The William Hammond Lecture by Lisa Green (UMass Amherst): African American English in America

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Lisa Green
March 2, 2020
4:30PM - 6:00PM
Location
US Bank Theater, Ohio Union

Date Range
Add to Calendar 2020-03-02 16:30:00 2020-03-02 18:00:00 The William Hammond Lecture by Lisa Green (UMass Amherst): African American English in America Abstract: Dialects of American English represent different sounds, word combinations, and interpretations that are all uniquely American. Over the past fifty years, the stream of research on African American English (AAE), one variety of American English, has continued to flow steadily, stemming from the claim in the 1960s that the variety was a legitimate linguistic system. Insightful revelations about the language structure of this dialect have been made; however, educational, social, and political topics related to the linguistic variety remain in the forefront. In this talk, I address the implication for claims about AAE as a legitimate dialect of American English in relation to social, educational, and political topics from the angle of Black Twitter, the development of language by young children in AAE-speaking communities, and the “adultification” of black children in schools.  Speaker Bio: Prof. Green is Professor of Linguistics and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of African American Language at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a leading authority on issues ranging from AAE’s distinctive grammatical properties, to its historical roots, to how children acquire AAE in the larger African American context. Prof. Green’s oevre includes two books and thirty journal articles and book chapters. Her research reflects deep understanding of the complex sociopolitical relationship between Mainstream American English and AAE. Both her research and her commitment to training educators in how to address language- and dialect-related issues in the classroom reflect passionate efforts aimed at dispelling the myth that AAE constitutes an incomplete or inadequate grammatical system. Prof. Green serves as a model of how to integrate linguistic research with practical application in ways that serve the public good, and of how to convey the complex sociopolitical underpinnings of AAE to diverse audiences. This lecture is organized by the Department of Linguistics and supported by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Buckeye Language Network, and the Buckeye Language Network Student Association. For further information, contact Ashwini Deo (deo.13@osu.edu) or Andrea Sims (sims.120@osu.edu). US Bank Theater, Ohio Union Department of Linguistics linguistics@osu.edu America/New_York public
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Abstract: Dialects of American English represent different sounds, word combinations, and interpretations that are all uniquely American. Over the past fifty years, the stream of research on African American English (AAE), one variety of American English, has continued to flow steadily, stemming from the claim in the 1960s that the variety was a legitimate linguistic system. Insightful revelations about the language structure of this dialect have been made; however, educational, social, and political topics related to the linguistic variety remain in the forefront. In this talk, I address the implication for claims about AAE as a legitimate dialect of American English in relation to social, educational, and political topics from the angle of Black Twitter, the development of language by young children in AAE-speaking communities, and the “adultification” of black children in schools. 

Speaker Bio: Prof. Green is Professor of Linguistics and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of African American Language at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a leading authority on issues ranging from AAE’s distinctive grammatical properties, to its historical roots, to how children acquire AAE in the larger African American context. Prof. Green’s oevre includes two books and thirty journal articles and book chapters. Her research reflects deep understanding of the complex sociopolitical relationship between Mainstream American English and AAE. Both her research and her commitment to training educators in how to address language- and dialect-related issues in the classroom reflect passionate efforts aimed at dispelling the myth that AAE constitutes an incomplete or inadequate grammatical system. Prof. Green serves as a model of how to integrate linguistic research with practical application in ways that serve the public good, and of how to convey the complex sociopolitical underpinnings of AAE to diverse audiences.

This lecture is organized by the Department of Linguistics and supported by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Buckeye Language Network, and the Buckeye Language Network Student Association. For further information, contact Ashwini Deo (deo.13@osu.edu) or Andrea Sims (sims.120@osu.edu).

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