Ozark English

Ozark English is a rural, working-class variety spoken in the highlands of northwestern Arkansas and in neighboring parts of southwestern Missouri. The region was first settled in the 1830s by migrants from the Upper South/South Midland, especially from the states of Kentucky and Tennessee; therefore, it is no surprise that Ozark English shares a number of features with dialects in the Upper South, and especially with Appalachian English. The Ozark region experienced a net loss of population between 1900 and 1940, and this loss of population, coupled with the region’s relative physical and cultural isolation, contributed to Ozark English being something of a “relic” variety. Since the 1940s, the region has seen a significant growth in population, and the increase in population from outside the region may well, over time, diminish the status of Ozark English as a distinct regional variety.

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