Uptalk, Vocal Fry and, Like, Totally Slang: Cover Image
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Uptalk, Vocal Fry and, Like, Totally Slang:
Uptalk, Vocal Fry and, Like, Totally Slang:

Author(s): Tadeusz Lewandowski
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Uniwersytet Opolski
Keywords: uptalk; vocal fry; slang; lexicography; Dwight Macdonald.

Summary/Abstract: This paper examines linguistic debates surrounding new stylistic conventions in American English, namely the use of uptalk (speaking statements with a rising note at the end, as in a question), vocal fry (the injection of creaky, glottal vibrations at the end of words), and the increasing appearance of slang in the United States school system. These phenomena are assessed through the prism of Dwight Macdonald’s essays on English from the 1960s, and the “prescriptive” vs. “descriptive” debate on lexicography born in that ame decade. While this division of perspectives and values defines the rift from past models of language and culture, the current prevalence of the descriptive school in American academia and its endorsement of uptalk, vocal fry, and slang designate the trajectory of English’s stylistic future.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: XXI
  • Page Range: 209-219
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: English