The New York Times
July 21, 2022
Hip, woke, cool: It's all fodder for the Oxford Dictionary of African American English
The new Oxford Dictionary of African American English, edited by scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. will collect the definitions and histories of words that originated in the African American vernacular. Differences in language evolve from separation, said Sonja Lanehart, a professor of linguistics at the University of Arizona and a member of the dictionary advisory board. Those barriers can be geographical, like oceans or mountains, she said, but they can also be social or institutional. "In this country, descendants of Americans who were enslaved, they grew up, they developed, they lived in separate spaces," she said, "Even though they were geographically all in, say, Georgia, their lives and communities within those spaces were very different."