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Why Aussies put an upward inflection on our sentences

TOM ELLIOTT

Aussies often put an upward inflection on sentences.

It makes ordinary statements sound like questions, and it drives Tom Elliott mad.

Melbourne University linguistics expert Rosey Billington told Tom it’s not unique to Australia.

“There is a stereotype that it’s Australian but emerged in a lot of English varieties, like New Zealand and the United States,” she said.

Ms Billington said ending a sentence with an upward inflection does not necessarily mean you aren’t confident in what you’re saying.

“People stereotype this phenomenon as being associated with the way young women speak, and they project this idea that it must be them feeling less confident, less powerful, less assertive,” she said.

“But there’s no evidence of that at all.”

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TOM ELLIOTT
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