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Read more about Essentials of Linguistics, 2nd Edition - 2nd Edition

Essentials of Linguistics, 2nd Edition - 2nd Edition

(12 reviews)

Catherine Anderson, Hamilton, Ontario

Bronwyn Bjorkman, Kingston, Ontario

Derek Denis, Mississauga, Ontario

Copyright Year: 2022

ISBN 13: 9781927565506

Publisher: eCampusOntario

Language: English

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Reviewed by Senyung Lee, Assistant Professor, Northeastern Illinois University on 4/24/23

The book covers the major branches of linguistics: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics. The book does not include a chapter on pragmatics, which is one branch of linguistics. In this regard, the book does not fully cover all 6... read more

Reviewed by John Hellermann, Professor, Portland State University on 9/1/22

Essentials of Linguistics is a fine online textbook to introduce the basics of linguistics to any university-level student without prior knowledge of linguistics and I thank the author for making it available at no cost to students. The coverage... read more

Reviewed by Ariana Bancu, Assistant Professor, Northeastern Illinois University on 5/7/20

The areas and ideas presented in each chapter are covered appropriately and accurately. The text is comprehensive and accessible to students without prior knowledge of linguistics. Main theoretical areas of linguistics, i.e. phonetics, phonology,... read more

Reviewed by Tatiana Nekrasova-Beker, Assistant Professor , Colorado State University on 11/18/19

The textbook offers a general overview of the major topics in linguistics, including phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. The textbook also includes a chapter on indigenous languages in Canada, which could be an interesting... read more

Reviewed by Jane Hardy, Associate Professor, Wabash College on 8/18/19

The text provides a comprehensive introduction to phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. However, it does not adequately cover sociolinguistics or historical linguistics, which are usually included in introductory linguistics... read more

Reviewed by Walter Sistrunk, Assistant Professor, LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC ) on 5/14/19, updated 7/2/19

The textbook covers the major areas of linguistics which are essential to understanding other subareas of the field such as historical linguistics and sociolinguistics. However, the aforementioned are not covered in this textbook. Despite... read more

Reviewed by Sandra Leonard, Assistant Professor, Kuztown University on 5/4/19, updated 11/9/20

Very useful introduction to the main subcategories of linguistics. Some additional units on sociolinguistics, pragmatics, writing systems, and sign language would be useful. read more

Reviewed by Gonzalo Campos-Dintrans, Assistant Professor, University of Mary Washington on 4/30/19

The explanations are very clear and adequate as an introductory source. The comprehension exercises help the reader and can also help the instructor check for students' comprehension. The video segments facilitate understanding as well. read more

Reviewed by Leslie Cochrane, Senior Lecturer of English and Linguistics, College of William & Mary on 4/26/19

As the author's summary and other reviews have stated, this textbook covers several subfields of linguistics but not all. Sociolinguistics is mentioned by name precisely once. Some attention is paid to variation, but the discussion is mostly under... read more

Reviewed by Monika Ekiert, Associate Professor, LaGuardia CC, City University of New York on 1/10/19

The textbook's strength lies in the comprehensive review of the following areas of linguistics: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. The textbook does not sufficiently address other areas typically covered in introductory... read more

Reviewed by Nick Dobson, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Augustana College on 11/13/18

The text doesn't aim to be comprehensive, omitting, for example, historical linguistics, pragmatics, and conversation structures. As far as I can tell, there is no index and no glossary. read more

Reviewed by Rosa Maria Castaneda, Associate Professor , Fort Hays State University on 10/27/18

The text provides videos and audio scripts to illustrate aspects relevant to the topic in discussion. read more

Table of Contents

  • About the Authors
  • Acknowledgements
  • A Note to Instructors
  • Chapter 1: Human Language and Language Science
  • Chapter 2: Language, Power, and Privilege 
  • Chapter 3: Phonetics
  • Chapter 4: Phonology
  • Chapter 5: Morphology
  • Chapter 6: Syntax
  • Chapter 7: Semantics
  • Chapter 8: Pragmatics
  • Chapter 9: Reclaiming Indigenous Languages
  • Chapter 10: Language Variation and Change
  • Chapter 11: Child Language Acquisition
  • Chapter 12: Adult Language Learning
  • [In progress] Chapter 13: Psycholinguistics and Neurolinguistics
  • Appendix 1: PSRs and Flat Tree Structures
  • Check Yourself Questions

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About the Book

This Second Edition of Essentials of Linguistics is considerably revised and expanded, including several new chapters, diverse language examples from signed and spoken languages, enhanced accessibility features, and an orientation towards equity and justice. While the primary audience is Canadian students of Introduction to Linguistics, it is also suitable for learners elsewhere, in online, hybrid, or in-person courses.

About the Contributors


Catherine Anderson (she/her) is an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Department of Linguistics & Languages and the Director of the Gender & Social Justice program at McMaster University. She earned a PhD in Linguistics from Northwestern University in 2004, and a BA from McMaster in the department where she is now a faculty member. The thread that connects her wide-ranging teaching and research interests is partnership: collaborating with learners and colleagues to further justice and to make learning accessible and enjoyable. Catherine lives with her wife and their twin teenage sons in Hamilton, on the territory governed by the Dish With One Spoon wampum agreement between the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe Nations.

Bronwyn Bjorkman (she/her) is an Associate Professor, Research Stream, in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Queen’s University, located in the traditional shared territories of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples. She received her PhD from MIT in 2011. Her research explores the interfaces between phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics, focusing on how how information is represented and transferred between formal modules of grammar. Her research has appeared in journals such as Linguistic Inquiry, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, and Glossa. The COVID-19 pandemic shifted her belief in the value of virtual and remote community into ongoing work on building meaningful social connection into hybrid and virtual events both inside and outside academia. 

Derek Denis (he/him) is a tenure-stream, Assistant Professor, in the Department of Language Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga, located within Dish With One Spoon territory and the treaty lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit. He received his PhD from the University of Toronto in 2015. His research examines language change and innovation from variationist and sociocultural linguistic perspectives, most recently focussing on the influence of immigrant youth in the emergence of a multiethnolect in Toronto. His work has appeared in Language, Language Variation and Change, American Speech, and the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development among venues. He lives in Toronto but spends as much time as possible at the cottage with his partner.

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