In a sentence involving a string of verbs as a list (as opposed to modifying each other), the standard American English tonal pattern for that string almost always begins high and decreases in pitch with each item. (Perhaps this is true of lists of other parts of speech as well.)
The activities included dancing, swimming, biking, and cheese-making.
I have heard a semi-consistent violation of this rule in which the second list item is of higher pitch than the first, and then the rest follow the usual descending pitch rule. I know very little about formal sonority theory so I am speaking more or less straight from the gut.
Is the "standard pattern" I inferred really standard?
Is this deviation from it meaningful?
Is it a regional preference to which I am not sensitive?