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. 

Our website, oraal.uoregon.edu, came online in January 2018. It currently houses information about AAL, including our page on AAL Facts, which presents some linguistic background about AAL, and our page on AAL in Society, which discusses some controversies that have revolved around AAL in recent decades, as well as ongoing educational disparities in the U.S. educational system.  New features are coming soon, including a page curating a range of resources for educators and a glossary of linguistic terms that get used in scientifically describing language varieties.  Finally, our website is home to the Corpus of Regional African American Language (CORAAL), the first public corpus of AAL data, which provides new 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

This website was developed by a team at the University of Oregon, headed by Tyler Kendall and Jason McLarty. Jason McLarty and Brooke Josler were primary in crafting most of the current pages.

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 forthcoming documentary Talking Black in America, Shelby Arnson, Charlie Farrington, Minnie Quartey, 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 and Jason McLarty (2018). ORAAL: Online Resources for African American Language. Eugene, OR: The Online Resources for African American Language Project. http://oraal.uoregon.edu