Oxford Dictionary of African American English and New Mexican Spanish

After a three-year research process, the Oxford Dictionary of African American English is created – the first dictionary of African American English. The project aims to emphasise this language’s importance and create a resource for future research into black speech, history and culture. Researchers and editors from Oxford Languages and the Harvard University Hutchins Center for African & African American Research cull, among others, from jazz, hip-hop, blues and R&B music texts, as well as from letters, diaries, newspapers and magazines. The first of the terms revealed are, for example, the word “bussin”, meaning “impressive” or “tasty”, and “boo”, meaning “lover.”

New Mexican Spanish is a unique, historic American dialect that evolved by mixing Mediaeval Spanish and Indigenous forms. It is mainly preserved during services held in modest moradas and mud-and-straw fraternity chapels in rural communities in northern New Mexico. Now threatened with extinction, New Mexican Spanish is unlike any other variety of Spanish spoken in the US today.

Meta has built AI models that can recognise and generate speech in over a thousand languages. It is ten times more than currently available models. The company says this is a significant step towards preserving languages that are in danger of extinction. There are roughly 7,000 languages worldwide, but the existing speech recognition models comprehensively cover only about 100.

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