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ERIC Number: ED445334
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Sep-12
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Appalachian Language: Back-Talking the Stereotypes with Research and Technology.
Johnson, Dolores M.
Two of the most stigmatized languages in the United States today are African American dialect and Appalachian English dialect. The attitudes many hold about Appalachia have come from the literature written about the place, the people, the cultural life of the mountain region, in general, and the spoken dialect. Arnow's "The Dollmaker," Jesse Stuart's works, the Foxfire books--all became mainstream successes and represented the culture of Appalachia, along with popular media shows such as the "Beverly Hillbillies" or "Mayberry." These works and shows told a story that accumulated in influence the more they were presented to the country, creating a singular image of a people and a place. Although linguistic studies disassociated intelligence, social status, and life style from regional dialect, this made little dent in the strong stereotypes that had been accepted by the public. Even the language used to talk about variants of American English contributes to the stereotypes. On one of their web sites the University of Tennessee uses the following words: "Appalachian English (AE) is a non prestigious dialect which has a very intricate rule system." And just as people from the mountain regions are beginning to understand and appreciate their heritage of language and culture, it appears to be "dying out." But just perhaps, a more diglossic equality of expression will begin to be seen as people move to accept as simply a language variation the regional dialects of American English that proliferate across the states. (Includes a sampling of 9 Internet sources on Appalachian identity.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A