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Selected Reference Resources for Linguistics

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Research Guide

DeMiller, Anna L. Linguistics: A Guide to the Literature. 2nd ed. Englewood, Colo.: Libraries Unlimited, 2000.
A critically annotated, classified bibliography of reference materials on linguistics in general and individual languages and language groups.

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Encyclopedias

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language. David Crystal. Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997. (DeMiller 18)

Concise Encyclopedia of Educational Linguistics. Ed. Bernard Spolsky. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1999.

The Encyclopedia of Language and Education. Gen. ed. David Corson. Dordrecht & Boston: Kluwer, 1997. 8 vols.
Each volume focuses on a particular aspect of the topic: v. 1 Language policy and political issues in education; v. 2 Literacy; v. 3. Oral discourse and education; v. 4. Second language education; v. 5 Bilingual education; v. 6 Knowledge about language;
v. 7 Language testing and assessment; v. 8 Research methods in language and education.

The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (ELL). Ed.-in-chief R.E. Asher; co-ordinating ed. J.M.Y. Simpson. Oxford & New York: Pergamon Press, 1994. 10 vols. (DeMiller 5)

International Encyclopedia of Linguistics (IEL). Second edition. Ed.-in-chief William Frawley. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. 4 vols. (DeMiller 13)

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London and New York: Routledge, 1998. 10 vols.
Although not as detailed for linguistics as other sources above, covers general principles of the philosophy of language and related topics, e.g. structuralism and semiotics.

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Dictionaries

Crystal, David. A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. 5th ed. (The Language Library). Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2003. (DeMiller 19)

Crystal, David. A Dictionary of Language. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001. (British edition called Penguin Dictionary of Language. First edition called An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Language and Languages, 1992, which is DeMiller 20).

Encyclopedic Dictionary of Applied Linguistics: A Handbook for Language Teaching. Ed. Keith Johnson and Helen Johnson. Oxford & Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 1998. (DeMiller 366)

Pullum, Geoffrey K. and William A. Ladusaw. Phonetic Symbol Guide. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. (DeMiller 49)

Richards, Jack C., John Platt, and Heidi Weber. Longman Dictionary of Applied Linguistics (LDAL). Harlow, England: Longman, 1985. (A newer edition, 1992, which UCSD doesn’t have, is DeMiller 368).

For dictionaries of a particular language, do a subject search in Roger for “[x] language—Dictionaries.”

See also the section “Dictionaries” in SAGE for some electronic dictionaries.

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The World's Languages

Atlas of the World’s Languages. Gen. eds. Christopher Moseley and R.E. Asher. London and New York: Routledge, 1994. (DeMiller 629)

Atlas of Languages of Intercultural Communication in the Pacific, Asia, and the Americas. Eds. Stephen A Wurm, Peter Muhlhausler, Peter Tyron, and Darrell T. Tyron. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1996. 2 vols. in 3 parts. (DeMiller 631)

Campbell, George L. Compendium of the World’s Languages. 2nd ed. London and New York: Routledge, 2000. 2 vols. (1st edition is DeMiller 555)

Campbell, George L. Handbook of Scripts and Alphabets. London and New York: Routledge, 1997. (DeMiller 557)

Ethnologue: Languages of the World. Ed. Barbara F. Grimes. Maps by Richard K. Sanderson and Mary Kathleen Greene. 14th ed. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics, 2002. (DeMiller 572-574)
(Also available on the Web.)

Ruhlen, Merritt. A Guide to the World’s Languages. Volume I: Classification. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1987. (DeMiller 587)
A complete genetic classification of all the world’s languages, the most comprehensive and up-to-date presently available.

Louw, Bill. The Atlas of Languages: The Origin and Development of Languages Throughout the World. Consultant eds. Bernard Comrie, Stephen Matthews, and Maria Polinsky. Revised Edition. New York: Facts on File, 2003. (DeMiller, 620)
Circulating copy of 1996 edition.

Voegelin, Charles Frederick and Florence M. Voegelin. Classification and Index of the World’s Languages. New York: Elsevier, 1977. (DeMiller 591)
Largely superseded by Ruhlen, this nevertheless remains an important reference source, particularly for its index of names.

The World’s Major Languages. Ed. Bernard Comrie. London: Croom Helm, 1987. (DeMiller 561). Fifty separate chapters on language groups or languages, each written by an expert.

The World’s Writing Systems. Ed. Peter T. Daniels and William Bright. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. (DeMiller 564)
Provides a historical sketch and the table of signforms of the world’s major scripts. The IPA (1989 revision) in its entirety can be found on the book’s endpapers.

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Bibliographies, Bibliographic Databases, Catalogs, and Portals

I. Books, Media, and Journal titles - General.

Roger. The UCSD Libraries’ Catalog. Provides searching by author, title, subject, keyword, and call number. Records for all materials owned by the Libraries (books, journals, documents, manuscripts, media, etc.) as well as links to electronic resources provided by the Library or by the California Digital Library (CDL) and selected Web sites. Does not catalog individual articles in journals.

Melvyl. The joint catalog of the University of California System’s libraries for books, periodicals, media, databases, and selected Web sites.

WorldCat. The largest available electronic catalog for books and other materials, with over 45 million records. Useful for identifying items not available in the UC system. (Interlibrary loan). A smaller, but also important, catalog is the RLIN Bibliographic File representing the collections of the Research Libraries Group.

II. Articles within journals, conference papers, book reviews, etc. - Linguistics

LLBA: Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts.
Coverage: 1973 to present electronically; 1967 to present in print.
Print version: SSH Ref P 105 .L3

MLAIB: Modern Language Association International Bibliography.
Coverage: 1963 to present electronically; 1921 to the present in print.
Print version: PB 41 .M68

These are the two big electronic bibliographic databases for linguistics research. There is considerable overlap between the two. In addition to journal articles, both cover books (although more selectively than articles), dissertations, conference proceedings, and, to some extent, individual chapters or articles within books. MLAIB does not contain book reviews; LLBA does. LLBA’s focus on linguistics (MLAIB covers literature and folklore as well) and its abstracts make it the primary database of the two, but for a comprehensive search, MLAIB needs to be consulted as well. (DeMiller 85 and 88)

Linguistics Abstracts.
Coverage: UCSD has only from 1991 to 1997.
Focus on theory and practice of general linguistics, not applied linguistics, nor the descriptive or historical study of individual languages or dialects. (DeMiller 84)
SSH Ref P 1 .L78

Linguistic Bibliography for the Year … = Bibliographie Linguistique de l’année …
Coverage: 1939 to present.
Provides comprehensive, worldwide coverage of periodical articles, dissertations, and contributions to collected works such as festschriften and conference proceedings, including reviews of such publications. Somewhat slow to appear (the latest covers the year 1999.) (DeMiller 78)
SSH Ref P 121 .L56

Bibliographie linguistischer Literatur (BLL): Bibliographie zur allgemeinen Linguistik und zur anglistischen, germanistischen und romanistischen Linguistik.
Coverage: 1978 to present; international in scope (for general linguistics and English, Germanic, and Romance linguistics). Relatively quick in appearance (the latest available covers the year 2002.) (DeMiller 79)
SSH Ref P 3 .B5

The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies.
Coverage: 1929/30 to present.
An annual, critical survey of research on language and literature. Five main sections: General linguistics (begun in 1974), Latin, Romance languages, Germanic languages, and Slavonic studies. Each of the latter four is divided into language and literature sections, often with further subdivisions. Sections written by separate experts in those fields. Somewhat slow to appear. (DeMiller 652)
SSH Ref PB 1 .Y45
The first sixty years of this (1930-1990) are available electronically.

Annual Bibliography of English Language & Literature (ABELL).
As title suggests, for English language research only.
Coverage: 1920-present (Print). Electronic: 1920-present.
Includes books, dissertations, chapters of books, and journal articles. Unlike MLAIB, does include book reviews; in fact, a search can be limited to reviews, or they may be excluded. (DeMiller 739)
Print version: SSH Ref PE 71 .M69

III. Journal Articles - Broader

Expanded Academic ASAP.
Coverage: 1988 to present.
Provides journal articles and book reviews from a broad range of periodicals in many fields. Not at all comprehensive for linguistics; however, for core journals, it is useful because it is much more quickly updated than either LLBA or MLAIB. Also, there is an increasing number of full-text articles provided.

Social Sciences Citation Index. Part of The Web of Science.
Coverage: 1975 to present. (Electronic only).
Social Sciences Citation Index is a multidisciplinary database, with searchable author abstracts, covering the journal literature of the social sciences. It indexes more than 1,725 journals spanning 50 disciplines, as well as covering relevant items from over 3,300 of the world's leading scientific and technical journals. The unique feature of SSCI (along with its counterparts, Arts & Humanities Citation Index—which can also be used for language and linguistics—and Science Citation Index—which may be useful for some of the more computational and neurological aspects of linguistics) is that it provides indexing of articles that have cited other articles or books. I.e., you can not just search for articles on a topic, but for documents that have cited a particular article (or book) that is central to your concern, under the theory that research by other scholars who cite that source will also be of interest to you. (DeMiller 92)

Current Contents.
Coverage: 1993-present.
A keyword or author (i.e., no subject headings or descriptors) index to 6500 scholarly journals. As with some other CDL-hosted databases, holdings of UCSD and the other UC libraries are indicated below the citation. No print version. This resource will not be available after December 2004.

ERIC
Coverage: 1966 to present.
A good database for research in foreign language teaching and language acquisition; also
important for older items treating "exotic" languages. There are two types of publications indexed in ERIC: journal articles, designated EJ, and otherwise unpublished documents, designated ED. These documents are available in the ERIC microfiche collection, housed in Current Periodicals & Microforms Department on the first floor.

PsychINFO (Psychological Abstracts)

Sociological Abstracts

IV. Portal to Web Sites and other Electronic Resources

SAGE. From the SSHL home page, click on SAGE, then on Language and Literature, then Linguistics and Languages. Electronic resources in linguistics available to the UCSD community are grouped in categories, e.g. Web megasites, dictionaries, article databases, journals and other full-text sources, etc. Remember: SAGE lists only electronic resources. It is not—as this guide in brief and DeMiller’s book in much more detail (see above) attempt to be—a guide to all useful resources on linguistics, both print and electronic.

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The Library of Congress Classification System

The UCSD Libraries, along with all other UC libraries and the majority of research libraries in the United States, use the classification system adopted by the Library of Congress for books, journals, and some other materials that can be shelved. (At UCSD, we use home-grown systems for housing microfilms, videos, sound recordings, manuscripts, and other materials requiring specialized storage.)

The most relevant call numbers for linguistics and language study are:

BF Psychology (especially near BF 723, for cognition)
P Communication in general, including general linguistics. Specific numbers, or ranges of numbers, are used to sub-classify, e.g. P 37 psycholinguistics; P 41 sociolinguistics;
P 215-240 phonology; P 301 discourse analysis and sylistics.
PA Classical (Western) languages and philology in general, and Latin and Greek; Byzantine and modern Greek; Medieval and modern Latin.
PB Modern languages and philology (in general); Celtic languages
PC Romance languages and philology: 1000-Italian; 2001-3761 French and Provençal; 3801-3976 Catalan; 4000 Spanish; 5000 Portuguese
PD Germanic languages and philology: Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, Old Norse.
PE Germanic languages and philology: English.
PF Germanic languages and philology: Dutch, Afrikaans, Flemish, Friesian, German.
PG Slavic languages/philology and literatures. 2000 Russian
PH Finno-Ugrian and Uralic languages/philology and literatures. Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian, 5001-Basque
PJ Oriental languages/philology and literatures. (1000-Egyptian & Coptic, 2301-2551 Hamitic, 3001-9293 Semitic).
PK Indo-Iranian languages and literatures, including Vedic, Sanskrit, Pali, Persian, Urdu, Hindi, Bengali); 8001-8958 Armenian; 9001-Caucasian and Georgian)
PL Eastern Asian, Africa, and Oceania. 500-700 Japanese; 901-49 Korean, 1000-2239 Chinese, 5001-7511 Oceanic, 8001-8844 African.
PM 1-7356 Native languages of the Americas; 7800-Mixed and Creole languages, 8000-9021 Artificial languages.
QP 399 Neuro-/psychological aspects of language
Z 7001-04 Some bibliography of linguistics.
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Contact Information

Rob Melton
Literature, Linguistics, Theater & Dance
Social Sciences & Humanities Library
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, 0175R
La Jolla, CA 92093-0175
Phone (858) 534-1264
Fax (858) 534-7548
rmelton@ucsd.edu

 

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