Tennessee push wants state book to cover Appalachian dialect

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – It’s pronounced “app-uh-latch-uh,” not “app-uh-lay-sha.”

Lawmakers give the pronunciation lesson in a resolution calling for the state’s Tennessee Blue Book to discuss how people in Appalachia talk. A Senate panel advanced the proposal Tuesday.

The push by Republican Sen. Steve Southerland says Appalachian people are often misrepresented and misunderstood by society, and their dialect is often disparaged.

The resolution counters that Appalachian is a “fully legitimate dialect and most deserving of the respect afforded other dialects of American English.”

The resolution links Appalachian linguistics to early influencers. It says a “pone” of cornbread is borrowed from the Native American language Algonquian; having “boo coos” of something links to the French “beaucoup,” and that “might could” is a compound helping verb influenced by the Scotch-Irish.

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