Some useful references on languages, history of linguistics,
writing systems, general linguistics, and works in Chinese

Languages of the world:

Comrie, Bernard, ed. The World's Major Languages. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990. 1025pp. Paper.

Gordon, Raymond G. Jr., ed. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 15th ed. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International, 2005. Online version:

Koo, John H. & Robert N. St. Clair, with Giovanni Rapelli. Languages of the World. Seoul: Hanshin, 1992. 341pp.

Lyovin, Anatole. An Introduction to the Languages of the World. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. 491pp. Paper.

Ruhlen, Merritt. A Guide to the World's Languages: Volume 1: Classification, With a postscript on recent developments. London: Edward Arnold, 1987. 463pp. Paper.

Shopen, Timothy, ed. Languages and their Status. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987. 335pp. Paper.

Shopen, Timothy, ed. Languages and their Speakers. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987. 300pp. Paper.

History of linguistics and linguistic theories:

Edmondson, Jerold. A. & Donald A. Burquest. A Survey of Linguistic Theories. 3rd. ed. Dallas: SIL, 1999. 243pp. Paper.

Fremantle, Anne. A Primer of Linguistics. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1974. 321pp.

Harris, Roy & Talbot J. Taylor. Landmarks in Linguistic Thought: The Western Tradition from Socrates to Saussure. London & New York: Routledge. 199pp. Paper.

Law, Vivien. Grammar and Grammarians in the Early Middle Ages. London & New York: Longman, 1997. 305pp. Paper.

Law, Vivien. The History of Linguistics in Europe: From Plato to 1600. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. 326pp.

Lepschy, Giulio, ed. History of Linguistics. Volume I: The Eastern Traditions of Linguistics. 1994. 203pp. Volume II: Classical and Medieval Linguistics. 380pp. Volume III: Renaissance and Early Modern Linguistics. 263pp. Volume IV: Nineteenth-century Linguistics.
Anna Morpurgo Davies. 434pp. London & New York: Longman. Paper.

Newmeyer, Frederick J. Linguistic Theory in America: The First Quarter-Century of Transformational Generative Grammar, 2nd ed. Burlington MA: Academic Press. 280pp.

Robins, R. H. A Short History of Linguistics. London: Longman, 1997. 282pp.

Sampson, Geoffrey. Schools of Linguistics. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1980. 283pp. Paper.

Writing systems:

Chadwick, John. The Decipherment of Linear B: The Key to the Ancient Language and Culture of Crete and Mycenae. New York: Random House, 1958. 157pp. Paper. Read it like a detective novel.

Coulmas, Florian. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Writing Systems. Oxford: Blackwell, 1996. 603pp. Paper.

Coulmas, Florian. The Writing Systems of the World. Oxford UK & Cambridge US: Blackwell, 1989. 302pp. Paper.

Gaur, Albertine. A History of Writing, rev. ed. New York: Cross River Press, 1984. 236pp. Paper.

Gelb, I. J. A Study of Writing: A discussion of the general principles governing the use and evolution of writing. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 1962. 319pp. Paper.

Harris, Roy. The Origin of Writing. London: Duckworth, 1986. 166pp.

Jean, Georges. Writing: The Story of Alphabets and Scripts. New York: Harry N. Adams, 1982. 207pp. Paper.

Nakanishi, Akira. Writing Systems of the World: Alphabets, Syllabaries, Pictograms. Rutland & Tokyo: Tuttle, 1980. 122pp. Paper.

Sampson, Geoffrey. Writing Systems: A Linguistic Introduction. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 234pp. Paper.

A few classics of general linguistics:

Bloomfield, Leonard. Language. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 1984. Reprint of 1933 ed. 564pp. Paper.

Jespersen, Otto. Language: its nature, development and origin. New York: Henry Holt, 1923. 448pp.

de Saussure, Ferdinand. Roy Harris, translator. Course in General Linguistics. Peru, Ill: Open Court, 1986. 236pp.

Works in Chinese:

李壬癸. 珍惜臺灣南島語言. 臺北:前衛, 2010.

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