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Advice on Linguistics Textbooks

Date Submitted: 27-Aug-2010
From: N. Scott Catledge
Subject: Advice on Linguistics Textbooks
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Notice: I am looking for textbooks for two online courses for a Bible college. One is an introduction to Historical Linguistics; one is for an introduction to Descriptive Linguistics. These courses are terminal: any further work in language would undoubtedly be in Koine Greek. (Anyone going further in linguistics would most likely start from scratch with Wycliffe.)
Books with workbooks would be preferable. What I am seeking is the content, presentation, and reading level of Lehmann and Gleason's books of 40 years ago. Are there any modern substitutes on the market that are as readable as these two? Or should I rely on them? I have no complaint whatsoever but I wished to check what is newly available so I could report to the Dean of A&S (a linguist) that I had researched the book market. The only ones that I have seen either are too obtuse
or focus on obscure languages: examples are great; in-depth discussion is irrelevant to the objectives of the courses: two white milk courses that are academically sound. I could write the texts myself but I doubt that I could do better than those two - and I have a rather high opinion of myself.
In the future I would like to add a Linguistic History of English-building, I hope on the superb HEL course from UCF-the text itself was not at all memorable-the online assignments by the professor were AAAAA quality - the best assignments that I have seen (and I had some 'lulus' from Professor Mario Pei in HRL).
Thanks for any comments - positive or negative: my ego will not allow me to take offense.
N. Scott Catledge, PhD/STD
Professor Emeritus
History & Languages