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Rootedness: Quantifying the Impact of Place on Language in Appalachia

Invited Linguistics Talk by Dr. Paul Reed of University of Alabama 

Practically everyone notices regional linguistic variation – from ancient grammarians to Internet commenters. Understanding the influence of place on language is fundamental to better understanding linguistic variation. Yet, place is often theorized as static, affecting all speakers in a region in the same or similar fashion. Not every individual, however, has the same connection to place; place can mean something different to some speakers than others. In particular, a region like Appalachia, which has contested meaning, can elicit very different connections. Sadly, many investigators assume that Appalachia as a place has the same influence across the region. Professor Reed will explore the dynamic and multifaceted influence of place, focusing on how a speaker’s relationship to place is key, even for small, rural communities. He will focus on the concept of rootedness – local place-based attachment – and explore how rootedness and other social factors correlate with linguistic variation in Appalachia.

Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 3:30pm to 5:00pm

McClung Tower and Plaza, 1210
1115 Volunteer Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37996

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations


Humanities & Social Sciences


General Public, Current Students, Faculty & Staff

Linguistics Program
Contact Name

Harriet Wood Bowden

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