How to Talk Ozark in Seven Simple Steps

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Program Description


Dr. Brooks Blevins will offer a lighthearted presentation exploring early ethnic and cultural influences on the Ozarks through the lens of dialect and accent. It dismisses the old notion of Elizabethan dialect in the Ozarks and instead looks at words, phrases, and speech patterns that were once common in vernacular Ozark (and usually Appalachian) language, tracing their origins to European or colonial American roots. The presentation invites frequent audience participation and includes a built-in "Talking Ozark" quiz. The audience will gain an appreciation for cultural diffusion and the regional distinctiveness in Missouri--as well as the forces that constantly chip away at that distinctiveness.

Dr. Blevins is the Noel Boyd Professor of Ozarks Studies at Missouri State University in Springfield. He is a native of the Ozarks, traging his roots deep into the antebellum era in both Arkansas and Missouri. He has written nine books and edited three more.