Note: This title has also been published by Edinburgh University Press (Issue 18.1324)
This book fills the unique niche in the market of books designed for undergraduate students studying linguistics, particularly majors. It is a practical reference book of the "toolkit" variety, designed for students who can consult it as they start and continue their studies, and it covers topics and basic definitions in ways that other references and textbooks do not. It does not pretend to cover the nitty-gritty of how to do all the manner of linguistics, which is covered in more detail by other texts. Rather, it focuses on basic information about the field that may nonetheless not be available elsewhere in one place.
The first part of the book covers the fundamentals of linguistics: what it is, what language and its components are, the fundamental distinctions between different approaches. This is material that is either glossed over in introductory courses, or students forget it since it comes early in their studies. The second part of the book deals with matters of notation and terminology -- the practical skills that every linguistic student needs to master (e.g. the International Phonetic Alphabet). The third part of the book covers how to read and understand linguistics; the fourth part of the book concentrates on how to write it; and the fifth section teaches how to master the finer points of reference lists and bibliographies. Finally, the sixth, last and largest section contains thumbnail sketches of the world's languages, presenting basic structural and social information in a consistent format, which students can quickly flip to for basic information. Every linguistics students (and some scholars) will benefit from having this unique and highly practical volume on their desk as a constant reference.
Discipline of Linguistics