Linguistics Research Guide




Research Help is still available during remote instruction!

Email or chat your subject librarian using the contact information on the right of this page. We can provide remote research assistance via Zoom (which allows for screensharing), chat, email, and phone.  

Linguistics Books


Beyond textbooks used in class, there are dictionaries, pronunciation guides, and reference works to help you do research on various topics in linguistics Here are some examples:

  • Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages  P140 .C36 2004 
  • Encyclopedic Dictionary of Language and Languages  P29 .C68 1992
  • International Encyclopedia of Linguistics  REF P29 .I58 2003
  • Pronunciation of English in the Atlantic States  PE2970.E2 K86 1982 
  • What is Language Development?: Rationalist, Empiricist, and Pragmatist Approaches to the Acquisition of Syntax   P118 .R87 2004   
  • Handbook of North American Indians REF E77 .H25 (vol. 17 is on Linguistics)

Here are several strategies for successful searching in the Library Catalog:

Keyword search

In the simple search screen, type your topic in the KEYWORD search and use the Modify Search function to restrict the search once you have the list of results. The Modify Search button allows you to choose from the language, publisher, publication year and more to narrow your search.

Subject Search

Library catalogs use specific subject headings to group related books together. This is different from the genre search discussed below in that genre headings address the specific format and writing style, but subject headings identify the topic of the work. Since Linguistics is a very broad and interdisciplinary field, the subject headings can cover a lot of topics. Here are a few samples.

Specialized Subject Searches

Additional subjects can be found by looking for specific languages, geographic areas, or cultural groups such as:

Genre Search

In the simple search screen, select the Genre Search option to look for the categories of materials we have in the collection on linguistics.

Finding a Person in the Catalog

What type of search depends on whether you are looking for works BY or works ABOUT the person.

Looking for works by a specific author? Use the AUTHOR search option and type the name in lastname, firstname order. Be sure to spell correctly! A search on Chomsky, Noam as author brings back 49 works that he wrote that are owned in the CSUSM collection.

Looking for works about a particular scholar or authority in linguistics? Chomsky, Noam as a SUBJECT search brings back 6 different subject headings, some of which have a number of works attached (3 titles have the subject heading 'political and social views' as he is also a political activist as well as linguist.) Notice the lastname, firstname order!

Other options to locate books and videos:

CSU+ (3-5 day delivery) is a resource sharing service that allows students, faculty, and staff to borrow books and media not available at the University Library from other California State University libraries. Before you request an item through Interlibrary Loan, check to see if it is available in CSU+. CSU+ materials arrive faster and check out for 60 days.

WorldCat (5-10 day delivery)
Search the collections of libraries world-wide -- about 52,000,000 books. Find a book in this database, and fill-out an Interlibrary Loan delivery request. Book will be delivered to Library for pickup.

Browse the Book Stacks
Sometimes, just looking through the shelves can turn up works you would not have considered otherwise. Using the Library of Congress subject system, Books addressing linguistics are generally shelved in the P call number area, but psycholinguistics can be found in BF. The Wikipedia online encyclopedia provides a list of the subclasses in the P area so you can see how this is organized.

Journal Articles

Journal Articles

Linguistics Journal Articles

Journal Articles

Journal and most newspaper articles are found through research databases. They all include some of the latest news and research in the field. To find articles, you need to select an appropriate database. Here are the better places to start, for more assistance, please contact a librarian or the Research Help Desk!

Some databases do not offer full text of the articles. Use the Check SFX for Availability button to check our other resources for full text.

Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (LLBA)
Provides abstracts of articles from about 2,000 journals (published worldwide), coverage of recent books, book review citations and dissertation listings.

Communication & Mass Media Complete
Provides abstracts and full text for more than 200 communication journals.

Includes abstracts of articles from critical literary and language journals.

A national database of education literature, including reports and journal articles.

Includes more than 1,100 peer-reviewed journals in science, medicine, and technology.

Available via EbscoHost: A comprehensive international database of psychology, covering the academic, research, and practice literature in psychology from over 45 countries in more than 30 languages.

Provides full text access to over 1,000 journals covering all fields of science.

Sociological Abstracts
Provides access to the latest international findings in theoretical and applied sociology, social science, and political science

Other Sources

Other Sources

Linguistics Other Sources

Other Sources

Listservs and Forums

List Archives at Linguist List
Linguistics in your inbox (article from Sage Publications, reviewing a number of listservs)
Celting Listserv (devoted to Celtic languages)  

Professional Organizations

Linguist List Maintained by Eastern Michigan and Wayne State Universities
American Association for Applied Linguistics
American Philological Society
International Cognitive Linguistics Association

Internet Sources

There are a wide variety of online language resources, some are of questionable quality, but others are very good. Be careful and do further research before accepting anything posted as factual. All information is subject to an author's bias that might exclude important information. What are included here are considered to be examples of reliable sources.

American Languages: Our Nation's Many Voices brings together a number of audio recordings and supporting materials demonstrating the diversity in American linguistics with a focus on German-American influences. See also American Languages: Our Nation's Many Voices Online for further information on this project.
British Library Sound Archive: Accents and Dialects
Primarily concerned with British dialects, this site describes various resources in the library's collection and a limited list of websites.
Center for Applied Linguistics Resource Guides Online: Linguistics is an extensive list (archived and not updated) of articles and links to applied linguistics resources. 
EServer: Languages and Linguistics is a collection of publications, some silly, some serious.
Ethnologue: Languages of the World information on the 6912 known languages of the world.
iLoveLanguages offers a mixed bag of scholarly and popular sites, but does have an extensive list of world languages from which to choose. (Formerly called the Human Languages page).
Linguist List is run by linguistic faculty and students to support research and communication about linguistics and its related fields.
SIL International is a faith-based organization devoted to researching lesser-known languages of the world. Of particular note is the web-based version of the language encyclopedia Ethnologue that provides basic factual information on over 6000 languages and where they are used.
Speech Accent Archive from George Mason University provides sound clips of native and non-native speakers for comparison of different speech patterns.



MLA - APA - Chicago

MLA Citations for Students


As you write your paper, you'll need to cite passages and ideas from the sources you've found.  In order to cite your resources properly, you need to follow the style guide used by for this class, the MLA Handbook.

Sites with examples of in-text citations and works cited pages (supplement the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers)

In the library:

MLA handbook for writers of research papers.
7th ed. New York : Modern Language Association of America, 2009.


APA: American Psychological Association

Image of APA citation manual book cover

APA Style
APA style guide for electronic resources

Finding the DOI

Library Copies (BF76.7 .P83 2001)



Chicago/Turabian Style & Citations

The Chicago Manual of Style is the preference for most history researchers, but always check with your professor before proceeding on both citation style and which version. The Notes-Bibliography system is generally preferred in Chicago-style citations, but there is also an Author-Date system. These systems use different formatting, so be sure which your professor prefers.

IMPORTANT! Late 2010, University of Chicago Press issued a new edition for this style guide. Check your resources to make sure you are being given the latest information based on the 16th edition as not all sites have updated yet. Notable changes are listed here.

Chicago may be referred to as Turabian, after Kate Turabian, who wrote a manual for students for research, writing and citing sources based on the Chicago citation style. The current version is titled A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers. The CSUSM library keeps a copy at the Research Help Desk at LB2369 .T8 2007 and a copy on permanent Reserves (Checkout Desk.)

Some helpful web sites:

Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide (University of Chicago, the publishers of the Manual, this is based on the 16th edition)

Citing Electronic Information in History Papers (U of Memphis, varies slightly from the guidelines of the 16th edition.)

Need Help?

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