LINGUIST List 3.210

Wed 04 Mar 1992

Disc: Introductory Texts

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Michael Earl Darnell, textbooks
  2. Natalie Maynor, Re: 3.190 Introductory Texts

Message 1: textbooks

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 92 13:01:26 CStextbooks
From: Michael Earl Darnell <>
Subject: textbooks

I'm posting this brief list/review of the responses I've received to my
query on textbooks for an intro to English linguistics course. From the
lack of response I assume most folks have been happy with the intro texts
available, or haven't had to deal with this situation. If anyone is still
out there I'll be glad to hear from you, and will funnel the results to
the list.

There appears to be no need to further discuss Fromkin and Rodman's intro
text. A previous posting has accurately assessed its value. I used it and
liked it, as did my students.

Finegan and Besnier's 'Language its structure and use' published by Harcourt
Brace Jovanovich. I've also used this text in intro linguistics course and
its presently being used by someone here in the intro English linguistics
course. Like Fromkin and Rodman it's a good intro book. If you are of the
functionalist persuasion, you may prefer it to Fromkin and Rodman.

Another instructor is considering using 'The Cambridge Encyclopedia of
Language' by David Crystal, Cambridge U. Press. I found this fairly
interesting from the amount I skimmed. The different style/organization
doesn't seem to detract at all from the content.

Betty Birner reccommended Jeffery Kaplan's 'English grammar: principle and
Fact' I'd highly recommend this one if you only have one course in which
to teach both linguistics and English grammar. It seems to deal well
with the basic issues and provides extentsive coverage of English. We have
a separate course dealing specifically with English grammar so. . .

Finally, Ian Smith kindly offered to send me a copy of a book in progress that
he uses in a similar course. His description sounded great, but I haven't
had a chance to look it over. For those interested contact Ian at


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Message 2: Re: 3.190 Introductory Texts

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 92 17:45:43 CSRe: 3.190 Introductory Texts
From: Natalie Maynor <maynorRa.MsState.Edu>
Subject: Re: 3.190 Introductory Texts

> It's hard to recommend a "general text" because it very much depends
> on the student type. I'd be interest in hearing comments from
> those of you "in the field".

If the course is truly an introduction, I can't imagine finding a better
better book than Fromkin and Rodman. I'm quite content with it.

Natalie Maynor (
English Department, Mississippi State University
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