Appalachian English

variant of American English native to the Appalachian mountain region

Appalachian English is a dialect of the English language. It is spoken in the Appalachian Mountains region. Research suggests it is one of the most unique dialects in the United States.[1]

Since the 1930s, a lot of research has been done to figure out where the dialect came from. One theory is that the dialect is a remnant of Elizabethan (or Shakespearean) English that had been preserved by the region's isolation.[2][3] Another theory suggests that the dialect developed out of the Scots-Irish and Anglo-Scottish border dialects brought to the region by some of its earliest British Isles settlers,[4] who were from the border of Scotland and England.

Recent research suggests that Appalachian English developed as a uniquely American dialect as early settlers adapted English to their unfamiliar frontier environment. This is supported by many similarities between the Appalachian dialect and Colonial American English.[5]

References change

  1. Walt Wolfram and Donna Christian, Appalachian Speech (Arlington, Virginia: Center for Applied Linguistics, 1976), 1.
  2. Michael Montgomery, "How Scotch-Irish is Your English?" The Journal of East Tennessee History vol. 67 (1995), 17-18.
  3. Cooper, Horton. "History of Avery County", Biltmore Press, (1964),
  4. David Hackett Fischer, Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), 653-654.
  5. Montgomery, 1002-1004.