Appalachian Essay Topics

We need all official high school/secondary school transcripts and academic records verifying successful completion of secondary education. If you have not yet graduated at the time of application, please send your most current official transcripts. If you attend(ed) a U.S. high school, the Minimum Course Requirements and other academic requirements of high school students apply. If you attend(ed) a high school outside of the U.S., we will evaluate your transcripts based on your academic competitiveness within your own educational system.

All international applicants must submit final official high school/secondary school transcripts. Students with a high school degree but no university credit will be considered as first-year students, and students with some university coursework will be considered transfer students. You must also submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities (post-secondary institutions) that you attend(ed).

If you are interested in transferring previous course credit from a foreign university to Appalachian, you must submit an international credit evaluation and course descriptions or syllabi (in English) in order to evaluate your credit. The following international credential evaluations are fine: World Education Services (www.wes.org), Educational Credential Evaluators (www.ece.org), Global Credential Evaluators (GCEUS.com), National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (naces.org) or Josef Silny (www.jsilny.com). Transcripts without evaluations and course descriptions or syllabi are acceptable for admission purposes but will not be evaluated for possible transfer credit.

All international documents must be accompanied by official English translations if the originals are in another language (exception – high school transcripts in Spanish are acceptable), and all documents must be original/attested in order to be considered official. Faxes or photocopies are not acceptable unless certified by a Ministry of Education, school, or US embassy official and will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Anderson, Bridget, et al. 2014. "Needed Research on the Englishes of Appalachian English." Southern Journal of Linguistics 38: 1-31.

Hazen, Kirk. Publications of the West Virginia Dialect Project. Site link

Montgomery, Michael. 1989. “Exploring the Roots of Appalachian English.”English World-Wide 10: 227-78. Comprehensive essay discussing settlement history of the Appalachian region and the methodology necessary for establishing connections between its speech and sections of the British Isles; weighs evidence for representative grammatical features having a Scotch-Irish heritage.

Montgomery, Michael. 1997. “Making the Trans-Atlantic Link between Varieties of English: The Case of Plural Verbal -s.”Journal of English Linguistics 25:122-41. Examines continuities from Scotland to Ireland to Appalachia in the patterning of subject-verb concord with third-person-plural subjects. 

Montgomery, Michael. 1999. “A Superlative Complex in Appalachian English.”SECOL Review 23:1-14. Examines distinctive ways in which superlative degree of adjectives and adverbs are formed in Appalachian speech, especially with nongradable adjectives such as present participles that are subject to variable interpretation.

Montgomery, Michael. 2004. “Solving Kurath’s Puzzle: Establishing the Antecedents of the American Midland Dialect Region.”The Legacy of Colonial English: The Study of Transported Dialects, ed. by Raymond Hickey, 410-25. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Argues that the linguistic geographer Hans Kurath was unable to outline a Midland speech region (encompassing Appalachia) with confidence using evidence from his Linguistic Atlas of the United States and Canada project because his survey sought few grammatical items.

Montgomery, Michael. 2006. “‘Hit’ll Kill You or Cure You, One’: The History and Function of Alternative one.”Language Variation and Change in the American Midland, ed. by Thomas E. Murray and Beth Lee Simon. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Analyzes the use of the pronoun placed after a pair of alternative words or phrases and explores three hypotheses for its derivation.

Montgomery, Michael. 2006. “Language.”Encyclopedia of Appalachia, ed. by Rudy Abramson and Jean Haskell, 999-1005. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. Overview essay for encyclopedia section dealing with wide range of language topics in Appalachia, broadly defined.

Montgomery, Michael. 2006. “Notes on the Development of Existential they.”American Speech 81:132-45. Argues that the form is inherited from Scotland and was brought by Scotch-Irish settlers to Appalachia and that it is not a derivation of existential there.

Montgomery, Michael. 2009. “Historical and Comparative Perspectives on a-Prefixing in the English of Appalachia.”American Speech 84:5-26.

Montgomery, Michael. 2011. “The Historical Background and Nature of the Englishes of Appalachia.”A version of this paper was published in Talking Appalachian: Voice, Identity and Community, edited by Amy D. Clark and Nancy M. Hayward, 25-53. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2013.

Montgomery, Michael. 2014. “Hain’t We Got a Right to use Ain’t and Auxiliary Contraction?: Toward a History of Negation Variants in Appalachian English."Southern Journal of Linguistics 38: 31-64.

Montgomery, Michael, and Curtis Chapman. 1992. “The Pace of Change in Appalachian English.” History of Englishes, ed. by Matti Rissanen, et al., 624-39. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Examines variation in grammatical features (form of the existential, subject-verb concord, form of the relativizer) in existential clauses across three generations in the Smoky Mountains.

Reed, Paul E. 2014. "Inter- and intra- generational /ai/ monophthongization and Southern Appalachian identity". Southern Journal of Linguistics 38: 159-194.

Wolfman, Walt. 2010. "African American Speech in Southern Appalachia." A version of this paper was published in Talking Appalachian: Voice, Identity, and Community, edited by Amy D. Clark and Nancy M. Hayward. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2013.

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