reaction on reading this book was simply 'wow'. Only Paul Warren has the experience and expertise to write a volume such as this, and he has done an amazing and thorough job.' David Britain, Universität Bern, Switzerland

    'This is an authoritative scholarly treatment of intonational uptalk. Warren presents a masterly overview of the social implications, origins, geographical spread, and controversies surrounding this widespread phenomenon in spoken interaction.' Janet Fletcher, University of Melbourne

    '… it is certain to become the standard reference on the topic … there is no point in going anywhere else to find out what has been said about uptalk - either by researchers or by journalists and lay commentators …' D. Robert Ladd, Journal of the International Phonetic Association

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107123854
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • contains: 28 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction – why 'uptalk'?
    2. The forms of uptalk
    3. The meanings and functions of uptalk
    4. Uptalk in English varieties
    5. Origins and spread of uptalk
    6. Social and stylistic variation in uptalk use
    7. Credibility killer and conversational anthrax: uptalk in the media
    8. Perception studies of uptalk
    9. Uptalk in other languages
    10. Methodology in uptalk research
    11. Summary and prospect.

  • Author

    Paul Warren, Victoria University of Wellington
    Paul Warren is on the Editorial Board of Language and Speech and is past editor of te Reo, the journal of the Linguistic Society of New Zealand. He belongs to various professional organisations, including the International Phonetic Association, and is a founding member of the Association for Laboratory Phonology.

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