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Welcome to this website on the speech of one of America's most often misunderstood regions - southern and central Appalachia, which stretches from north Georgia to West Virginia. It's been romanticized as the language of Shakespeare, and it's been caricatured, ridiculed, and dismissed as uneducated, bad grammar, or worse. But too rarely has it been appreciated for what it is: the native speech of millions of Americans that has a distinctive history and that makes Appalachia what it is just as sure as the region's music does.
Celebrating the History of Appalachia
NPR interview of Jeff Biggers author of The United States of Appalachia and Rudy Abramson author of The Encyclopedia of Appalachia.
From Pi Beta Phi to ARROWMONT
n 1912, the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women founded the Pi Beta Phi Settlement School in Gatlinburg, Tennessee as a service project to commemorate its 50th anniversary. Thanks to a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the University of Tennessee Libraries, along with the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and the Pi Beta Phi Elementary School, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, have collaborated to create a fully-searchable digital collection of archival materials that document the history of the Settlement School and its contemporary legacy, Arrowmont.
West Virginia Dialect Project
The West Virginia Dialect Project was founded in 1998 to learn about language variation in Appalachia. Supported by research grants, our efforts have led to academic articles, professional presentations, and public outreach.
An important part of our mission is to teach about dialect diversity in the Mountain State. Coordinating with schools, community groups, legal counsel, and health service organizations, members of the WVDP have taught many audiences about how language works.
Appalachian Studies Association
The mission of the Appalachian Studies Association is to promote and engage dialogue, research, scholarship, education, creative expression, and action among a diverse and inclusive group of scholars, educators, practitioners, grassroots activists, students, individuals, groups and institutions. Our mission is driven by our commitment to foster quality of life, democratic participation and appreciation of Appalachian experiences regionally, nationally and internationally.