[lg policy] Appalachian English

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Tue Oct 17 11:33:15 EDT 2017

 Appalachian English

[image: banner_3]

If you might could be wondering a little about the kind of English spoken
in the Appalachians — the kind that includes double modals like “might
could” and asks, “Was you wantin’ to go to town?” Well, there’s a new
website, written by the leading experts on that very topic, that tells the
truth, the whole truth, about it. It’s free, available to everyone, and
it’s right here <http://artsandsciences.sc.edu/appalachianenglish>.

Instead of waiting here for my further explanation, you can go right now to
the website and enjoy its many features, including a vocabulary quiz. But
in case you’d like a preview:

The principal author of the website is Michael Montgomery of the University
of South Carolina, assisted by Paul Reed of the University of Alabama.
Montgomery is the leading expert on Appalachian English, having devoted a
lifetime to it. And a lifetime’s collection of materials is right there on
the site.

Montgomery begins at the beginning, explaining that Appalachian English is
“found in a large mountain and valley region encompassing all or parts of …
West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and Tennessee, western Virginia and North
northern Georgia and Alabama, and northwestern South Carolina.” And he
instructs us that natives of the region call it “AppalATCHa,” never

The website contains numerous articles, some of general interest and some
for experts. There are also countless examples of Appalachian English
sentences, such as these:

It just took somebody all the time a-working, a-keeping that, because it
was a-boiling.
I might can go with you tomorrow.
It was a-fixin’ to come a storm.
I’ve not never heard of that.

These examples don’t begin to do justice to the organization, richness,
depth, and even beauty of the website. I’m too impatient to wait — I want
to go back to it right now. See you in Appalachia!

forwarded from


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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