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Word of the Day
Saturday, July 15, 2017

Definitions for uptalk

  1. a rise in pitch at the end usually of a declarative sentence, especially if habitual: often represented in writing by a question mark as in Hi, I'm here to read the meter?

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Citations for uptalk
Uptalk, the researchers found, could also serve a strategic purpose through a technique known as "floor-holding," in which the speaker, anticipating an interruption by the listener, tries to stave it off by using a rising tone at the end of a statement. Jan Hoffman, "Overturning the Myth of Valley Girl Speak," New York Times, December 23, 2013
The young woman met his eye and said, "You've traveled a lot in the Middle East." Her "lot" was glottal, the statement intoned as a question. What linguists called uptalk, so he had recently learned. Ian McEwan, Solar, 2010
Origin of uptalk
Uptalk is a linguistic term for an intonation pattern in which a declarative sentence ends in a rising pitch like a question. The phenomenon was first noted especially among teenage girls and young women, though it is used among the general population. Uptalk entered English in the early 1990s.