Uptalk taken up by men

A study suggests that California men are adopting a rising pitch at the end of their sentences, which is typically used more by women. The study says that this use of pitch, called uptalk, is beginning to be adopted by more Californians.

Although the use of it is still used by more women than men, Young South Californian speakers of different genders are now using it, when before it had been primarily women.

I’ve read a few people’s comments on this story and people seem to be surprised at men adopting a women’s language feature. Maybe studying language means I’m aware that women typically lead innovative language change (although as Labov’s Gender Paradox observes, women are also the ones most likely to use established standard forms of language) so take for granted that women would be the ones using a language style before it’s picked up by men. Talking to a friend about this, I was surprised that they thought it odd that men were adopting a “girly” speech feature. Surely then most language changes would therefore be “girly”?

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