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Languages & Linguistics

Background Information: Reference

Finding background information at the beginning of your research is especially important if you are unfamiliar with the subject area, or not sure from what angle to approach your topic. The types of information that a background search in a specialized reference work can provide include:

  • Broad overview of the subject
  • Definitions of the topic
  • Introduction to key concepts/issues
  • Names of people who are authorities in the subject field
  • Major dates and events
  • Keywords and subject-specific vocabulary terms that can be used for database searches
  • Bibliographies that lead to additional resources

In addition to the sources listed here, you can also search Omni using the keywords of your topic combined with the type of reference work you would like to locate (for example: encyclopedia, dictionaries, companion, bibliography, or handbook).

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language
REF P29.C64 1997
Dictionary of Historical and Comparative Linguistics
REF P143.T73t 2000
Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics
REF P29.C65 2003
Dictionary of Phonetics and Phonology
REF P216.T73 1996t
Encyclopedia of Semiotics
REF P99.E64 1998
Encyclopedic Dictionary of Semiotics, Media, and Communications
REF P87.5.D36 2000
Handbook of Linguistics
P121.H324 2003
Handbook of Sociolinguistics
REF P40.H3426 1997
International Encyclopedia of Linguistics
REF P29.I58 2003 (4 vols)
Key Concepts in Language and Linguistics
Linguistics Encyclopedia
REF P29.L52 2002
Longman Dictionary of Applied Linguistics
REF P129.R5 1985
Phonetic Symbol Guide
P221.P85 1996t

Other Catalogues

Queen's patrons are able to borrow CRL resources through Interlibrary Loan. CRL materials are described as "...a rich and diverse corpus of almost four million rarely-held books, journals, pamphlets, newspapers, and other primary source materials from all regions of the globe". More Information.