About this Project

The Online Resources for African American Language (ORAAL) project seeks to bring together information and resources about language in the African American community, for educators, researchers, and the public.

African American Language (AAL), sometimes called African American English (AAE), African American Vernacular English (AAVE), Black English, or Ebonics, represents a rich and diverse set of varieties of American English. Its history is as old as America and its linguistic structure is as systematic and as normal as other varieties of English, in the U.S. and elsewhere. Yet, African American Language is often misrepresented and misunderstood. 

This website, oraal.uoregon.edu, came online in January 2018. It houses information about AAL, including our page on About AAL, which includes some Frequently Asked Questions about AAL as well as several categories from the development of AAL, the linguistic background, and information about some controversies that have revolved around AAL in recent decades, as well as ongoing educational disparities in the U.S. educational system, as well as an extensive Bibliography of African American Language Research. Additionally, ORAAL includes two Resources pages. The first, Educational Resources, includes resources from other websites and podcasts, where anyone can learn about AAL, as well as pages specifically geared towards K-12 educators and Post-Secondary educators. The second, Research Resources, includes information for researchers interested in finding AAL data. ORAAL includes a Glossary of linguistic terms that are used to scientifically describe language varieties. Finally, ORAAL is home to the Corpus of Regional African American Language (CORAAL), the first public corpus of AAL data, which provides resources for researchers on this important language variety.

We hope you find this website useful. Please check back for future updates.

The project team and project funding

The ORAAL website was developed by a team at the University of Oregon, originally headed by Tyler Kendall and Jason McLarty. Charlie Farrington maintains ORAAL and was primary in crafting most of the current website with additional help from Kaylynn Gunter.

The project team is immensely grateful to Walt Wolfram and Jeff Reaser for their advice and support throughout this project. We also thank Danica Cullinan and Neal Hutcheson for images and video excerpts from the 2017 documentary Talking Black in America, Brooke Josler, Shelby Arnson, Jaidan McLean, Minnie Quartey, Chloe Tacata, and Charlotte Vaughn for help and contributions, as well as Hailey Clark, Brendan Hodge, and members of the Spring 2016 African American Language seminar at the University of Oregon.

The project was made possible by support from the National Science Foundation (Grant No. BCS-1358724), and the University of Oregon. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or the University of Oregon.

Terms of use

The materials on this website, including the Corpus of Regional African American Language is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (4.0) International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/).

How to cite this website

Kendall, Tyler, Jason McLarty, and Charlie Farrington. 2023. ORAAL: Online Resources for African American Language. Eugene, OR: The Online Resources for African American Language Project. https://oraal.uoregon.edu.

Contact the ORAAL Development Team

Contact the ORAAL Development Team with any questions, comments, or suggestions.