category: Campus News

C-N Hosts Interdisciplinary Symposium on Language


Dr. Andrea Menz discusses program logistics for C-N’s Interdisciplinary Symposium on Language with colleagues Dr. Richard Gray and Dean Mary Baldridge, of the School of Humanities. The conference will draw scholars across several academic disciplines and from institutions from Illinois to Florida.

Linguists and scholars from Florida to Illinois will gather on Carson-Newman’s campus next week for the institution’s Second Annual Interdisciplinary Symposium on Language. The day-long affair is slated for Thursday, March 15 in Stokely Memorial Cafeteria.

“We are extremely excited to host the language symposium,” noted Dr. Mary Baldridge, dean of the School of Humanities. “We are always looking for ways to engage the campus community, the local community, and the broader academic community in dialogue. The interdisciplinary component allows us to explore the ways in which language touches all aspects of life. We are particularly hopeful that interested community members will choose to participate in this offering.”

The breadth of the planned program is evidenced in the fact that Aslihan Akkaya, of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, will examine “Language and Social Media,” while the University of Tennessee’s Dr. Betty Dumas presents “Co-Narration and Narrative Sequences in Southern Mountain Discourse.” Dr. Matt Roberts of King College will look at “Innovative Resources for a Burgeoning ESL Licensure Program” while Andriy Levytskyy, of Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University, offers his insights on “Parts of Speech: A Case of Categorization.” (A print-friendly schedule is available online.)

“This unique event not only facilitates networking and exchange of ideas among linguists and other language researchers in our region, but also provides a valuable educational opportunity to students in our program and members of the College and local communities,” said Dr. Andrea Menz, and assistant professor of German and linguistics who directs the Interdisciplinary Linguistics Program. “We are especially excited to welcome Dr. Michael Montgomery to campus this year to speak about the rich linguistic heritage of our region.”

The conference will close with “Why there can never be a Dictionary of Appalachian English,” by Montgomery, a University of South Carolina distinguished professor emeritus. A Knoxville native who holds degrees from Maryville College and the University of Florida, Montgomery based his study on Appalachian dialects from fieldwork he accomplished in White Pine. He worked with pioneer researcher Joseph Sargent Hall to compile a historical lexicon of southern Appalachian speech. Their Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English (University of Tennessee Press) is considered the most comprehensive record yet of the region’s characteristic vocabulary, grammar, idioms, and expressions.

Montgomery has frequently contributed articles and essays to a host of scholarly and non-scholarly publications. His honors include the Cratis D. Williams Service Award, given by the Appalachian Studies Association, and the East Tennessee Historical Society’s Wilma Dykeman Award, given to one who “has demonstrated a commitment to the best interests of the land and the people of the region.”

To register, or for more information on the conference, contact Menz at 865-471-3291 or

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