The Place and Dignity of Appalachian English

Presenter:  Sam Overstreet

Course Locations, Times, and  Dates: Tuesday October 12 (9:00-11:00am) Chota Room D

Cost: $5 Pre-Pay Lisa at the Welcome Center (checks payable to TVPOA)


To linguists, Appalachian English is just one variety of American Upper South dialect.  So why does Appalachian English always have to fight to be able to hold up its head with respect and dignity?  We will consider possible reasons for the relatively low prestige of Appalachian English among American dialects, the relation of Appalachian English to other regional American dialects, and the question of whether archaisms in Appalachian English add to its prestige.


Instructor:  Sam Overstreet grew up in Louisville, Kentucky.  He received his B.A. in literature from Yale University summa cum laude in 1978 and his Ph.D. in medieval literature from Cornell in 1985.  He and his wife taught English in China for two years, 1986-88.  Since 1990 he has taught English at Maryville College, where he is now Professor of English and Collins Professor in the Humanities, as well as chair of the Division of Languages and Literature.  He routinely teaches courses in Advanced Rhetoric and Grammar and History of the English Language, as well as Chaucer, Shakespeare, literature surveys, composition, and public speaking.  The focal point of his current scholarship is an electronic edition of just one manuscript of William Langland’s fourteenth-century English poem Piers Plowman