Donna Lillian

Survey of marital and family surname choices

I am conducting a research study about marital and family surname choices. If you agree to be part of the research study, you will be asked to answer a series of questions about choices you have made about your surname or family name, including choices about the surname of your children, and about what courtesy titles (e.g. Mr., Ms. Dr., etc.) you prefer to use. You will not be asked to provide your specific name or the name of any member of your family.

Participation in this study is completely voluntary. Even if you decide to participate now, you may change your mind and stop at any time. You may choose not to answer any survey question for any reason. There are no foreseeable risks associated with participation in this study, there is no payment or compensation for participation in this study, and there is no penalty for choosing not to participate in this study.

If you have questions about this research study, you may contact Donna Lillian at

The Appalachian State University Institutional Review Board (IRB) has determined that this study is exempt from IRB oversight.

If you wish to participate in this survey, please click on the link below.

Surname survey 

Feel free to share this link on other websites, listservs, or social media platforms.

President of the Canadian Society for the Study of Names / Société canadienne d’onomastique

Chair, Language & Linguistics Committee, Department of English

Academy of Outstanding Teachers, College of Arts and Sciences, Appalachian State University. Inducted October 2017.

Academic Specialty:

Linguistics, Discourse Analysis, Onomastics, Feminist Studies

Recent Courses Taught:

ENG 3300       Applied Grammar

ENG 3610       Studies in the Principles of Language

ENG 4620       Special Topics: Language, Gender, and Power

ENG 4620       Special Topics: Constructing Languages

ENG 4660       History of the English Language

HON 3515      Inventing Language(s)

LLC 2050       Say What? Language, Mind, & Society

Degrees and Certificates

Certificate, Employment Mediation Training, Carolina Dispute Settlement Services, 2018.

Ph.D., English: Linguistics & Stylistics, York University.

Master of Arts, Linguistics, University of Toronto.

Bachelor of Education, Junior/Intermediate English. University of Western Ontario.

Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Linguistics, York University.


Interim Editor, Onomastica Canadiana, Canadian Society for the Study of Names/ Société canadienne d’onomastique, 2016-17. Vol. 94.2, Vol 95.1, 2.

Managing Editor, WORD, International Linguistics Association, 2009-2012.

Editor, Papers of the Nineteenth Annual Meeting of the Atlantic Provinces Linguistic Association. 1995.

Selected Publications

“Nazareth Chornyak: An Unlikely Messiah.” [forthcoming, Onomastica Canadiana 97, 2018]

“Granny Names in The Ozark Trilogy.” Names and Their Environment. Proceedings of the 25th International Congress of Onomastic Sciences, Glasgow, 25-29 August 2014. Vol. 5. First published 2016 by University of Glasgow under Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

“Social and Regional Variation in Women’s Marital Surname Choices.” LACUS FORUM XXXIV: Speech and Beyond. Houston, TX: Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States. 2009: 147-156.

“Ethnicity and Women’s Courtesy Titles: A Preliminary Report.” Names 56(4), 2008: 230-7.

“Modality, Persuasion and Manipulation in Canadian Conservative Discourse.” Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines 2(1), February 2008: 1-16.

“A Thorn by Any Other Name: Sexist Discourse as Hate Speech.” Discourse & Society 18(6), 2007: 719-740.

“From Time to Time, ‘Girl’ May Be Appropriate: Narrative Voice and the Backlash Against Feminist Linguistic Innovations.” American, British and Canadian Studies, Vol. 8, June 2007: 254-262.

Ms. as a Courtesy Title: Variation Through Time and Space.” LACUS FORUM XXXIII: Variation. Houston, TX: Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States. 2007: 211-218.

“Neo-Conservative Racist Discourse: A Canadian Case Study.” WORD 57(1), 2006: 71-95.

“Homophobic Discourse: A ‘Popular’ Canadian Example.” SKY Journal of Linguistics, 18, 2005: 119-144.

“Applying Critical Linguistics to Literary Texts: Transitivity in Charles G.D. Roberts’ ‘Do Seek Their Meat from God.’” Papers of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the Atlantic Provinces Linguistic Association, Moncton, NB, 2000: 73-79.

“Names and Titles: Maiden Name Retention and the Use of Ms.” Journal of the Atlantic Provinces Linguistic Association, Vol. 9, 1987: 56-83.

“Prototypes Revisited: LIE, STEAL, and ACCIDENT.” Papers of the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Atlantic Provinces Linguistic Association. Fredericton: University of New Brunswick, 1987: 1-11.

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Department of English

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-8126

Office address
313 Sanford Hall