LINGUIST List 12.2451

Wed Oct 3 2001

Sum: Building a Linguistic Library

Editor for this issue: Marie Klopfenstein <>


  1. Richard Lavin, 1700 dollars to spend on linguistics books

Message 1: 1700 dollars to spend on linguistics books

Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2001 17:40:41 +0900
From: Richard Lavin <>
Subject: 1700 dollars to spend on linguistics books

Some time ago, I requested suggestions from list members regarding how to
spend 1700 dollars to build up a basic linguistics collection from nothing
at a University library.

Apologies for the long delay in following this up, but I've been given a
year to spend the money so have been taking my time. Here is a summary of
the suggestions I received. I should like to thank the following people for
taking the trouble to offer their help (titles omitted): B.P. Hemananda,
Adam Werle, Alex Monaghan, Khaled Rifaat, Bec Lindsay, and Linda Coleman.
Thanks also to Richard Sproat for reminding me that thanking each individual
privately, as I did some time ago, is not enough.

- --------------------------
"The Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics would be one of the first places I'd
look for solid, classic treatments of specific topics. One could get solid
(if inevitably dated) presentations of a range of areas from that series.

For added material on discourse analysis, I'd consider _The Discourse
edited by Adam Jaworski & Nikolas Coupland (Routledge, 1999). It's a
compendium of some of the classic articles and stances in D.A.

Steven Davis' edited volume, _Pragmatics: A Reader_ (Oxford, 1991),
contains a number of essential readings that any library should have. I
would also make sure I had the latest update of Sperber & Wilson's
_Relevance_. Personally, I'd consider Deborah Tannen's edited volume
_Framing in Discourse_ essential, but much would depend on the specific
emphasis of the program you're constructing."
- ----------------------
"Zentella, Ana Celia. "Growing Up Blingual".
Halliday, MAK. "Introduction to Functional Grammar".
Foley, William. "Introduction to Anthropological Linguistics".
Bergvall, Victoria L., Bing, Janet M. and Freed, Alice F. (Eds) "Rethinking
Language and Gender Research: Theory and Practice".
Cameron, Deborah. "Verbal Hygeine".
Campbell, L. "Historical Linguistics." "
(Bec Lindsay said these titles inspired her in her studies.)
- ----------------------
"may i suggest the two CUP series "Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics" and
"Cambridge Studies in Linguistics"? they have two great advantages: they're
broad-ranging, and they're cheap! (nearly all available softbound).
you obviously wouldn't want to buy all of them, but there are some excellent
ones written by big names:

Allwood, Andersson & Dahl: Logic in Linguistics
Chambers & Trudgill: Dialectology
Cruttenden: Intonation
Fry: The Physics of Speech
Kager: Optimality Theory
Kempson: Semantic Theory
Laver: Principles of Phonetics
Levinson: Pragmatics

Clark: The Lexicon in Acquisition
Coleman: Phonological Representations
Ladd: Intonational Phonology
Lass: Historical Linguistics and Language Change
McMahon: Lexical Phonology and the History of English

- ------------------------
"I would think that some of the Handbooks published by Blackwell would be
indispensable, e.g. 'The Handbook of Contemporary Phonological Theory' ed.
John Goldsmith, 'The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory' ed. Shalom
Lappin, etc."
- ------------------------
The following site was suggested as a good place to track down books, though
I've found it difficult to access:
- -------------------------

MY COMMENTS: Notice that the only item or series mentioned twice was the
Cambridge Studies in Linguistics series. I was kind of hoping that there
would be a few titles coming up again and again as absolute must-read
classics, that I would feel compelled to buy. It seems, though, that the
field is so fragmented that there is no longer such a thing as a text
recognized universally as 'core'.
The money has to be spent pretty quickly, so I decided to get a smattering
of books on syntax, which I still consider a core sub-field, and also
general linguistics, and spend most of the rest on phonology, including
computational phonology, my own main interest, leaving other fields to
future faculty. For what it's worth, here are some of the titles I've
already decided on, leaving out titles with too specialist a focus:

Speech and Language Processing, Jurafsky & Martin
The Handbook of Logic and Language, van Benthen & ter Meulen
The Handbook of Linguistics, Aronoff & Rees-Miller
The Handbook of Contemporary Syntactic Theory, Baltin & Collins
The Linguistics Encyclopedia, Malmkjaer
The Handbook of Phonological Theory, Goldsmith
Phonological Theory: the essential readings, Goldsmith
Syntactic Theory and the Structure of English, Radford
Linguistics: an introduction to linguistic theory, Fromkin et al.
A Coursebook in Phonology, Roca
Prosodic Features and Prosodic Structure: the Phonology of Suprasegmentals,
Fox (NOTE:This seems to be not very well-known outside the UK, but could
well be the best survey available of theories of prosody.)
Optimality Theory: Phonology, Syntax and Acquisition, Dekkers et al
Intonational Phonology, Ladd
Generative and Non-linear Phonology, Durand

Richard Lavin
Kyushu Tokai University
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