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47989Re: [Czechlist] "Call us on"

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  • James Kirchner
    Dec 27, 2011
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      Gerry, I've got news for you. That upward intonation at the end of an affirmative sentence bothers us Americans a lot too. It sounds childish. Don't think every annoying linguistic phenomenon from America is normal here or not annoying to Americans. :-)

      In my linguistics courses in graduate school, we figured out that upward intonation is a strategy devised by children to keep from being interrupted. Kids can't tell stories very well, so to keep the listener's attention they raise the pitch at the end of each sentence, making it sound like a question and preventing the listener from butting in.

      That and other childish linguistic annoyances tend to go away here within a year after the person gets her first serious job.

      Speaking of coming home and things sounding foreign, when I came back home to Michigan, I kept getting into situations where I thought people ahead of me in the supermarket or wherever were speaking some kind of Scandinavian language or a north German dialect, but when I'd get close enough to make out the words, I'd find they were speaking my own native dialect of English.

      Jamie

      On Dec 27, 2011, at 11:09 AM, Gerald Turner wrote:

      > This Brit would say "call us on", and I don't think I'm totally untypical.
      > Although since returning to Britain 18 months ago I've heardmany usages
      > that sound foreignn to my ears, a lot of them borrowed from over the pond.
      > E.g. it is no longer "coffee to take away" but "coffee to go", etc., and of
      > course there is also the upward intonation at the end of an affirmative
      > sentence that I still find unnerving/irritating.
      >
      > With best wishes for the new year,
      >
      > Gerry
      >
      > On 27 December 2011 15:15, James Kirchner <czechlist@...> wrote:
      >
      >> **
      >>
      >>
      >> Do the British say, "Call us on [phone number]," or, "Call us at [phone
      >> number]," or something else?
      >>
      >> Jamie
      >>
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