Uptalk in Southern British English

Amalia Arvaniti, Madeleine Atkins


The present study deals with the realization and function of uptalk in Southern British English (SBE), a variety in which the use of uptalk has been little investigated. Eight speakers (4 male, 4 female) were recorded while taking part in a Map Task and playing a board game. All speakers used uptalk for a variety of functions, but mostly for declaratives particularly to indicate floor holding before a mid-turn pause. A H* L-H% melody was prevalent in floor holds, with confirmation requests (indirect questions to negotiate common ground with the addressee) being mostly expressed using H* H-H% (similarly to questions grammatically marked as such). Age differences were not observed, while differences between male and female speakers were small both in terms of realization and uptalk function. The biggest gender-related difference was the use of uptalk for floor holding which was twice as frequent in the data of the female speakers. Finally, differences in the frequency of uptalk between tasks indicate that it is important to examine data from a variety of discourses before firm conclusions can be drawn about the extent and use of uptalk in a given linguistic variety.


DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2016-32

Cite as

Arvaniti, A., Atkins, M. (2016) Uptalk in Southern British English. Proc. Speech Prosody 2016, 153-157.

Bibtex
@inproceedings{Arvaniti+2016,
author={Amalia Arvaniti and Madeleine Atkins},
title={Uptalk in Southern British English},
year=2016,
booktitle={Speech Prosody 2016},
doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2016-32},
url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2016-32},
pages={153--157}
}