Before I set out to ask this question, I made sure to go through previous posts to check if anything relevant was already posted. I can't seem to find any such information.

Could anyone please suggest some good books/journals/websites on linguistics of an intermediate level?


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    This question is way too broad and may require narrowing down. After that, the question should be moved to main site as Meta is only for questions about the functioning of the site itself; questions on Linguistics go to main site. Commented May 8, 2021 at 20:00
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    Could you explain what you mean by "intermediate level"? What sort of knowledge of linguistics do you have (e.g. from other books)? Also, what specific aspects of linguistics do you want to learn?
    – Tsundoku
    Commented May 8, 2021 at 21:44
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2 Answers 2


I assume you want the underlying question answered, but instead you're gonna get an answer about asking such a question (that's what Meta is for). One problem is that you don't give any clue what you mean by "good". Everybody has a personal opinion about books that they like or hate: SE is not a forum for conducting opinion polls. All books are good in some respects and bad in others. If we know for example that you only want minimal coverage of theory and are more interested in NLP, that will significantly shape (focus) the answer.

Second: there are relatively few single sources on "linguistics" (weighed against the mass of specific-topic books). There are no "intermediate level" books on linguistics. At the intermediate level, you go into specific sub-areas of linguistics. I assume what you really want to know is, once you've done the intro semester course in "linguistics and language", what would be the next readings that would be appropriate, for example "what should I read in phonology?", "what should I read in syntax?", "what should I read in historical linguistics?"...Third: what is linguistics? There are dozens of sub-areas of linguistics: are you asking about all of them equally?

A complete answer would itself be a book, and it would be full of personal opinions. The question should be narrowed. Pick an area of linguistics, ask about books on the topic which are good in a particular way. If you are interested in language analysis, that's an essential criterion. If you want to understand contemporary syntactic theory, that's a different criterion. If you have in mind a career in NLP, you have a third criterion.

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    Thank you very much for responding. Okay, I'm narrowing it down a bit: What should I read in syntax is what I'm principally interested in. What would be a good starting point in linguistics that would facilitate my journey to studying Pullum & Huddleston's works and McCawley's works? @user6726
    – user32577
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 15:41
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    McCawley has written about a lot of things, including Japanese accent, Bangubangu tone and Chinese food: I assume you mean works like The Syntactic Phenomena of English, so I'd be specific on that. This seems like a narrow enough question to ask on main Ling SE.
    – user6726
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 15:49
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    McCawley's relevant works would be his English syntax book mentioned above, and his semantics/pragmatics/logic book, Everything That Linguists Have Always Wanted To Know About Logic (But Were Ashamed To Ask) Together they cover a lot. For historical, I recommend Larry Trask's Historical Linguistics, and for phonetics, Ian Catford's Practical Introduction to Phonetics. Finally, David Crystal's Cambridge Encyclopedias (of Language, and of the English Language) should be on every Anglophone bookshelf.
    – jlawler
    Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 19:04
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    @user66705743 Just in case it doesn't ping you, see John Lawler's comment above :) Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 16:47
  • Thank you very much, everyone! And thank you @Araucaria- he him :)
    – user32577
    Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 18:40