/ Looking for a reference book on linguistics

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pineapple - on 23 Jan 2013
I am a new English Literature student interested in learning more about grammar and also literary terms, conventions, concepts etc. This is partly to help me with my course, but mostly out of a personal interest.

I was wondering if any of you are interested in similar areas and can recommend a reliable, (reasonably) up-to-date, fairly in-depth (not really after dummy guides) reference book in this field?

I am more interested in grammar and also literature terms, definitions and concepts than I am in cultural and historical linguistics. However, if there is one book that covers everything to a reasonable degree then I would prefer that over single books which only focus on one aspect each.


If anyone has any tips or pointers for where I can start looking for such a book (if it evens exists), I would be extremely grateful.
Motown - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to pineapple: The Cambridge Encyclopedia of English Language by David Crystal is an all encompassing text for Language, but is a bit pricey and covers lots of things you don't seem to need (but is a great and helpful reference book). David Crystal has a range of books - all of which are worthwhile, but things like his A-Z Language are accessible.

Michael Swan - Practical English Usage provides a comprehensive grammatical and lexical dictionary, but you won't find the literary terms.

Shirley Russell - Grammar, Stucture and Style (A Guide to A-level English) gives the mix you would like, and with exercises to assist, but is perhaps a bit basic.

Is this at degree level? I think the historical side (development of English is probably fairly relevant - perhaps more so than socio-linguistics). However, can't think of texts that combine the literary and language terms explicitly, but the grammatical terms can always feed your understanding of literature.

Cybergrammar is an excellent website for clear grammatical explanations and examples and was originally designed to support English teacher training - could provide some good direction.



In reply to pineapple: Maybe try googling David Crystal? I have a friend who is a linguist and she rates his stuff I think.
pineapple - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Will Cat:
Awesome, thank you so much for responding. I will definitely check all your suggestions for books out and, until I get hold of a physical reference guide, I will explore Cybergrammar.

Since both of you mention David Crystal I will be looking further into his publications.

Yes, this is undergraduate level. Actually it is probably a good idea to get a book which covers as much as possible, now I think of it. My interests do tend to differ over time and I'm sure historical linguistics, for example, will interest me more in future.

Many thanks :)
Motown - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to pineapple: Crystal's website contains virtually all the articles he has ever written. Plenty of linguistic analysis of SHakespeare there which might provide a useful mix of Language and Literature.
pineapple - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Will Cat:
Thanks!
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Dave Perry - on 27 Jan 2013
In reply to pineapple:

I'll second any of the comments re David Cyrstal. Well written and easy to read.

"His "The English Language" sits on my shelf as I type along with a couple of his others.

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