The Linguistics Student's Handbook

The Linguistics Student's Handbook

The Linguistics Student's Handbook

The Linguistics Student's Handbook

Synopsis

The book that tells you all the things you felt you were expected to know about linguistics, but were afraid to ask about. • What do you know about Burushaski and Miwok?• What's the difference between paradigmatic and syntagmatic?• What is E-language? • What is a language? • Do parenthetical and non-restrictive mean the same thing? • How do you write a bibiliographic entry for a work you have not seen? Every student who has asked these questions needs this book. A compendium of useful things for linguistics students to know, from the IPA chart to the Saussurean dichotomies, this book will be the constant companion of anyone undertaking studies of linguistics. Part reference work, part revisionguide, and with tables providing summary information on some 280 languages, the book provides a new learning tool as a supplement to the usual textbooks and glossaries.

Excerpt

‘Handbook’ seems to be a fashionable title, where once the Latinate label ‘manual’ might have held sway. But in the case of this book, it also seems an inevitable title. This book is not a dictionary of linguistics, not an encyclopedia of linguistics, not a textbook of linguistics but contains elements which might be found in all or any of these. It is a book which the tertiary student of linguistics will need at hand for continual reference while they are studying.

This handbook is intended as the kind of reference work which can be valuable at any stage in the career of a tertiary linguistics student, and which can fill in the gaps that are often left in lectures and the like. Its main focus is not the nitty-gritty of syntactic theory or the ethics of doing sociolinguistic research: these topics are likely to be covered in detail in lectures, and the opinions of your teachers on these topics may be very different from the opinions of the author of this work. Rather, its focus is the kind of general material that may be of interest to any linguistics student, whatever the kind of linguistics they are doing.

The organisation of the material is vaguely thematic. In the first part, some of the fundamentals of linguistics are considered: what linguistics is, what a language is, the fundamental distinctions in structuralist linguistics. These things could be found in many other textbooks and specialised works on linguistics and languages, but very often these fundamental points are rather glossed over in early lectures on linguistics (because they are not easy to deal with) and then ignored in later lectures, or they are dealt with early on in linguistics courses and then often forgotten by students by the time they become central to the problems the students are working with. Although this part is called ‘Some fundamentals of linguistics’ and deals with topics which are vital to the understanding of linguistic topics, the sections here are seen less as introductions to these . . .

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