Universiteit Leiden

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Subject guide


Overview of databases, reference works and websites for research in Linguistics

Documentation of non-Western languages (in particular African and Indian languages, Eskimo languages of North America) and historical-comparative study of Indo-European (many grammars and dictionaries), language typology, phonetics, phonology and semantics, historical linguistics.
English, French, and German. In addition, sources in a variety of languages

The linguistics collection is largely placed in the closed stacks of the University Library. On the first floor you can find a freely accessible reference collection. The most important printed journals are placed in the S-UB (basement).  

Reference collection in the reading room

Items from the reference collection cannot be borrowed, but it is possible to make copies or scans. The reference collection comprises:

  • General reference works, such as bibliographies, encyclopedias, dictionaries and general introductions
  • Reference works on specific topics, such as historical linguistics, phonology, grammar, language typology, sociolinguistics, applied linguistics and psycholinguistics
  • Reference collections for specific languages and language families, for example African languages, Amerindian languages, Indo-European and Old Germanic, Celtic languages and Scandinavian Languages and Literature

The reference collection is organized by the Library of Congress Classification (LCC). Books in the field of linguistics are usually placed under the following subject codes:

P Philology. Linguistics
PA Greek language and literature. Latin language and literature
PB Modern languages. Celtic languages
PC Romance languages
PD Germanic languages. Scandinavian languages
PE English language
PF West Germanic languages
PG Slavic languages. Baltic languages. Albanian languages
PH Uralic languages. Basque languages
PJ Oriental languages and literatures
PK Indo-Iranian languages and literatures
PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
PM Hyperborean, Indian, and artificial languages


Current issues of printed journals in the field of linguistics which are not available online are placed in the round journal cabinets at entrance 7 on the first floor. Back volumes are located in the S-UB (basement, stairs next to the circulation desk). Some back volumes are placed in the closed stacks and can be requested through the Catalogue.

The Linguistic Bibliography Online is a bibliographical database covering scholarly works from all branches of linguistics and covering all languages of the world. It provides citations of books, of articles and book reviews from about 2800 journals, and of articles from collective works. It is the online version of the Bibliographie linguistique = Linguistic bibliography, which has appeared in print from 1949 onwards. The Linguistic Bibliography Online contains the information from the printed volumes from 1993 onwards and a growing number of more recent citations.

LLBA is the most complete bibliography for linguistics.

The Bibliography of Pragmatics Online is an annotated bibliography, combining the data from the older -printed-Comprehensive Bibliography of Pragmatics by Jan Nuyts & Jef Verschueren (1987) with later publications until the present day. It is updated annually. As of 2010, it contained over 50,000 records.

The Encyclopedia of Language & Linguistics (2nd ed.) is the most comprehensive reference work on all aspects of language and linguistics.

The Handbook of Pragmatics Online is an encyclopaedia consisting of topical articles and brief biographies of eminent scholars. In addition, it offers an extensive overview of research traditions that belong or have contributed to pragmatics, of research methods, and of notation systems. The Handbook of Pragmatics Online incorporates all information from the printed Handbook of Pragmatics (1995-2010), but is regularly expanded and supplemented.


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