This book represents arguably the greatest ever achievement in the field of Appalachian Studies. Weighing in at 6 pounds, 15.2 ounces, this is a weighty tome in both senses of the word. This book provides an amazing, unprecedented, thorough window into the Appalachian dialect. To say that it is unsurpassed is ludicrous because nothing really compares to it. “Drawing from a myriad of sources that range from Civil War letters to literary texts and difficult-to-find diary entries housed only in local archives, this encyclopedic volume will delight those seeking explanations for some of the region's most defining linguistic markers. Montgomery and Heinmiller provide a lasting analysis and tribute to the voices of the past and present. In doing so, they avoid the trite clichés that plague descriptions of the region, instead relying on careful, thorough research to present the fascinating history of regional speech patterns that linger today."—Erica Abrams Locklear. In 2004 Michael Montgomery (1950-2019) and Joseph S. Hall (1906-1992) compiled a 600-page Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English. In 1937, Hall was hired to document the lives of the people who had remained in the Great Smoky Mountains after the National Park was established. He devoted the rest of his life to this study with a particular interest in the language commonly used and published several books on Smoky Mountain people. Michael B. Montgomery was a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English and Linguistics at the University of South Carolina. He, too, was obsessed with Appalachian English. For years, the 2004 book was out-of-print and no copies were available, but now about ten are for sale on line priced about $300 each. The 2021 book expands the focus from the Smokies to all of Southern Appalachia and is twice as lengthy. The current volume was made possible by the work of Jennifer Heinmiller, an Asheville, North Carolina, editor who accepted the challenging task of helping Michael bring his brilliant and tedious work to this culmination despite his multiple handicaps in speech, vision and mobility.
Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2021. 1225 pages with a Foreword by Joan Houston Hall, a dozen figures, eight tables, both chronological and alphabetical lists of words cited and ten additional features before the A-Z dictionary. 9” X 11” hardback with a pictorial cover.