Southern English

Grant Barrett gbarrett at WORLDNEWYORK.ORG
Thu Nov 24 18:23:58 UTC 2005

Jon's post mirrors well points raised by Michael Montgomery in his
neat little refutation of the "they still speak Elizabethan/
Chaucerian/Shakespearean English in Appalachia/the Ozarks/Georgia/
wherever" claim in the book "Language Myths," edited by Laurie Bauer
and Peter Trudgill (1998, Penguin).

Grant Barrett
gbarrett at

On Nov 24, 2005, at 10:39, Jonathan Lighter wrote:

> The trouble with "Georgian" is that
>   1. by about 1800 a new synthesis of British dialects would have
> occurred in the mountains
>   2. there have been more chnages since then
>   3. most people would undoubtedly think that meant Appalachian
> speech started in Georgia (whose mountains weren't settled till
> well after after the War of 1812).
>   It wouldn't hurt to mention again that the popular notion of the
> Scots-Irish as the predominant settlers and primary speech
> influence on the Southern Appalachians is a myth. Their influence
> was roughly calculated a hundred years ago on the basis of family
> names, a method which is obviously flawed, especially since the
> researcher blithely assigned any name found in Ulster (even if
> common elsewhere in Britain) to a Scots-Irish family of settlers.
>   There now appear to have been about as many English settlers as
> Scots-Irish, plus smaller numbers of Scots, Welsh, Germans, and
> French.
>   JL

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