If you're not sure where to start your research this guide will point you to some of the best starting points. Don't forget, you can always get in touch directly with any questions you may have. 

Subject specific dictionaries and encyclopedias are useful for helping you figure out the jargon of a discipline and can give quick overviews of a topic to get you started. You can often pick up keywords to use in your search strategies from these sources. 

Start with:

  • Summon : the one-search box on the Library's home page. Look for a specific title, or use keywords to find books and articles on a topic. Use the filters on the results page to refine your search results. For example you can limit to just books or just journal articles.

Also try: 

Our subject or discipline specific databases may allow you to find sources you can't find through Summon. They also often include other features (search, sort, result display, download...) that Summon does not have. All will let you find journal articles. Some will include books or book chapters.

  • Proquest databases: can search each individually or can combine and search across all at the same time
  • MLA International Bibliography Covers literature as well as languages and linguistics
  • MITCogNet:  particularly good for cognitive linguistics topics but covers other areas of linguistics. Includes full text of books, journals, reference works. Use their browse by Topic or search by keyword
  • Scopus Multidisciplinary for sciences and social sciences with times cited info and links to citing articles plus lots of ways to analyze your results
  • Web of Science Core Collection Multidisciplinary for all subject areas with tmes cited info and links to citing articles plus lots of ways to analyze your results
  • Scholars Portal Journals Completely full-text collection of the journals from a number of publishers including Elsevier, Wiley, OUP, CUP, Springer, Taylor & Francis, APA, MUSE, JSTOR... So, anything you find searching this database you WILL definitely get in full-text, but it may not cover all the important journals in any given subject area

The following is a list of books (both e-book and print) that provide more introductory material for each topic. Search Summon or the library catalogue for more.

Linguistics in general:

Akmajian, A. et al (2001). Linguistics: an introduction to language and communication, 5th ed
(6th edition, print only: Call Number: P121.L56 2010 see availability )

O'Grady, W. (2016). Contemporary linguistic analysis: an introduction
Call Number P126.C66 2016 see availability

McCabe, A. M. (2011). An introduction to linguistics and language studies
Call Number: P121.M19 2011 see availability

Bauer, L. (2007). The linguistics student's handbook
Call Number: P121 .B38 2007 see availability

Oxford handbook of linguistic analysis
Call Number: P126 .O94 2010 see availability

Surviving linguistics : a guide for graduate students
Floor 3, Call Number: P57.U5 M33 2006 see availability


To find comprehensive grammars of a language in the Library:

- Do a Subject search in the catalogue in the form: XXXXX Language -- Grammar (where XXXXX is the name of the language)
  example: Arabic Language Grammar

- Do a Keyword search in the catalogue using the name of the language plus the phrase "reference grammar" or "comprehensive grammar"
  example: spanish and "reference grammar*"

Phonetics & Phonology

Cohn, A. C. , Fougeron, C. & Huffman, M. K. (2012). The Oxford handbook of laboratory phonology
Call Number P217.O94 2012 see availability

de Lacy, P. (2007). The Cambridge handbook of phonology

Di Paolo, M. & Yaeger-Dror, M. (2011). Sociophonetics: a student's guide. 
Call Number: P217.3.S64 2010 see availability

Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet.
Call Number: P227.I52 see availability

Hayes, B. (2009). Introductory phonology
Call Number: P217 .H346 2009 see availability

Ladefoged, P. & Johnson, K. (2011). A course in phonetics , 6th ed.
Call Number: P221 .L2 2011 see availability

Lodge, K. R. (2009). A critical introduction to phonetics
Call Number: P221.L64 2009 see availability

van Oostendorp, M. et al (2011). The Blackwell companion to phonology

Wray, A. (2012). Projects in linguistics and language studies: a practical guide to researching language
Call Number: P126.W73 2012 see availability

Morphology & Syntax

Baerman, M. (2015). Oxford handbook of inflection
Call Number: P251.O94 2015 see availability

Booij, G. (2005). The grammar of words: an introduction to linguistic morphology
Also available in print, Call Number: P241.B66 2007 see availability

Carnie, A. , Sato, Y. & Siddiqi, D. (2014). The Routledge handbook of syntax

Cinque, G. & Kayne, R. S. (2005). The Oxford handbook of comparative syntax.

Haspelmath, M. et al (2005). The world atlas of language structures
Also available in print, Call Number: G1046.E3 W67 2005 see availability

Lieber, R. & Stekauer, P. (2014). Oxford handbook of derivational morphology
Call Number: P245.O944 2014 see availability


The handbook of contemporary semantic theory.
Floor 3, Call Number: P325.H26 see availability

Cruse, D.A. (2004). Meaning in language: an introduction to semantics and pragmatics
Also available in print, Call Number: P324.C784 2004 see availability

Goddard, C. (2011). Semantic analysis: a practical introduction
Call Number: P325.G65 2011 see availability

Cognitive Linguistics & Psycholinguistics

Denes, G. (2011). Talking heads: the neuroscience of language
Call Number: QP399.D8513 2011 see availability

Geeraerts, D. (2006). Cognitive linguistics: Basic readings.
Floor 3, Call Number: P165 .C6424 2006 see availability

Geeraerts, D & Cuyckens, H. (2007). The Oxford handbook of cognitive linguistics
Call Number: P165 .O974 2007 see availability

Harley, T.A. (2014). The psychology of language: from data to theory. 
Call Number: BF455.H264 2014 see availability

Gaskell, M.G. (2007). Oxford handbook of psycholinguistics
Call Number: BF455 .O94 2007 see availability

Spivey, M. , McRae, K. & Joanisse, M. F. (2012) Cambridge handbook of psycholinguistics
Call Number: BF455.C265 2012 see availability

Traxler, M. J. (2012). Introduction to psycholinguistics: understanding language science
Call Number: P37.T73 2012 see availability

Traxler, M. J. & Gernsbacher, M. A. (2006). Handbook of psycholinguistics

Warren, P. (2013). Introducing psycholinguistics.
Call Number: P37.W35 2013 see availability

Maps & Atlases

Moseley, C. (2010). Atlas of the world's languages in danger, 3rd ed.
Also available in print,  Call Number: G1046.E3 A88 2010 see availability

Asher, R. E. & Moseley, C. (2007). Atlas of the world's languages
Call Number: G1046.E3 A8 2007 see availability

Free online resources: 

Research Methods

Bochnak, M. R. & Mattewson, L. (2014). Methodologies in semantic fieldwork

Chelliah, S. L. & de Reuse, W.J. (2010). Handbook of descriptive linguistic fieldwork

Levshina, N. (2015). How to do linguistics with R: data exploration and statistical analysis

Litosseliti, L. (2010). Research methods in linguistics
Call Number: P126.R465 2010 see availability

Podevsa, R. J. & Sharma, D. (2013). Research methods in linguistics
Call Number: P126 .R466 2013 see availability

Rasinger, S. M. (2013). Quantitative research in linguistics : an introduction, 2nd ed. 
Call Number: P126 .R29 2013 see availability

Thieberger, N. (2012). Oxford handbook of linguistic fieldwork
Call Number: P128.F53O94 2012 see availability

Conference Proceedings

  • Berkeley Linguistics Societey. Proceedings of the annual meeting 
  • CLA (Canadian Linguistics Association) Conference Proceedings:
  • CLS (Chicago Linguistic Society)
    In Print:  1996--  3rd Floor, Call Number P21.A1C522 [older years P21.A1C52 & P21.A1C5 ]
    Online: 2008--
  • Proceedings of NELS (North Eastern Linguistic Society): 2006-- 3rd Floor, Call Number P21 .N65
  • Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 2016--
  • West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
    In Print: 1990; 1994-2013  3rd FLoor, Call Number: P21 .W472 + the year
    Online: 2005 - via Cascadilla Proceedings Project
  • Cascadilla Proceedings Project: full text proceedings for a number of conferences including: Annual conference on African linguistics & Hispanic linguistics symposium

The following is just a selection of some of the major journals in linguistics that the Library subscribes to.

To see if the Library subscribes to a particular journal, search by the journal title in the Library catalogue

To search across a number of journals to find articles on a particular topic, use the databases recommended under the Search for Books and Journal Articles section

APA Style 

The School of Linguistics and Language Studies (SLALS) uses APA Style as their default style. If you're not sure what style to use, check with your professor or T.A.

  • Purdue Online Writing Lab: APA Formatting & Style Guide. They give examples of all kinds of references, both how to cite within your text as well as how to format the bibliography. Also includes a sample paper 
  • APA Style see their Quick Answers section or search their site. They are the publisher of the full Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, which we have in print, see availability
  • You can also just google: "how do I cite xxxx in apa", which often turns up the official answer and other reputable (look or other university web sites). Example: "how do I cite a video in APA"

Note about citation management tools

If you want to know more about citation management tools such as Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote come to one of our workshops during the fall and winter terms. These tools can help you gather, organize, and automatically format your references/citations in APA format

General Writing Help:

Writing services at Carleton

Want some one-on-one help with your writing? Need some help with your draft? You may want to make an appointment with Writing Services, located on Floor 4 of the MacOdrum Library

For Graduate Students: 

Macaulay, M. A. (2006). Surviving linguistics: a guide for graduate students.
Call Number: P57.U5M33 2006 see availability

For everyone:

Ballenger, B. P. (2012). The curious researcher: a guide to writing research papers, 7th ed. 
Call Number: LB2369.B246 2012 see availability

Graff, G. & Birkensteain, C. (2014). "They say / I say": the moves that matter in academic writing
Call Number PE1431.G73 2014 see availability

Harris, R. A. (2002). Using sources effectively: Strengthening your writing and avoiding plagiarism
Call Number: PN146.H37 2002 see availability

Northey, M. (2007). Making sense : a student's guide to research and writing, 5th ed. 
Call Number: LB2369.N67 2006 see availability

Northey, M. (2005). Making sense : a student's guide to research and writing : social sciences. 2nd updated ed.
​Call Number: H62 .N687 2005 see availability

Shields, M. (2010). Essay writing: a student's guide
Call Number: PE1471.S45 see availability

Content last reviewed: October 10, 2019