"Thank you"

Jim Parish jparish at SIUE.EDU
Wed Nov 12 14:05:20 UTC 2008

I've been curious, lately, about the intonation patterns used with the
phrase "thank you". Sometimes I hear it with falling intonation - I think
that's the most common pattern - and sometimes with rising. (I'm not
talking about variation in the stress pattern; in both, "thank" is
stressed.) It seems to me that the choice is affected by context, but -
not trusting introspection - I'm not sure what factors are involved, or,
indeed, that it's not just free variation. Has anyone looked into this?

Jim Parish

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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