The Oxford Handbook of African American Language
Author: Sonja Lanehart
The goal of The Oxford Handbook of African American Language is to provide readers with a wide range of analyses of both traditional and contemporary work on language use in African American communities in a broad collective. The Handbook offers a survey of language and its uses in African American communities from a wide range of contexts organized into seven sections: Origins and Historical Perspectives; Lects and Variation; Structure and Description; Child Language Acquisition and Development; Education; Language in Society; and Language and Identity. It is a handbook of research on African American Language (AAL) and, as such, provides a variety of scholarly perspectives that may not align with each other — as is indicative of most scholarly research. The chapters in this book “interact” with one another as contributors frequently refer the reader to further elaboration on and references to related issues and connect their own research to related topics in other chapters within their own sections and the handbook more generally to create dialogue about AAL, thus affirming the need for collaborative thinking about the issues in AAL research. Though the Handbook does not and cannot include every area of research, it is meant to provide suggestions for future work on lesser-studied areas (e.g., variation/heterogeneity in regional, social, and ethnic communities) by highlighting a need for collaborative perspectives and innovative thinking while reasserting the need for better research and communication in areas thought to be resolved.