The Best of the Humanities Award

Wednesday, 3:00 pm to 5:00 in Flohr Lecture Hall - Library 204

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Discovering Appalachian English: An Empirical Perspective

Emily Colegrove

The paper explores the northern Kentucky variety of the Appalachian dialect (AppE) recorded in the South Shore, Kentucky. The goal of this research was to pinpoint any differences in accent, morphological, syntactic structure of speakers’ language, and vocabulary. The analysis of the recording uncovered phonological changes such as monophthongization as well as non-rhotic pronunciation of various words and vowel raising. The data also showed a surprising syntactic feature that was the use of inanimate agent construction along with the profuse use of double-negative constructions, etc. The vocabulary of the speakers was also very interesting due to the unique use of some of the items such as woodhen for ‘woodpecker’. The main argument of the paper is that these changes are nothing but systematically rule-governed and they don’t hinder the communication between speakers of standard and non-standard varieties. Therefore, these dialects should not be stigmatized in classrooms.

Pre-Service Teacher Experiences with Writing: the Good, Bad, and Unsaid

Bethany Smith

The paper “Pre-Service Teacher Experiences with Writing: the Good, Bad, and Unsaid” provides a qualitative study of AYA English Language Arts pre-service teacher experiences with writing. This research uses primary sources in the form of interviews with four AYA English Language Arts pre-service teachers in addition to substantial background research on existing data surrounding writing experiences. The findings of this study highlight notable trends of value and nonvalue in pre-service teacher experiences with writing. Sub-categories emerged from the value and nonvalue containers to reveal recurring topics of the value of instructor feedback and writing agency, as well as the nonvalue of experiencing dread and apathy while writing. In short, the results of this study illustrate the importance of future research in pre-service teacher experiences with writing to support the next generation of educators and writing instructors.