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This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Linguists Like Totally Debunk The Ditzy Valley Girl Stereotype

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The rest of America may poke fun at our so-called "Valley Girl" accents—you know, like, when we overuse the word "like"—but a new study reveals what's really going on with it. Turns out it's prevalent with dudes as well.

Amanda Ritchart and Amalia Arvaniti of University of California, San Diego, researched into why Southern Californians tended to speak with an uptick at the end of our sentences, making every statement sound like a question and as if we were in a real-life version of Clueless. However, she pointed out that Southern Californians are all well aware if we're making a question or statement, and if it was a question, we'd raise the pitch at the end of our statements.

The Washington Post reported:

“It may sound to nonnative speakers of that variety that they’re asking questions when they should be making statements, but in reality, they’re making a consistent distinction between the two,” Arvaniti said.
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They also found that girls weren't the only ones with the Valley Girl accent, but that men were guilty of having it too, reported KPBS. It also didn't matter if the people who participated in the study were from different counties, that the accents were there all throughout the major cities in Southern California.

Maybe "Valley Guys" might end up in the Merriam Webster dictionary soon.

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