Prelims Reading List

Summer Reading

To be done before you start your undergraduate degree.

Introductory reading

  • Roberts, Ian (2017). The wonders of language: Or how to make noises and influence people. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Hornsby, David (2014). Linguistics: A complete introduction. Teach Yourself/Hodder & Stoughton.
  • Adger, David (2019). Language Unlimited: The Science Behind Our Most Creative Power. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

More advanced reading

  • Fromkin, Victoria, Robert Rodman and Nina Hyams (2013). An Introduction to Language. (International edition). Wadsworth. [Any edition since 2008 will do.]

Textbooks and Reading for the First Year

In your first year you will have teaching across the core areas of linguistics, including Phonetics and Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics, Psycholinguistics, Sociolinguistics, Historical Linguistics and the foundation of modern thought in linguistics. These will mostly be arranged in four-week blocks. The following lists some of the main textbooks that will be used or referred to. Titles marked * are required.

General, overall reference

  • Fromkin, Victoria, Robert Rodman and Nina Hyams (2013). An Introduction to Language. (International edition). Wadsworth. [Any edition since 2008 will do.]

Phonetics and Phonology

  • * Ashby, Michael and John Maidment (2005). Introducing Phonetic Science. Cambridge Introductions to Language and Linguistics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Clark, John, Colin Yallop and Janet Fletcher (2007). 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.


  • Aronoff, Mark and Kirsten Fudeman (2011). What is Morphology? Second edition, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.
  • * Haspelmath, Martin and Andrea Sims (2010). Understanding Morphology. Second edition, Routledge, London.


  • Carnie, Andrew (2013). Syntax: a Generative Introduction. Third edition, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Kroeger, Paul R. (2005). Analyzing Grammar: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • * Tallerman, Maggie (2014). Understanding Syntax. Understanding language series. Fourth edition, Routledge, London.

Semantics and Pragmatics

  • *Altshuler, Daniel and Parsons, Terence and Roger Schwarzschild (2019). A course in Semantics. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
  • Chapman, Siobhan (2011). Pragmatics. Palgrave-Macmillan, Basingstoke.
  • Elbourne, Paul (2011). Meaning: A Slim Guide to Semantics. Oxford University Press, Oxford.


  • Sedivy, J. (2019). Language in Mind: An Introduction to Psycholinguistics. Second Edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Traxler, Matthew (2011). Introduction to Psycholinguistics: Understanding Language Science. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.


  • Ahearn, L. (2017). Living Language: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology. Second Edition. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, West Sussex, UK. (Either the 2012 or 2017 edition is fine)
  • Meyerhoff, Miriam (2011). Introducing Sociolinguistics. Routledge, London.

Historical Linguistics

  • Millar, R.M.C. (ed.) (2015). Trask’s Historical Linguistics. Third Edition. Routledge, London/New York.


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 third offers a good grounding and introduction to the notions of Universal Grammar and I-language.

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

Useful general reference

  • Crystal, David (2008). A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Crystal, David (2010). 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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