Study materials

Some major reference works for linguistics


Crystal, David (2003), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. 2nd edition. Cambridge: CUP.

Brown, Keith (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. 2nd ed. (ELL2). 14 vols. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Chapelle, Carol (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. 10 vols. Malden/Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell


Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics

Aronoff, Mark et al., eds. (2001), The Handbook of Linguistics. Oxford: Blackwell.

Aarts, Bas and April McMahon, eds. (2006), The Handbook of English Linguistics. Oxford: Blackwell

Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft (HSK)

Reference and student grammars

Biber, Douglas et al. (1999), Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. London: Longman.

Biber, Douglas et al. (2002), Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English. London: Longman.

Huddleston, Rodney and Geoffrey K. Pullum, eds. (2002), The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge: CUP.

Huddleston, Rodney and Geoffrey K. Pullum (2005), A Student's Introduction to English. Grammar. Cambridge: CUP.

Online dictionaries (mono- and bilingual)

Dictionaries of linguistic terminology

Bußmann, Hadumod (1996), Routledge Dictionary of Language and Linguistics. London: Routledge.

Bußmann, Hadumod (2008), Lexikon der Sprachwissenschaft. 4. Auflage. Stuttgart: Kröner.

Crystal, David (2008), A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. 6th ed. Oxford: Blackwell.

Matthews, Peter H. (2007), The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics. 2nd ed. Oxford: OUP.

Wörterbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft Online (WSK)

Pronunciation dictionaries

Wells, John C. (2008), Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. 3rd edition. Harlow: Longman.

Jones, Daniel (2006), English Pronouncing Dictionary. 17th edition. Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press.

Useful information portals on the WWW

Bibliographies and e-journals

Linguistic bibliographies

E-journals at SuUB


Corpus linguistics

Corpus linguistics is a methodology in linguistics that involves computer-based empirical analyses (both quantitative and qualitative) of actual patterns of language use by employing electronically available, large collections of naturally occuring spoken and written texts, so-called corpora. Corpus-based and other types of empirical linguistic research have shown that speakers' intuitions oftentimes provide only limited access to the open-ended nature of language, which can cause problems when examining unexpected or infrequent linguistic structures, e.g. as regards lexical co-occurrence patterns, patterns of variation between grammatical constructions, word meaning, or idioms and metaphorical language.

The findings of corpus-based research has been widely applied to fields such as lexicography, most notably in the form of corpus-informed dictionaries such as the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, grammar (corpus-informed, descriptive grammars such as, for example, the Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English), foreign language teaching (learner dictionaries, teaching materials and classroom methodology, e.g. in the form of Data-Driven Learning (DLL) activities), and language testing and assessment.

Many English linguistics classes in Bremen involve at some point students' own collection, processing and analysis of empirical data, often by making use of electronic corpora. In advanced classes in particular, students will be asked to carry out corpus-based projects, sometimes involving replications and extensions of earlier case studies. We offers students a wide range of computerized corpora of the two main varieties of English, British and American English, (Mark Davies' BYU corpus portal), other varieties of English (various subcorpora of the International Corpus of English, ICE) and learner corpora.

List of corpora available in: CIP-Labor (GW 2, A 3.390 ) at FB 10

Selected readings

Anderson, W. & J. Corbett (2009), Exploring English with Online Corpora: An Introduction. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hoffmann, Sebastian et al. (2008), Corpus Linguistics with BNCweb - a Practical Guide. Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang.

Lindquist, Hans (2009), Corpus Linguistics and the Description of English. Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press.

McEnery, Tony & Wilson, Andrew (²2001), Corpus Linguistics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

McEnery, Tony, Yukio Tono & Xiao, Richard (2006), Corpus-based Language Studies: An Advanced Resource Book. London: Routledge.

Mukherjee, Joybrato (2009), Anglistische Korpuslinguistik. Eine Einführung. Berlin: Erich Schmidt.

English language corpora in the foreign language classroom: What does corpus linguistics have to offer to foreign language teaching?

The link between findings of corpus-based research and (foreign) language teaching is that corpus evidence suggests which language items and processes are most likely to be encountered by language users (what is frequent and typical) and may thus deserve more time in classroom instruction. Corpora and corpus-data

  • help teachers and students make better informed decisions and improve teaching material to become more authentic, i.e. representative of contemporary usage. Traditional textbooks often include simplified, non-authentic English and invented sentences which rarely, if at all, occur in natural speech situations.
  • provide "real English" and reveal what native speakers typically write or say in natural discourse as to
    • lexical co-occurrence patterns (collocation, colligation, semantic prosody)
    • the most common meaning if a word has several senses
    • items that are frequent in or across different text types
  • help students to develop their own descriptive and analytical skills which improves language awareness.

Corpora in the classroom: Data-Driven Learning (DLL)

Corpora and corpus material can be used in the classroom in several ways. For instance, teachers can use computer-generated concordances and develop activities and exercises to have students explore regularities of patterning in the target language. DDL activities can range from teacher-led and relatively closed concordance-based exercises to entirely learner-centred corpus-browsing projects which involve a high degree of learner autonomy.

Selected readings

Aijmer, Karin, ed. (2009), Corpora and Language Teaching. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Aston, Guy et al., eds. (2004), Corpora and Language Learners. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Braun, Sabine et al. (eds.), Corpus Technology and Language Pedagogy: New Resources, New Tools, New Methods. Frankfurt/Main: Lang.

Campoy-Cubillo, M.C., Bellés-Fortuño, B. & Gea-Valor, M.L., eds. (2010), Corpus-BasedApproaches to English Language Teaching. London & New York: Continuum.

Flowerdew, John (2009), “Corpora in language teaching”, in Long, Michael H. & Catherine J. Doughty (eds.), The Handbook of Language Teaching. Oxford: Blackwell, 327-350.

Mukherjee, Joybrato (2002), Korpuslinguistik und Englischunterricht. Eine Einführung. Frankfurt/Main: Lang.

O'Keeffe, Anne & McCarthy, Michael, eds. (2010), The Routledge Handbook of Corpus Linguistics. New York: Routledge. [section V "Using a corpus for language pedagogy and methodology"; section VI "Designing corpus-based materials for the language classroom"]

Römer, Ute (2008), “Corpora and language teaching”, in Lüdeling, Anke & Merja Kytö (eds.), Corpus Linguistics. An International Handbook (volume 1). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 112-130.

Römer, Ute (2011), “Corpus research applications in second language teaching”, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 31, 205-225.

Learner Corpora

Learner corpora are systematic collections of authentic, continuous and contextualized language use (spoken or written) by foreign /second language learners, stored in electronic format. Apart from their invaluable role as a resource for second language acquisition research, they can be used to identify typical difficulties of learners of a certain learner group (e.g. intermediate learners) or learners of a certain native language (e.g. German learners of English), and thus provide a basis for the identification of frequently occurring mistakes in learner language.

Selected readings

Granger, Sylviane, ed. (1998), Learner English on Computer. Harlow: Longman.

Granger, Sylviane (2003), "The International Corpus of Learner English: A new resource for foreign language learning and teaching and second language acquisition research", TESOL Quarterly 37:3, 538-546.

Granger, S. (2008), "Learner corpora", in Lüdeling, A. & M. Kytö (eds.), Corpus Linguistics. An international handbook, vol. 1. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 259-275.

Granger, S. (2009), "The contribution of learner corpora to second language acquisition and foreign language teaching: A critical evaluation", in Aijmer, K. (ed.), Corpora and Language Teaching. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 13-32.

Granger, Sylviane et al., eds. (2002), Computer Learner Corpora, Second Language Acquisition, and Foreign Language Teaching. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Phonetic transcription

In linguistics, we use an unambiguous transcription system where one speech sound corresponds to one symbol and one symbol corresponds to one speech sound. This is known as the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).

How to write a term paper in English linguistics

The field of linguistics, like any other scientific discipline, has developed its own metalanguage and conventions of how facts are noted down in written form, e.g. how speech sounds, letters, words,and examples are marked in running text. Some of the most important linguisitc notation concentions are collected in a handout that you need to use as a checklist when submitting assignments.

Some notes on plagiarism

Plagiarism is the theft of other people's words and ideas, i.e. when you deliberately or accidentally claim that an idea or the expression of it is yours when it is actually taken from the work by someone else. For more information, you should read the information provided by the Studienkommission.

To avoid and possibly sanction cases of plagiarism, FB 10 has decided on the following regulation: Every student needs to include the following written and signed statement when submitting a term paper. A form can be downloaded from here.

For more detailed information on plagiarism and how to avoid it see:

chapter 22 in Wray, Alison & Aileen Bloomer (2012), Projects in Linguistics and Language Studies. London: Hodder.

chapter 10 in Wallwork, Adrian (2011), English for Writing Research Papers. New York: Springer.

Some basic statistics for linguists

Corpus statistics

Online tools

Further reading

Articles / book chapters

Gries, Stefan Th. (to appear), "Basic significance testing", in Robert J. Podesva & Devyani Sharma (eds.), Research Methods in Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gries, Stefan Th. (to appear), "Statistical tests for the analysis of learner corpus data", in Ana Díaz-Negrillo, Paul Thompson, & Nicolas Ballier (eds.), Multidisciplinary Perspectives to Learner Corpora. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Gries, Stefan Th (2010), "Useful statistics for corpus linguistics", in Aquilino Sánchez & Moisés Almela (eds.), A Mosaic of Corpus Linguistics: Selected Approaches. Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang, 269-291.