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ERIC Number: ED556085
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 423
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-4461-3
The Influence of Speaking a Dialect of Appalachian English on the College Experience
Dunstan, Stephany Brett
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, North Carolina State University
Many students will arrive at college speaking a dialect that is considered non-standardized or stigmatized due to the socially stratified nature of language. In the United States, where there are commonly held ideologies about the type of language that is considered "correct" or "proper," students who speak non-standardized dialects may find themselves at a disadvantage in educational settings. Dialects of Appalachian English are often stigmatized in mainstream American culture, and certain elements of dialects of Southern Appalachia are particularly stigmatized, even by other Southerners. This qualitative study explored the influence of speaking a dialect of Appalachian English on the college experiences of students from rural, Southern Appalachia. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 26 participants attending a large research university in an urban area of a Southern state, and sociolinguistic analysis of participants' speech was performed to provide rich description of their speech in order to better understand the role it played in their college experiences. Sociolinguistic analysis focused on features of participants' speech that are noted as being salient markers associated with Southern Appalachian dialects, and would thus perhaps be markedly different from normative speech patterns on campus among non-Appalachian peers. Findings suggest that dialect is influential in three main areas: 1) academic experiences 2) sense of belonging and perceptions of campus environment and 3) in interactions with others on campus. Findings have significant implications for diversity education and programming; understanding language as a student characteristic to better explain the experiences of student populations such as rural, first-generation, low SES, and racial and ethnic minorities; sense of belonging and persistence models; and creating inclusive campus environments. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A