Now in its second edition, the IEL has been fully revised and updated to cover the many new developments in this rapidly evolving discipline. Including more than 900 entries written by 600 of the world’s finest scholars, the IEL offers the broadest coverage available of this vast, multidisciplinary field. All branches of linguistic study—descriptive, historical, comparative, formal, mathematical, functional, philosophical linguistics—are included, and special attention has been given both to the interrelations within the various branches of linguistics and to their relevance to other fields of study.
Longer articles, ranging up to 5,000 words, treat major areas of study, such as semantics, phonetics, and applied linguistics, while shorter entries explore topics within these fields, such as code-switching, sound symbolism, and syntactic features. Other brief entries define key terms or provide biographical sketches of important linguists such as Leonard Bloomfield, Roman Jakobson, and Edward Sapir. Language lists, attached to articles on language families, offer detailed information on virtually every known language, from the most widely spoken to those that have as few as two speakers left in the world.