Prelims Reading List

Most titles are available in Oxford libraries. Click here to find which library holds a copy.

Titles marked ‘*’ are required textbooks.

Download the reading list (PDF).

Summer Reading

To be done before you start your undergraduate degree.

Introductory readings

  • Rickerson, E.M. & Barry Hilton (2012). The 5 Minute Linguist. Equinox, London.
    OR
  • McWhorter, John (2011). What Language Is (And What It Isn’t, And What It Could Be). Gotham, New York.

More advanced reading

  • Fromkin, Victoria; Robert Rodman, Nina Hyams (2010), An Introduction to Language (International edition). Wadsworth. [Any edition since 2008 will do. The 2002 edition is available online in .pdf format from the Internet Archive]

Textbooks and Readings for the First Year

In your first year you follow three courses in Linguistics: Paper VIII (General Linguistics), Paper IX (Phonetics and Phonology) and Paper X (Grammatical Analysis). Paper VIII covers Foundations, Psycholinguistics, Semantics and Pragmatics, Sociolinguistics and Historical Linguistics, each organised in a four-week block. There is no single recommended textbook for Paper VIII, but a number of books are suggested as reference reading: these are organised under headings for each of the areas in the following list.

Paper VIII — General Linguistics

General, overall reference

  • Fromkin, Victoria; Robert Rodman, Nina Hyams (2010), An Introduction to Language (International edition). Wadsworth. [Any edition since 2008 will do. The 2002 edition is available online in .pdf format from the Internet Archive]

Foundations

In the Foundations block you will be introduced to key concepts in Linguistics. The first two of the following books are good for dipping into in order to find out about a variety of ideas and figures that have shaped modern Linguistics; the second offers a good grounding and introduction to the notions of Universal Grammar and I-language.

  • Chapman, Siobhan & Christopher Routledge (2009). Key Ideas in Linguistics and the Philosophy of Language. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press.
  • Chapman, Siobhan & Christopher Routledge (2005). Key Thinkers in Linguistics and the Philosophy of Language. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press.
  • Isac, Daniela & Charles Reiss (2013). I-language: An introduction to Linguistics as Cognitive Science. Second Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Psycholinguistics

  • Aitchison, Jean (2007). The Articulate Mammal: An Introduction to Psycholinguistics. Fifth Edition, Routledge, London.
  • Traxler, Matthew (2011). Introduction to Psycholinguistics: Understanding Language Science. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.

Semantics and Pragmatics

  • Chapman, Siobhan (2011). Pragmatics. Palgrave-Macmillan, Basingstoke.
  • Elbourne, Paul (2011). Meaning: A Slim Guide to Semantics. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Sociolinguistics

  • Kiesling, Scott (2010). Linguistic Variation and Change. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.
  • Meyerhoff, Miriam (2011). Introducing Sociolinguistics. Routledge, London.

Historical Linguistics

  • Aitchison, Jean (2013). Language Change: Progress or Decay? Fourth Edition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Paper IX — Phonetics and Phonology

  • * Ashby, Michael & John Maidment (2005). Introducing Phonetic Science. Cambridge Introductions to Language and Linguistics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Clark, John & Colin Yallop (2006). An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology. Blackwell textbooks in linguistics, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.
  • * International Phonetic Association (1999). Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: a guide to the use of the international phonetic alphabet. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Paper X — Grammatical Analysis

  • Aronoff, Mark & Kirsten Fudeman (2011). What is Morphology? Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Carnie, Andrew (2013). Syntax: a Generative Introduction. Third Edition, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford. [Available electronically via the Search Oxford Libraries Online system in Oxford]
  • * Haspelmath, Martin and Sims, Andrea (2010). Understanding Morphology. Second edition, Routledge, London.
  • Kroeger, Paul R. (2005). Analyzing grammar: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • * Maggie Tallerman (2014). Understanding syntax. Understanding language series. Fourth Edition, Routledge, London.

Useful general reference

  • Crystal, David (1999). The Penguin Dictionary of Language. Penguin Reference Books, Penguin, London.
  • Crystal, David (2003). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Matthews, P H (2014). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics. Third Edition. Oxford paperback reference, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
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