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Background information can be found in encyclopedias, dictionaries and bibliographies. UBC Library provides access to many excellent resources in both print and online versions; a select number are listed below.
The Linguistics section has a number of chapters on linguistic subfields such as phonetics and phonology, syntax, semantics, psycholinguistics and more, with lists for further reading. The Language section has a number of chapters on language and gender, language policy, language and society, language endangerment, sign language, writing, and more, with lists for further reading. An excellent starting point for research papers.
This third edition of Compendium of the World's Languages has been thoroughly revised to provide up-to-date and accurate descriptions of a wide selection of natural language systems. Scholarly, comprehensive and highly accessible.
The dictionary contains over 3,150 entries covering every aspect of this multidisciplinary field, including sociolinguistics, language theory and history, language families, and major languages from all over the world(including major national/regional dialects), and key figures and ideas in linguistics.
Containing over 500 alphabetically arranged entries and an expansive glossary by a team of international scholars, the Encyclopedia of Linguistics explores the varied perspectives, figures, and methodologies that make up the field.
Entries of up to four thousand words survey the major fields of study, while shorter entries treat specific topics, define and discuss technical terms and provide sketches of the careers of important scholars in the history of linguistics. A major emphasis of the work is its extensive coverage of languages from all corners of the world.
Eighty ideas that have shaped the study of language up to the present day. Each one includes a brief description of the idea, an account of its development, and an analysis of its impact on the field of language study.
This new, thoroughly revised edition of the acclaimed Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language incorporates the major developments in language study which have taken place since the mid 1990s. Two main new areas have been added: the rise of electronic communication in all its current forms from email to texting, and the crisis affecting the world's languages, of which half are thought to be so seriously endangered that they will die out this century.
This volume features over 50 of the world's languages and language families chosen by number of speakers, their role as official languages and their cultural and historical importance. Chapters provide information on both grammatical features and on salient features of the language's history and cultural role. This second updated edition includes two new languages, Amharic and Javanese.
Chapters in this volume look at approaches to ergativity within generative, typological, and functional paradigms, as well as approaches to the core morphosyntactic building blocks of an ergative construction; related constructions. Case studies and examples from a wide variety of languages are represented.
Many chapters of this print handbook are also available online>.
Gerard Philippson is Professor of Bantu Languages at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales and is a member of the Dyamique de Langage research team of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Lyon II University. He has mainly worked on comparative Bantu tonology. Other areas of interest include Afro-Asiatic, general phonology, linguistic classification and its correlation with population genetics.
This comprehensive volume describes in depth all the Celtic languages from historical, structural and sociolinguistic perspectives, with individual chapters on Irish, Scottish, Gaelic, Manx, Welsh, Breton and Cornish.
The Dravidian language family is the world's fourth largest with over 175 million speakers across South Asia from Pakistan to Nepal, from Bangladesh to Sri Lanka as well as having communities in Malaysia, North America and the UK. This authoritative reference source provides unique descriptions of 12 of these languages, covering their historical development alongside discussions of their specialised linguistic structures and features.
The Indo-Aryan languages, spoken by at least 700 million people in the Republic of India, in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Maldive Islands, and in countries where immigrants from South Asia have settled, constitute a major group within the Indo-European family.
The Languages of Japan and Korea provides detailed descriptions of the major varieties of languages in the region, both modern and pre-modern. The volume is divided into language sketches, the majority of which are broken down into sections on phonology, orthography, morphology, syntax and lexicon.
An authoritative survey of the several hundred languages indigenous to North America. Part I of the book provides an overview of structural features of particular interest. Part II catalogues the languages by family, listing the location of each language, its genetic affiliation, number of speakers, major published literature, and structural highlights.
Comprehensive offering with a etailed structural examination of all the individual Romance varieties and Romance-speaking areas, including standard, non-standard, dialectal, and regional varieties of the Old and New Worlds.
Surveys the structure and evolution of the Romance language family. Examines Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Rumanian, Catalan, Occitan, Sardinian, Rhaeto-Romance, and Romance-based pidgins and creoles.
This volume includes overview articles as well as descriptions of individual languages and comments on the subgroups in which they occur. In addition to a number of modern languages, there are descriptions of several ancient languages.
Providing chapter-length descriptions of each of the modern Slavonic languages and the extinct Slavonic languages, this book describes their social context, phonology, sychronic morphology, vocabulary and syntactic properties.
Examines the modern languages within this wide-ranging language family and gives an historical overview of their development.The first part covers generalities, providing an introduction to the grammatical traditions, subgrouping and writing systems of this language family. The latter part of the book focuses on descriptions of the individual languages themselves.
Some 800 Austronesian languages are spoken in the area extending from Madagascar to eastern Indonesia and to the north to Taiwan and the Philippines. They vary greatly in almost every possible respect, including the size and social make-up of the speech communities and their typological profiles. This book is designed to serve as a reference work and in-depth introduction to these languages, providing a source of basic information for linguists and other professionals concerned with this area.