Lowlands-L Anniversary Celebration

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About the story
What’s with this “Wren” thing?
   The oldest extant version of the fable we are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology of Low Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”) collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read more ...

Flag: USAMichael Montgomery
Location: Columbia, South Carolina, USA

Website: www.cas.sc.edu/engl/faculty/emeritus/montgomery/montgomery.html

Michael Montgomery is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English and Linguistics at the University of South Carolina.

Following completion of his PhD in Linguistics at the University of Florida (1979), he has devoted his career to two principal areas of study of the English language and its close relations.

  • The English of the American South, including Southern Appalachia.
    He has edited six books on varieties of Southern American English, white and black, and has recently completed a comprehensive historical dictionary of southern mountain English (Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English, University of Tennessee Press, 2004). He is now at work on a quantitatively based study of the grammar of Southern Appalachian English.*

  • The English and Scots of Ulster and Scotland.
    Since 1988 he has traveled regularly to Northern Ireland and Scotland to investigate language varieties there. His original aim was to explore, through archival research, trans-Atlantic linguistic relations (i.e. what 18th-century emigrants contributed to American speech), and he has published nearly twenty articles on this and related topics. More recently he has undertaken study of modern-day Ulster Scots through fieldwork and other approaches. In 2000 the Ulster-Scots Language Society appointed him its Honorary President, a position he has also held for the Forum for Research on the Languages of Scotland and Ulster since 1997. He is nearing the completion of three books on Ulster Scots:

    • From Ulster to America: The Scotch-Irish Heritage of American English

    • The Academic Study of Ulster-Scots: Essays by and for Robert J. Gregg

    • Ulster Scots Yesterday and Today


Below is a sample sound recording. Please click on the arrow to start it after it finished loading. It contains a fine story recorded in 1939 by my coeditor for the Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English, Joseph Sargent Hall. The sound quality is not the best, but is still quite good considering the fact that it was recorded on aluminum disk two-thirds of a century ago. The speaker is Mr. Eugene Sutton of Cataloochee, North Carolina (now within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park), who was 43 years old at the time of the recording. It’s one of the best samples in the collection. For those interested in further information on materials collected by Joseph Hall, you might be interested in knowing that all of his personal copies have been deposited in the Archives of Appalachia at East Tennessee State University. As you can discover from the detailed finding aid at their website (go to cass.etsu.edu and from there), these include not only recordings, but also a very large body of unpublished print materials, much of which I used in the recently published Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English. That work includes a good bit of biographical information about him as well.

[Download mp3]

Michael Montgomery

© 2011, Lowlands-L · ISSN 189-5582 · LCSN 96-4226 · All international rights reserved.
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