The dialect of the Appalachian people.
Discusses extent to which grammatical andphonological features of Vernacular Black English are present in speech ofresidents of small Appalachian community.
Includesremarks on dialects of subregions of Appalachia.
One of the most baffling expressions our people use (baffling to"furriners," at least) is "I don't care to. . . ." To outlandersthis seems to mean a definite "no," whereas in truth it actuallymeans, "thank you so much, I'd love to." One is forevermore hearinga tale of mutual bewilderment in which a gentleman driving anout-of-state car sees a young fellow standing alongside the road,thumbing. When the gentleman stops and asks if he wants a lift, theboy very properly replies, "I don't to," using in the Elizabethan sense of the word. On hearing this,the man drives off considerably puzzled leaving an equally baffledyoung man behind. (Even the word itself is usedhere in its Elizabethan sense of someone who is the samenationality as the speaker, but not from the speaker's immediatehome area.
Argues for existence of identifiable dialect called SouthernAppalachian English "on the basis of cultural solidarity, the boundariesof this dialect [being] more social, more cultural, than geographical";also argues that the dialect is composed of two varieties--a standard and anonstandard, both of which have features socially stigmatized by other speakersof American English.
Appalachia: people, dialect, and communication problems.
The reason our people still speak as they do is that when theseearly Scots and English and Germans (and some Irish and Welsh too)came into the Appalachian area and settled, they virtually isolatedthemselves from the mainstream of American life for generations tocome because of the hills and mountains, and so they kept the oldspeech forms that have long since fallen out of fashionelsewhere.
A dialect survey of the Appalachian region.
The Actual Origins of the Appalachian Dialect
Scholars have not spent much time mapping the origins of Appalachian Dialect and the topic went unstudied for many years.
Appalachian English: reality and myth.
In the end, our research buttresses what linguists have long understood: There’s no monolithic “Appalachian dialect,” and language variation — an important component of language everywhere — is just as diverse within Appalachia as it is outside of the region.
Intonational variation in southern Appalachian English.
How the Appalachian Dialect differs from traditional English
The eliminating the glide on words like my, making the word sound like "mah"
Unstressed -ing on words such as "makin'" and "havin'"
Eliminating a final stop consonant after another consonant such as "kep" and "excep"
Substituting and "I" for an "E" such as forgit
Adding "A" in front of verbs such as "a-walkin"
Dialect and Spelling
"Sometimes I am
so and I culd not tell you for why, it is like a fire in my
when my daddy coughs or Momma sets her face again us and will not speak." -
Fair and Tender Ladies
had a mind to live on a hill, not sunk in a holler where the fog and dust is damping and blacking.
Is there an "Appalachian English"? Appalachian Journal 11.215-24.
Mainly for teachers, this chapter synopsizessettlement and cultural history of the region and gives a non-technical sketchof distinctive syntactic, phonological, lexical, and nonverbal communicationpatterns of Appalachian speakers.
Sociolinguistic variables in Appalachiandialects.
But to get back to the dialect, let me quote two more linguisticauthorities to prove my point about the Scottish influence on thelocal speech. Raven I. McDavid notes, "The speech of the hillpeople is quite different from both dialects of the Southernlowlands for it is basically derived from the Scotch-Irish ofWestern Pennsylvania."3 H. L. Mencken said ofAppalachian folk speech, "The persons who speak it undiluted areoften called by the Southern publicists, 'the purest Anglo-Saxonsin the United States,' but less romantic ethnologists describe themas predominately Celtic in blood; though there has been a largeinfiltration of English and even German strains."4