Michael Montgomery

Posted: July 2019

The LSA regrets to announce the recent passing of LSA Member Michael Montgomery. Michael Bryant Montgomery, age 69, of Lexington, SC, formerly of Knoxville, TN, passed away on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. 

Michael was a member of First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC. and a graduate of Holston High School (class of 1968), Maryville College (B.A.), the University of Tennessee (M.A.), and the University of Florida (Ph.D in Linguistics). He was a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English and Linguistics at the University of South Carolina and a renowned expert on Southern American English, Appalachian English, Ulster Scots, and the Scots-Irish influence on American English. Michael was an author of numerous scholarly articles and books, including Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English (co-author, 2004); Language. Volume 5 of New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (co-editor, 2007); From Ulster to America: The Scotch-Irish History of American English (2017); and Dictionary of Southern Appalachian English (co-author, forthcoming). He was co-host of a website on Appalachian English, at: http://artsandsciences.sc.edu/engl/dictionary/.

His honors included the 2004 Wilma Dykeman Award for Historical Writing from the East Tennessee Historical Society, the Cratis D. Williams/James Brown Award from the Appalachian Studies Association, one of the Top 100 Most influential People in the Great Smoky Mountains History by the Great Smoky Mountains Association, and a Grammy nomination for the music CD “Old Time Smoky Mountain Music.” He was Past President of the American Dialect Society, the Southeastern Conference on Linguistic, and the Ulster Scots Language Society. Michael was preceded in death by his parents Bryant Smith Montgomery and Ann Cunningham Montgomery. He was survived by his sister Marcia Ann Montgomery, sister Karen Montgomery Atchley and husband Philip Earl Atchley, brother David Arthur Montgomery and wife Maria Montgomery, nieces Rachel Elaine Atchley and Julia Bess Lopez, and nephews Philip Marcus Atchley, Michael David Montgomery, Victor Bryant Montgomery, and Daniel Arthur Montgomery.

The family will receive friends from 12:00 noon until 2:00 pm on August 1, 2019 at ROSE MORTUARY BROADWAY CHAPEL, Knoxville, TN. Family and friends will meet at 2:45 pm on August 1, 2019 at Greenwood Cemetery, Knoxville, TN for a 3:00 pm graveside service. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to World Vision, Federal Way, WA; or to Estate of Michael Montgomery (for publication of Dictionary of Southern Appalachian English), 298 Walker Road, Jellico, TN 37762.

For more information and to contribute to his Tribute Page click here.