After earning her PhD at UMass Amherst, Professor Green returned to campus and founded the Center for the Study of African American Language to bolster research on language usage in the African American community.
When I was working on my Masters at the University of Kentucky, I happened to have a course with a very famous linguist, Gregory Stock. I talked with him about doing more linguistics and he recommended UMass Amherst. My foundation in linguistics was pretty much built at UMass. I felt that I really, really wanted to look more at African-American English. I got my PhD in 1993, and then in 2006 I found my way back here. The mission of the Center for the Study of African-American language is to be the one place that you think about when you have questions about African-American English. The focus has been on undergraduates and giving them research experiences. And it's also a place that you can consult. I have a range of classes. Some of them are just pure linguistics courses that talk about structure. Others have more practical application, and also bring in issues of language in society. I always expect to be surprised with UMass students. They really are thinking analytically. They are raising questions. They are just outstanding. The DELV is the diagnostic evaluation of language variation developed here at UMass Amherst. Children coming up to school, speaking nonstandard variety, their language will look deficient or even disordered. So the DELV was designed to be a test that could be used on all speech populations. I was able to do something that people weren't doing. No one really was looking at African-American English. I think that is due in part to the foundation that I received at UMass Amherst. I'm Lisa Green, professor of Linguistics and director of the Center for the Study of African-American Language. I stand for linking classroom education to practical application in real life experiences, and I stand for UMass.