A push to restore pride in the way Appalachians speak

(AP Photo)

PINEVILLE, W.Va. (AP) – Scholars around Appalachia are seeking to change outdated ideas about speech and identity in the mountainous region.

West Virginia University linguist Kirk Hazen has interviewed dozens of people around the state and used his research to publish books and articles about how ways of speaking have changed.

At least three books by a variety of authors covering the topic have come out in the past year and a forth is coming soon.

Meanwhile, educators in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina are experimenting with new ways of teaching grammar to improve confidence and test scores in the mountains.

One of Hazen’s interviewees is Pete Culicerto, a Marshall University student and West Virginia native. He said stereotypes run both ways – including negative impressions of city dwellers – but they’re usually misguided.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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