Rice Unconventional Wisdom

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Introduction

This page contains an unofficial list of linguistics books which current department graduate students and faculty wish to recommend for one reason or another. These suggestions are intended for graduate students who may be looking for summer reading or wanting additional material to supplement their semester. The list provides a broad range of material which a Ph.D. candidate in the field should minimally be familiar with. If you are a graduate student in Linguistics at Rice, you may notice a few of these books turning up on course reading lists too. But even if they don't, it would be a good idea to read these before you graduate.

The list is divided into three sections:

General Interest- consists of literature intended for a wider audience, but which graduate students will also benefit from and enjoy.

Historical Background - contains classic works from the past couple centuries which have strongly influenced the present-day field of linguistics.

Current Issues - are books suggested by grad students as being particularly relevant for the approach to linguistics emphasized at Rice and fundamental in their own course of study.

General Interest

Abley, Mark. 2003. Spoken Here: Travels among Threatened Languages. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. (ISBN: 061823649X)

Barley, Nigel. 1986. The Innocent Anthropologist: Notes from a Mud Hut. London: Penguin books. (ISBN: 0140095365)

Bauer, Laurie and Peter Trudgill (eds). 1998. Language Myths. New York: Penguin Books. (ISBN: 0140260234)

Deutscher, Guy. 2005. The Unfolding of Language: An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind's Greatest Invention. New York: Metropolitan Books. (ISBN: 0805079076)

Dixon, Robert M. W. 1983. Searching for Aboriginal Languages: Memoirs of a Field Worker. New York: University of Queensland Press. (ISBN: 0702219339)

Pinker, Steven. 2000 [1994]. The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language. New York: Perennial Classics. (ISBN: 0060958332)

Sampson, Geoffrey. 2005. The 'Language Instinct' Debate. London: Continuum. (ISBN: 0826473857)

Shopen, Timothy (ed). 1987. Languages and Their Speakers. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. (ISBN: 0812212509)

Shopen, Timothy (ed). 1987. Languages and Their Status. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. (ISBN: 0812212495)

Historical Background

Bloomfield, Leonard. [1933.] Language.

Boas, Franz. [1940.] Race, Language, and Culture.

Chomsky. Noam. 1965. Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (Ch. 1, pp. 3-62.) Cambridge: MIT Press.

de Saussure, Ferdinand. [1959.] A Course in General Linguistics.

Greenberg, Joseph H. 1957. Essays in Linguistics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Hockett, Charles F. 1958. A Course in Modern Linguistics. New York: Macmillan.

Humboldt, Wilhelm, Freiherr von. [1800.] On Language: The Diversity of Human Language-structure and its Influence on the Mental Development of Mankind.

Jesperson, Otto. [1924.] Philosophy of Grammar.

Pedersen, Holger. [1899.] The Discovery of Language.

Sapir, Edward. [1921.) Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech.

Current Issues

Bybee, Joan L. 2001. Phonology and Language Use. New York: Cambridge University Press. (ISBN: 0521533783).

Bybee, Joan L., Revere Perkins, and William Pagliuca. 1994. The Evolution of Grammar: Tense, Aspect, and Modality in the Languages of the World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (ISBN: 0226086658).

Cameron, Deborah. 2001. Working with Spoken Discourse. Thousand Oaks: Sage. (ISBN: 0761957731).

Comrie, Bernard. 1989. Language Universals and Linguistic Typology: Syntax and Morphology, 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell. (ISBN: 063112618X).

Crowley, Terry. 1997. An Introduction to Historical Linguistics, 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press. (ISBN: 0195583787).

Givón, Talmy. 2001. Syntax: An Introduction, 2nd ed. vols. I & II. Philadelphia: Benjamins. (ISBN: 1588110664 & 1588110680).

Goldberg, Adele. 1995. Constructions: A Construction Grammar Approach to Argument Structure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (ISBN: 0226300862).

Haspelmath, Martin. 2002. Understanding Morphology. New York: Oxford University Press. (ISBN: 0340760265).

Hopper, Paul J and Elizabeth Closs Traugott. 2003. Grammaticalization, 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press. (ISBN: 0521804213)

Jackendoff, Ray. 2002. Foundations of Language: Brain, Meaning, Grammar, Evolution. New York: Oxford University Press. (ISBN: 0198270127).

Ladefoged, Peter and Ian Maddieson. 1996. Sounds of the World's Languages. Cambridge, Mass: Blackwell. (ISBN: 0631198156).

Lakoff, George and Mark Johnson. 2003 [1980]. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (ISBN: 0226468372).

Robins, R. H. 1997. A Short History of Linguistics, 4th ed. New York: Longman. (ISBN: 0582249945).

Taylor, John R. 2003. Linguistic Categorization, 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press. (ISBN: 0199266646).

Ungerer, Friedrich and Hans-Jorg Schmid. 1996. An Introduction to Cognitive Linguistics. New York: Longman. (ISBN: 0582239664).

van Valin, Robert D. 2001. An Introduction to Syntax. New York: Cambridge University Press. (ISBN: 0521635667)

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