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Bethany Dumas

Professor Emerita


B.A., Lamar University
M.A., Ph.D., University of Arkansas
J.D., University of Tennessee


E.E. Cummings: A Remembrance of Miracles (Vision Press, Ltd., and Barnes & Noble, 1974).

Representative articles

  • “Reasonable Doubt about Reasonable Doubt: Jury Instruction Adequacy in a Capital Case,” Ch. 15 of Language in The Legal Process, ed. J. Cotterill. (Basingstoke and NY: Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2002): -59
  • “Jury Trails: Lay Jurors, Pattern Jury Instructions, and Comprehension Issues,” Tennessee Law Review 67.3 (Spring 2000): 701-42
  • "Southern Mountain English: The Language of The Ozarks and Southern Appalachia," in Rebecca S. Wheeler, ed, The Workings of Language (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1999), 67-79
  • "Warning Labels and Industry Safety Information Standards: The Case of Loctite RC/609," in Joy Peyton and Peg Griffin, eds, Language in Action: New Studies of Language in Society(Cresskill, New Jersey: Hampton Press, 1999), 302-317
  • "Linguistic Ambiguity in Non-Statutory Language: Problems in 'The Search Warrant in the Matter of 7505 Derris Drive'," Forensic Linguistics: The International Journal of Language and the Law 5.2 (1998), [127]-140 (with Ann C. Short, Esq.)
  • "Humpty-Dumpty and the Law: Definitions in the Judicial Process," ASTM Standardization News 19.12 (December 1991) 52-55
  • "An Analysis of the Adequacy of Federally Mandated Cigarette Package Warnings," in Judith N. Levi and Anne Graffam Walker, eds., Language in the Judicial Process (New York: Plenum, 1990) 309-52 [reprinted Tennessee Law Review 59.2:261-304 (1992)]
  • " Appalachian Glossary" and "East Tennessee Talk," in Jim Stokely and Jeff D. Johnson, eds., Encyclopedia of East Tennessee (Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Children's Museum of Oak Ridge, 1981), 16-18 and 170-76; "Is Slang a Word for Linguists?" American Speech 53.1 (1978), 5-17 (with Jonathan Lighter) .

Professional Service

  • Committee on Social and Political Concerns, Linguistic Society of America (2003-2005
  • Initiator and Organizer (with Lawrence M. Solan and Peter M. Tiersma) of Collaborative Research Network (CRN) 16, Language & Law, of the Law & SocietyAssociation, 2003.

Awards, Honors & Grants

  • University of Tennessee Travel and Research Grants, 1977, 1979-80, 1986-89, 1991-92, 1993, 1996-1999
  • Editorial Board, Forensic Linguistics: The International Journal of Language and the Law(Routledge, University of Birmingham Press)
  •  Tennessee Bar Association Jury Reform Commission, 1998-99
  • Professorial Lecturer, Department of Linguistics, Georgetown University, 1997
  • American Council of Learned Societies Travel Grant, 1990
  • Associate Editor, Publications of the American Dialect Society, 1981-84
  • Executive Editor, Tennessee Law Review, 1984-85
  • Fieldworker, Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States, 1977
  • Trinity University Faculty Research and Development Commission Grant, 1973
  • National Endowment For the Humanities Younger Humanist Fellowship, 1972-73
  • Southern University Foundation Grant, 1970.

Associations & Organizations

  • Linguistic Society of America
  • International Association of Forensic Linguists
  • Law and Society Association
  • American Dialect Society of North America
  • Dictionary Society of North America
  • SouthEastern Conference on Linguistics
  • New Ways of Analyzing Variation
  • American Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Guild of Scholars of the Episcopal Church.

Contact Information

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