Michael Montgomery’s Southern Appalachian English web site
Posted: 17 March 2007 05:30 PM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  39
Joined  2007-02-17

Michael sent this around earlier. He’s one of the editors of the Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English and an expert on Appalachian English.


Dear All,

This is to announce the launching of a revised version of my website on the English language spoken in Appalachia, which has been created through the gracious assistance of my home department (English) at the University of South Carolina. At http://www.cas.sc.edu/engl/dictionary/ you will find a range of resources for experiencing and exploring the speech of the mountains from West Virginia to Alabama.

Whether you are a college teacher looking for material to develop a unit on Appalachian speech, a researcher in another field wanting to learn more about the subject, or just someone who likes to have the ears bathed in traditional speech from time to time, you will find plenty of interest here.

This site includes a half-dozen papers I have written for a lay readership and more than twenty audio segments from the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina that were recorded by my late colleague Joseph Sargent Hall in 1939. Each recording has an accompanying transcripts with many terms that are highlighted and lead to dictionary entries with pertinent historical information and further quotations. A comprehensive annotated bibliography of more than 600 items offers nearly endless opportunities for continuing study of the history, vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, naming patterns and practices, use in literature, attitudes and perceptions, and other facets of the region’s English.

I would be proud for you to spend some time with this site and to pass this announcement along to anyone else who might have an interest in it. And of course I encourage suggestions for additions and improvements at any time (yes, I know that some of the links don’t work at the moment).

With best regards,

Michael Montgomery
Professor of English
University of South Carolina
Columbia SC 29208

4520 Trenholm Road #104
Columbia SC 29206


Double-Tongued Dictionary, a dictionary of slang, jargon, and new words from the fringes of English.
A Way with Words, a lively public radio show about language.

Posted: 18 March 2007 01:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  1487
Joined  2007-01-29

Thanks for the link, Grant.  I glanced at the dictionary and a lot of the words are familiar to me in the UK, where they’re still used in various dialects or are in general use.  For example, I’ve heard “directly” in the sense of “in a little while” and “they” meaning “there” in Cornwall; redundant “us” in colloquial speech up and down the country, and so on.  I found the accents differed from one another quite a bit; possibly because of the geographical isolation of farmers in the region in 1939?

Posted: 19 March 2007 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Total Posts:  169
Joined  2007-02-14

Thanks for the link.  A very interesting site.  Dave may be interested on the article debunking the Elizabethan English in Appalachia myth as he has a chapter of his book on the same subject.