Linguistics and Literature

This section is limited to reference works of use to researchers interested in linguistic approaches to and aspects of literature. It also includes some essential reference works on the English language. For an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of literature and linguistics, see Jonathan Culler, “Literature and Linguistics,” pp. 1–24 in Barricelli and Garibaldi, Interrelations of Literature (U5955). Paul J. Hopper provides a succinct overview of the field in “Linguistics,” pp. 20–47 in Nicholls, Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures (A25).

Guides to Reference Works


DeMiller, Anna L. Linguistics: A Guide to the Reference Literature. 2nd ed. Englewood: Libs. Unlimited, 2000. 396 pp. Reference Sources in the Humanities Ser. Z7001.D45 [P121] 016.41.

An annotated guide to reference sources, for the most part published or reprinted between 1957 and 1998. Entries are organized within three classified divisions: general linguistics (with sections for dictionaries, encyclopedias, and guides; biographical dictionaries of linguists; indexes, abstracts, serial bibliographies, and databases; Internet metasites; bibliographies of bibliographies; general bibliographies; bibliographies of specific topics; bibliographies of individual linguists; directories and lists; professional associations and societies; research centers; and important periodicals); allied areas (with sections for anthropological linguistics, applied linguistics, mathematical and computational linguistics, psycholinguistics, semiotics, and sociolinguistics); and languages (with classified sections for general works and language families). Three indexes: authors; titles; subjects. As in the first edition, the annotations are wordy and frequently unevaluative, but DeMiller is the best available guide to essential reference sources for the study of language and linguistics.

General Introductions


Fowler, Roger. Linguistic Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford UP, 1996. 262 pp. OPUS Book. P302.5.F68 410.

An introduction to the study of literature as social discourse that “demonstrate[s] the value to criticism of an analytic method drawn from linguistics.” The chapters on semantic processes, textual structure and construction, contexts of communication, dialogue, point of view, and ordering of experience employ a variety of examples from literary works. Indexed by subjects, persons, and literary works. The work, which presumes a basic knowledge of linguistics on the reader’s part, is a handy introduction to the linguistic criticism of literature by one of its leading theorists.

For a more detailed introduction to stylistic criticism, see Anne Cluysenaar, Aspects of Literary Stylistics: A Discussion of Dominant Structures in Verse and Prose (New York: St. Martin’s, 1975; 160 pp.).


Traugott, Elizabeth Closs, and Mary Louise Pratt. Linguistics for Students of Literature. New York: Harcourt, 1980. 444 pp. P123.T67 410.

An introductory guide to the application of linguistics in literary study, with chapters on linguistics and literary analysis, phonetics and phonology, morphemes and words, syntax, semantics, speech acts and speech genres (actually a conglomeration of topics), discourse, varieties of English, and English in contact with other languages. Using a generative model, each chapter describes an aspect of language, demonstrates its applications in literary study, and concludes with a list of suggested readings. Three indexes: literary authors; authors of linguistic and critical works; subjects. Although Traugott and Pratt emphasizes linguistics more than literature and is not always successful in demonstrating applications in literary study, the work is useful as an introductory overview. Reviews: Peter C. Collins, General Linguistics 22.1 (1982): 65–70; Herbert Penzl, Language 57.3 (1981): 782–83.

See also

Sec. U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Computers and the Humanities.

Histories of the English Language


The Cambridge History of the English Language. Ed. Richard M. Hogg. 6 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1992–2001. PE1072.C36 420′.9. Online through Cambridge Histories Online (

  • Vol. 1: The Beginnings to 1066. Ed. Hogg. 1992. 609 pp.

  • Vol. 2: 1066–1476. Ed. Norman Blake. 1992. 703 pp.

  • Vol. 3: 1476–1776. Ed. Roger Lass. 1999. 771 pp.

  • Vol. 4: 1776–1997. Ed. Suzanne Romaine. 1998. 783 pp.

  • Vol. 5: English in Britain and Overseas: Origins and Development. Ed. Robert Burchfield. 1994. 656 pp.

  • Vol. 6: English in North America. Ed. John Algeo. 2001. 625 pp.

A history of the English language, throughout the world, from its beginnings to the present. The lengthy essays—most of which are by eminent scholars—typically combine diachronic and synchronic approaches and conclude with suggestions for further reading. The volumes devoted to chronological periods include essays on phonology and morphology, orthography and punctuation, dialectology, syntax, lexis and semantics, onomastics, and—of particular interest to literature scholars—the literary language. Each volume concludes with a glossary and bibliography. Indexed by persons and subjects (the online version omits the indexes). Cambridge History of the English Language offers the most authoritative introduction to English worldwide. Reviews: (vol. 1) E. G. Stanley, Review of English Studies 45.180 (1994): 526–35; (vols. 1–2) R. Hamer, Medium Ævum 63.2 (1994): 313–16.

For those needing a more succinct introduction, the best one-volume histories are Blake, A History of the English Language (New York: New York UP, 1996; 382 pp.), and Algeo, The Origins and Development of the English Language, 6th ed. (Boston: Wadsworth–Cengage Learning, 2010; 347 pp.).

Handbooks, Linguistic Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias


Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Ed. Keith Brown. 2nd ed. 14 vols. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2006. P29.E48 403. <>.

An encyclopedia of languages, both human and animal, and linguistics that covers all aspects of the field, giving particular attention to interdisciplinary relations. The c. 3,000 entries—which cover individual languages, language families, concepts, theories, persons, and the language situation in specific geographic areas—are signed and conclude with suggestions for further reading. Vol. 14 includes an extensive glossary, a list of languages, language maps, a classified list of entries (but with no section on literature and the arts), an index of names, and an extensive subject index.

In the online version, Basic Search is too primitive to allow effective access to the Encyclopedia; the Reference Works tab in Advanced Search allows users to perform keyword searches of a combination of fields (all fields, abstracts, authors, entry titles, subheadings, references, full text). The content can also be browsed by classification, authors, entries, or subjects; the list of languages and the glossary can also be browsed, but there are no links to entries. There is, unfortunately, no easy way to identify what entries have supplementary audio, video, or text files, and the online version does not reproduce the language maps in the print edition. The publisher does plan to include updates, but the site offers no way to identify what articles (if any) have been added or revised.

There are, of course, inconsistencies, omissions, and variations in the quality of entries, as in any large-scale encyclopedia. Counting an impressive array of established scholars among its contributors, Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics offers the broadest and most thorough and authoritative overview of current knowledge about linguistics.

Although they do not match the magisterial stature of Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, the following serve as sometimes useful complements:

  • Crystal, David. A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. 6th ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008. 529 pp. Lang. Lib. A dictionary of terminology used in twentieth-century linguistic and phonetic scholarship. The fifth and sixth editions are less strict than their predecessors in admitting terms from related areas such as applied linguistics, acoustics, comparative philology, and language study before 1900.

  • The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Ed. Carol A. Chapelle. 10 vols. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. <>. The online version has sound files and other enhancements and will include new and revised entries.

  • Frawley, William J., ed. International Encyclopedia of Linguistics. 2nd ed. 4 vols. New York: Oxford UP, 2003. <>. An encyclopedia of languages and linguistics that covers the major branches of the field—descriptive, historical, comparative, typological, functional, and formalist—and devotes special attention to their interrelations as well as their relations with other disciplines (e.g., the Language and Literature entry includes subentries on stylistics, rhetoric and literature, pragmatics and literature, metaphor, semiotics and literature, the language of prose fiction, the language or poetry, the language of drama, and language and literary history). The approximately 957 signed entries (some as lengthy as 5,000 words) summarize the state of knowledge on a topic and conclude with a selective bibliography; those on a language family include a list of living and selected extinct languages in the family. Indexed by subjects and persons. The electronic version is available as part of Oxford Reference; see I530 for discussion of the search interface. For discussion of the uses literary and cultural critics can make of the work, see the review by Laurence M. Porter, SubStance 34.3 (2005): 139–48.

  • McArthur, Tom, ed. The Oxford Companion to the English Language. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1992. 1,184 pp. Treats themes, places, persons, institutions, concepts, works, events, and technology associated with literary, common, and colloquial English worldwide.

General Linguistics

Guides to Scholarship

A major need is a judiciously selective, current bibliography of scholarship on linguistics and the English language. Among available ones, Harold B. Allen, comp., Linguistics and English Linguistics, 2nd ed. (Arlington Heights: AHM, 1977; 175 pp.; Goldentree Bibliogs. in Lang. and Lit.), is outdated; and Minoru Yasui, comp., Current Bibliography on Linguistics and English Linguistics, 1960–1978 (Tokyo: Kaitakusha, 1979; 269 pp.) and 1978–1982 (1983; 887 pp.) are based on no clear principles governing selection, omit numerous essential works, and are either imprecise (1960–1978) or uncontrolled (1978–1982) in subject organization.

Surveys of Research

Sec. U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Composition and Rhetoric/Guides to Scholarship/Surveys of Research.

Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies (S4855): General Linguistics division.

YWES (G330): Chapter on English language.

Serial Bibliographies

Linguistic Bibliography Online. Brill Online Bibliographies. Brill, 2013. 29 Mar. 2013. <>. Updated monthly. (Former title: BL Online: The Bibliographical Database of Linguistics.)

Bibliographie linguistique de l’année [1939–] et complément des années précédentes / Linguistic Bibliography for the Year [1939–] and Supplement for Previous Years. Leiden: Brill, 1949– . Annual. Z7001.P4 [P121] 016.41.

An international bibliography of scholarship (including book reviews and dissertations) on linguistics and languages worldwide; however, as of 2002 coverage emphasized “non-Indo-European languages and lesser known Indo-European languages, including endangered and extinct languages” and “works published outside Western Europe and North America.” Entries are organized alphabetically by author in classified divisions for general works (including bibliographies), general linguistics, and major language families or areas. The General Linguistics division and individual languages with sufficient scholarship now have sections for bibliographies and general studies, phonetics and phonology, grammar, lexis, semantics and pragmatics, stylistics, metrics and versification, translation, script and orthography, psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics, sociolinguistics and dialectology, historical and comparative linguistics, mathematical and computational linguistics, and onomastics. Under languages not needing subdivision, bibliographies appear first, followed by other studies in alphabetical order. Indexed by scholars (including reviewers since the volume for 1993) and by languages and subjects since the volume for 2004. Cross-referencing has improved in recent volumes, but the lack of subject indexing in early volumes hinders access to many works, especially those treating more than one concept, topic, or language.

Linguistic Bibliography Online (with coverage beginning with records from the Bibliographie linguistique volume for 1993) is far more current that its print counterpart (the volume covering 2000 was published in 2004), and its new search interface is a marked improvement over that used by its predecessor created for BL Online. Basic Search offers a keyword search of all records; Advanced Search allows users to combine fields for keyword; title; author, editor, or reviewer; person; language as subject; subject; language of document; journal; publisher; date; ISSN or ISBN; and DOI. Users can also browse by index term; language as subject; language of document; journals; or author, editor, or reviewer. Results (which can be limited to books or articles) can be sorted by date (descending), author (ascending), or title (ascending); records can be marked for downloading, e-mailing, or printing.

Although the number of entries in each volume is swollen by the inclusion of works listed earlier and subsequently reviewed, Bibliographie linguistique (especially before 2002) offers generally fuller coverage of linguistic scholarship—especially that published outside North America—than MLAIB (G335) and LLBA (U6015).

Although not as accessible as they should be, Bibliographie linguistique and Linguistic Bibliography Online are essential sources for identifying current linguistic scholarship; for the literature researcher, they are valuable for their inclusion of numerous studies—especially of stylistics and metrics—that are omitted from the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G.


Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts. Basic Search–ProQuest. CSA-ProQuest, 2013. Online. 31 Jan. 2013. <>. Updated monthly.

LLBA: Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (LLBA). Ann Arbor: ProQuest, 1967– . 5/yr. Former title: LLBA: Language and Language Behavior Abstracts (1967–84). Z7001.L15 016.

Nonevaluative abstracts of books, articles, and dissertations since 1966 (print) or 1973 (electronic) on language behavior, linguistics, and related topics; a separate list of book reviews was added in vol. 24 (1990). Except for dissertations, which are generally limited to those in ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (H465), after 1985 coverage is international and, especially for journals, encompasses several disciplines. The scope has expanded somewhat since the initial volume, and the organization has become more refined. Since vol. 11 (1977) entries are listed alphabetically by author in 27 classified divisions: psycholinguistics, applied linguistics, phonology, syntax, semantics, morphology, discourse analysis and text linguistics, theory of linguistics, history of linguistics, anthropological linguistics, descriptive linguistics, lexicography, orthography and writing systems, language classification, interpersonal behavior and communication, sociolinguistics, poetics and literary theory (with sections for poetics, literary criticism, literary theory, literary translation, and historical text studies), nonverbal communication, semiotics, philosophy of language, phonetics, hearing and speech physiology, pathological and normal hearing, pathological and normal language, learning disabilities, mental retardation, and special education. A typical entry in the print version consists of author(s), address of primary author, title and publication information, LC and ISBN numbers for books, and a detailed abstract; the online version adds fields for ISSN, CODEN, language, type of publication, country of publication, descriptors, classification fields, update code, and accession number. Three indexes in each issue: authors; journals and issues indexed; subjects. (The last is a detailed analytic index based on a controlled thesaurus, with each entry providing essentially an abstract of the abstract.) The indexes are cumulated annually; there is also a cumulative index for vols. 1–5 (2 pts.; 1971). The online version is available through ProQuest; see entry I519 for an evaluation of the search interface. The multidisciplinary coverage and full subject indexing make LLBA (especially in its electronic form) a useful source for identifying studies of stylistics, literary theory, and literary criticism, especially in journals not covered (or accessibly indexed) in the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G.

Although limited to the theory and practice of general linguistics rather than to applied studies or articles on individual languages, Linguistics Abstracts (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 1985– ; quarterly; <>; updated regularly) does abstract some journals not covered by LLBA. The best access is offered by the online version, which allows two types of searches: Quick Search (keyword); Advanced Search (full text, title, author, journal, date, volume and issue, and subdiscipline). Users can browse a journal by searching its title in the list on the Advanced Search screen. Results can be sorted by relevance, title, journal, subdiscipline, or date (descending).

See also

Sec. H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses.

ABELL (G340): English Language division.

L’année philologique (S4890).

Bullock and Peck, Guide to Marxist Literary Criticism (U6175).

MLAIB (G335): See the national literature divisions in the volumes for 1921–32; General/Linguistics and the linguistics section in national literature divisions in the volume for 1933; General/Linguistics, General/Experimental Phonetics, and linguistics sections in national literature divisions in the volumes for 1934–45; General/General Linguistics, General/Experimental Phonetics, and linguistics sections in national literature divisions in the volumes for 1946–50; General/Linguistics, General/Semantics, and linguistics sections in national literature divisions in the volumes for 1951–52; General VI: Language and linguistics sections in national literature divisions in the volumes for 1953–55; General III: General Language and Linguistics and linguistics sections in national literature divisions in the volume for 1956; General I: General Language and Linguistics and linguistics sections in national literature divisions in the volumes for 1957–66; and the Linguistics division in later volumes (especially General Linguistics IV: Stylistics/Linguistics and Literature in the volumes for 1968–80). Researchers must also check the headings beginning “English Language” and “Linguistic(s)” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

PsycINFO (U6530).

RILM: Répertoire international de littérature musicale (U6240).

Special Topics


Research Methods

Landau, Sidney I. Dictionaries: The Art and Craft of Lexicography. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2001. 477 pp. P327.L3 413′.028.

A guide to the principles and practices of the construction of English-language dictionaries. Offering an extensive range of examples, chapters are devoted to the definition of dictionary and the kinds of special-purpose dictionaries, a brief history of English lexicography, parts of a dictionary and the entries therein, the practice of definition, usage information, the uses of corpora, the process of commercial dictionary making, and legal and ethical concerns in lexicography. The second edition replaces the evaluative selective bibliography of monolingual dictionaries with a list that refers readers to significant commentary or evaluation in the text. Indexed by persons, titles of anonymous works, and subjects; titles of dictionaries are indexed under editors. Emphasizing practice rather than theory and combining illustration with sometimes trenchant (but fair) evaluation, Dictionaries is an essential introduction for aspiring lexicographers as well as readers interested in learning how to judge the dictionaries they rely on. Review: Henri Béjoint, International Journal of Lexicography 15.2 (2002): 169–73.

Ladislav Zgusta, Manual of Lexicography (Prague: Academia; The Hague: Mouton, 1971; 360 pp.; Janua Linguarum: Ser. Maior 39), is more advanced and inclusive in its coverage but is now badly dated.

Individual aspects of the theory and practice of lexicography are treated at length in Franz Josef Hausmann et al., eds., Wörterbücher/Dictionaries/Dictionnaires: Ein internationales Handbuch zur Lexikographie / An International Encyclopedia of Lexicography / Encyclopédie internationale de lexicographie, 3 vols. (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1989–91; Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft/Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science/Manuels de linguistique et des sciences de communication 5).

Bibliographies of Bibliographies

Cop, Margaret. Babel Unravelled: An Annotated World Bibliography of Dictionary Bibliographies, 1658–1988. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1990. 195 pp. Lexicographica: Ser. Maior 36. Z7004.D5 C63 [P327] 016.01603.

A bibliography of bibliographies—including separately published works, contributions to periodicals, parts of books, booksellers’ catalogs, and catalogs of collections, as well as some manuscript lists and databases—of language and subject dictionaries, including wordbooks, word lists, lexicons, vocabularies, thesauruses, glossaries, concordances, and syllabaries. Although the majority of the 619 bibliographies date from 1658–1988, some works published as late as 1990 are included. The entries (organized alphabetically by author, editor, or title of anonymous work) consist of a citation and locations of copies—principally in German libraries—or source of information, followed, in most cases, by information on languages, kinds of annotations, organization, chronological span, indexes, and number of items in and types, content, and time periods of dictionaries covered. Several entries conclude with helpful evaluative or historical notes (that also cite reviews). Indexed, at the beginning, by languages, types of dictionaries, subjects, Universal Decimal Classification numbers, types of bibliographies, and persons. Nearly one-third of the entries were not seen by the author, several works included (e.g., general guides to reference books, journals that merely review dictionaries, and miscellaneous bibliographies that happen to list some dictionaries) hardly can be classified as bibliographies of dictionaries, and coverage is better for European publications than for North American ones; yet Babel Unravelled is the best starting place for identifying lists of dictionaries. Researchers must, however, search serial bibliographies such as Bibliographie linguistique (U6010), ABELL (G340), and MLAIB (G335) for additional bibliographies.

Guides to Primary Works

Brewer, Annie M., ed. Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Other Word-Related Books: A Classified Guide to Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Similar Works, Based on Library of Congress MARC Records, and Arranged According to the Library of Congress Classification System. 4th ed. 2 vols. Detroit: Gale, 1988. Z5848.D52 [AE5] 016.03.

A subject list of dictionaries, encyclopedias, concordances, glossaries, lexicons, thesauruses, vocabularies, and similar works. Since the entries, organized by LC classification, are derived from Library of Congress cataloging records prepared between 1966 and the end of 1986, the two volumes potentially include any “word-related” book published or reprinted during that period as well as numerous pre-1966 publications for which LC cards or MARC and REMARC records were prepared. The uncritical reliance on Library of Congress cataloging records leads to considerable duplication of entries (especially of unrevised reprints), serious gaps in coverage (especially of books published before 1966), the inclusion of many works that are only remotely “word-related,” and inconsistencies in the classification of works. The fourth edition improves upon its predecessors by printing a title and subject index, but users will find it less than helpful because of the citation of LC classifications rather than page numbers and the reproduction of frequently imprecise LC subject headings from MARC records. Although seriously flawed and incomplete, Brewer is the most extensive single list of “word-related books.” What would be welcome is a thorough, carefully organized, effectively indexed annotated bibliography based on personal examination of these kinds of publications.

For an evaluative survey of important dictionaries through the late 1960s, see Robert L. Collison, Dictionaries of English and Foreign Languages: A Bibliographical Guide to Both General and Technical Dictionaries with Historical and Explanatory Notes and References, 2nd ed. (New York: Hafner, 1971; 303 pp.). Organized by language or geographic area, chapters typically comment on the history and use of general, etymological, slang, dialect, specialist, and bilingual dictionaries. Technical dictionaries are listed by field in an appendix. Collison remains useful for its evaluations of dictionaries published before 1970.

More current (but not rigorous in selection or evaluation) are the sections on dictionaries in New Walford Guide to Reference Resources (B65), and Guide to Reference (B60).


Wall, C. Edward, and Edward Przebienda, comps. Words and Phrases Index: A Guide to Antedatings, New Words, New Compounds, New Meanings, and Other Published Scholarship Supplementing the Oxford English Dictionary, Dictionary of Americanisms, Dictionary of American English, and Other Major Dictionaries of the English Language. 4 vols. Ann Arbor: Pierian, 1969–70. PE1689.W3 016.423.

An index to additions, antedatings, and corrections published in American Notes and Queries 1–8 (1941–49) and 1–5 (1962–67); American Speech 1–41 (1925–66); Britannica Book of the Year (1945–67); California Folklore Quarterly 1–6 (1942–47); College English 1–29 (1939–68); Dialect Notes 1–6 (1890–1939); Notes and Queries 148–211 (1925–66); Publication of the American Dialect Society 1–47 (1944–67); and Western Folklore 7–26 (1948–67). Vols. 1 and 3 are word indexes; vols. 2 and 4, keyword-out-of-context indexes to phrases. Wall and Przebienda is a useful source for identifying scholarship on individual words and phrases, since few of the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G provide this kind of information.

Guides to Scholarship

Zgusta, Ladislav. Lexicography Today: An Annotated Bibliography of the Theory of Lexicography. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1988. 349 pp. Lexicographica: Ser. Maior 18. Z7004.L48 Z47 [P327] 016.413′028.

An international bibliography of publications, from c. 1962 through early 1987, on the procedures, methods, and theory of lexicography. Works listed in Zgusta, Manual of Lexicography (U6017a), are excluded, as are recent studies treating “the history of lexicography, . . . etymological, historical, and encyclopedic lexicography,” individual dictionaries, computational linguistics, and artificial intelligence—unless directly related to the theory or methodology of lexicography. Organized alphabetically by author, entries are accompanied by succinct descriptive annotations. Four indexes: second and other authors and editors; persons appearing in titles and annotations; selected languages discussed; subjects. Although not exhaustive, Zgusta is impressive in its international coverage and offers the best record of scholarship on lexicographical theory before 1987.


Guides to Scholarship

Bibliography of Metaphor and Metonymy (MetBib). Benjamins, n.d. 5 Mar. 2013. <>. Updated annually.

Noppen, J. P. van, S. de Knop, and R. Jongen, comps. Metaphor: A Bibliography of Post-1970 Publications. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1985. 497 pp. Amsterdam Studies in the Theory and Hist. of Linguistic Science, Ser. 5: Lib. and Information Sources in Linguistics 17.

Noppen, Jean-Pierre van, and Edith Hols, comps. Metaphor II: A Classified Bibliography of Publications, 1985 to 1900 [i.e., 1990]. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1990. 350 pp. Amsterdam Studies in the Theory and Hist. of Linguistic Science, Ser. 5: Lib. and Information Sources in Linguistics 20. Z7004.M4 N66 [P301.5.M48] 016.808.

Shibles, Warren A. Metaphor: An Annotated Bibliography and History. Whitewater: Language, 1971. 414 pp. Z7004.M4 S5 011.

International bibliographies of books, articles, dissertations, and theses on metaphor in a variety of disciplines and periods. Bibliography of Metaphor and Metonymy, which covers few documents before 1990, includes some unpublished papers and frequently takes abstracts from other bibliographic resources or quotes a publisher’s description. The database uses the same interface as Bibliography of Pragmatics Online (with the addition of a field for title as subject in Advanced Search); see entry U6050 for an evaluation of the interface. Although lacking any explanation of editorial procedures and depending too much on other sources rather than firsthand examination of documents, MetBib offers the most current guide to studies of metaphor. The print volumes are organized alphabetically by author (then by title in Shibles, by date in Noppen, Knop, and Jongen and in Noppen and Hols), with some entries accompanied by descriptive annotations: in Shibles, the annotations vary considerably in quality, and most foreign language works are not annotated; Noppen, Knop, and Jongen and Noppen and Hols offer few annotations, but they tend to be fuller. Both appear to take many entries unverified from other sources. Noppen, Knop, and Jongen concludes with a list of recommended works for beginners. Shibles has three indexes: extensive works on metaphor; general subjects; aspects of metaphor. However, the indexing is uncontrolled, inconsistent, and imprecise. Noppen, Knop, and Jongen also has three indexes: general subjects; uses and theory of metaphor; tenors, vehicles, and their semantic fields (which is useful for locating studies of types of imagery or specific images); Noppen and Hols replaces the general subject index with indexes of disciplines and persons. Although Noppen, Knop, and Jongen’s and Noppen and Hol’s indexing is superior, the combination of entry number and date Noppen, Knop, and Jongen is extremely confusing, and the additions (pp. 486–97 in Noppen, Knop, and Jongen; pp. 345–50 in Noppen and Hols) are excluded. Noppen and Hols is inconsistent in citing reviews: some appear only in a list following the book reviewed, some appear in a list of reviews and have separate entries as well, and some have separate entries but are not cross-referenced to the book reviewed. Both Shibles and Noppen, Knop, and Jorgen suffer from an inadequate statement of scope and coverage. Although they are plagued by errors, inconsistent in annotations, include much that seems only vaguely related to metaphor, omit significant works, and are inadequately indexed in the case of Shibles, the three volumes together encompass an impressive range of international scholarship. For additions to Shibles, see the anonymous, untitled contribution in Newsletter: Rhetoric Society of America 4.3 (1974): 5–13. Reviews: (Shibles) Rosemarie Gläser, Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 23.2 (1975): 170–71; Winfried Schleiner, Comparative Literature Studies 10.4 (1973): 394–95.


Guides to Scholarship

Rajec, Elizabeth M. The Study of Names in Literature: A Bibliography. New York: Saur, 1978. 261 pp. Supplement. 1981. 298 pp. Z6514.N35 R34 [PN56.N16] 016.809′92.

An international bibliography of selected reference sources on onomastics in general and of studies (including dissertations and reviews through 1979) of the use of names in literature. The 3,023 entries are listed alphabetically by author, but their number is swollen by separate listings of book reviews. Few of the brief annotations adequately convey a sense of contents. Except for literary authors and titles of anonymous works, the headings in the subject index are generally too broad (especially in the 1978 volume). The inadequate explanation of criteria governing selection, uninformative annotations, numerous errors, omissions, and ineffective subject indexing in the original volume make Rajec little more than a place to begin research on literary onomastics.

Some additional studies can be identified in two serial bibliographies formerly published in Names: A Journal of Onomastics: ““Bibliography of Personal Names, [1952–75]”,” 1–24 (1953–76), and ““Place-Name Literature, [1946–79]”,” irregularly in 3–27 (1955–79).


Guides to Scholarship

Bibliography of Pragmatics Online. Ed. Frank Brisard, Michael Meeuwis, and Jef Verschueren. John Benjamins Publishing Company. Benjamins, n.d. 5 Mar. 2013. <>. Updated annually.

A bibliographic database of publications (including reviews) through 2003 on pragmatics, including “accommodation theory, analytical philosophy and anthropological linguistics, . . . cognitive linguistics, construction grammar, conversation analysis, discourse analysis, literary pragmatics, neurolinguistics, psycholinguistics, relevance theory, sociolinguistics, speech act theory, and universal and transcendental pragmatics.” Coverage is most complete for works written in English, French, German, or Dutch and incorporates the entries from Jan Nuyts and J. Verschueren, comps., A Comprehensive Bibliography of Pragmatics, 4 vols. (Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1987).

Basic Search offers keyword searching of all record fields; Advanced Search allows users to combine searches of the following fields: keyword (thesaurus terms), author or editor, title, annotation, publisher, document language, language as subject, person as subject, series title, journal, and date. In addition, users can browse lists of authors, journals, keywords, languages, persons, and series. Those who want to search through the Thesaurus should first consult the Instructions file. Results are listed in descending chronological order and cannot be sorted otherwise; several records lack a date and thus sort out of order. The only options for downloading data are to e-mail the entire results list or to download full records one at a time (the only way to retrieve the informative descriptive annotations that most records include). Although not comprehensive, not as current as one would expect, and in need of an interface that offers more flexibility in downloading records, Bibliography of Pragmatics Online is the fullest guide to scholarship on the subject.


Guides to Scholarship

Gordon, W. Terrence. Semantics: A Bibliography, 1965–1978. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1980. 307 pp. 1979–1985. 1987. 292 pp. 1986–1991. 1992. 280 pp. Z7004.S4 G67 [P325] 016.415.

A bibliography of scholarship (including dissertations) in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese on semantics. Although Gordon’s work encompasses studies from linguistics, philosophy, psychology, and anthropology, it excludes several topics of particular interest to literary researchers: general semantics, history of semantics, semiotics, meaning and style, discourse analysis, lexicology, and logical semantics. The approximately 7,400 entries are listed alphabetically by author in divisions for books; general surveys; definitions and models of meaning; reference and pragmatics; ambiguity, indeterminacy, and generic meaning; synonymy; antonymy; polysemy; homonymy; morphosemantics; associative senses in the lexicon; semantic fields and componential analysis; kinship terminology; color terms; semantics of parts of speech; syntax; negation; idioms; case grammar; child language; comparative semantics; and semantic universals. In 1965–1978 and 1979–1985 a very few entries are accompanied by brief descriptive (occasionally evaluative) annotations; in 1986–1991 most entries are annotated. Although each division concludes with cross-references, the unrefined classification system and lack of subject indexing make locating works difficult. Two indexes: lexical terms; authors. The exclusion of so many areas of study and numerous omissions of works falling within its scope make Gordon little more than a starting point for identifying studies of semantics.


Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias

Encyclopedic Dictionary of Semiotics. Thomas A. Sebeok and Marcel Danesi, gen. eds. 3rd ed. rev. and updated. 3 vols. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010. P99.E65 302.203. <>.

An encyclopedia of terms (treating both historical background and current uses), semioticians and others important in the development of the field, and the relationship of semiotics to other areas (including a seven-page article titled “Literature”). The signed entries refer extensively to the combined bibliography in vol. 3. Unlike the second edition (3 vols., 1994)—which reprinted the text of the first and relegated the spotty revisions (most of which were one- or two-item additions to the bibliographies) to separately paginated supplements at the end of each volume—the new edition integrates revisions and includes several new entries. The online version can be searched by full text, keyword, person, and author. Results, which can be sorted by relevance or keyword (i.e., title), can be saved as a PDF file, printed, downloaded, or e-mailed. Encyclopedic Dictionary remains the essential work for clarifying—and codifying—the sometimes abstruse terminology used in semiotics.

An important complement is Encyclopedia of Semiotics, ed. Paul Bouissac (New York: Oxford UP, 1998; 702 pp.), which treats terminology, schools and movements, persons, major publications, and applications associated with semiotics and aspects of cultural theory. The signed entries conclude with a bibliography. Indexed by persons, subjects, and some titles. Although lacking a sufficient explanation of the principles governing the selection of topics (and consequently including some rather surprising ones, e.g., baseball, database, gossip, military, and postage stamp), Encyclopedia of Semiotics gives, as a good encyclopedia should, clear, authoritative guidance to the field.

Fuller treatment of the theory, history, scope, structure, and application of sign theory is offered by Semiotik/Semiotics: Ein Handbuch zu den zeichentheoretischen Grundlagen von Natur und Kultur / A Handbook on the Sign-Theoretic Foundations of Nature and Culture, ed. Roland Posner, Klaus Robering, and Thomas A. Sebeok, 4 vols. (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1997–2004; Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft/Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science/Manuels de linguistique et des sciences de communication 13: 1–4). Each of the 178 essays, written in German or English by leading scholars, concludes with an extensive bibliography. Two indexes: persons; subjects.

Guides to Scholarship

Eschbach, Achim, and Viktória Eschbach-Szabó, comps. Bibliography of Semiotics, 1975–1985. 2 vols. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1986. Amsterdam Studies in the Theory and Hist. of Linguistic Science, Ser. 5: Lib. and Information Sources in Linguistics 16. Z7004.S43 E76 [P99] 016.00151.

Eschbach, Achim, and Wendelin Rader. Semiotik-Bibliographie I. Frankfurt: Syndikat, 1976. 221 pp. Z7004.S43 E77 [P99].

Eschbach, Achim. Zeichen-Text-Bedeutung: Bibliographie zu Theorie und Praxis der Semiotik. München: Fink, 1974. 508 pp. Kritische Information 32. Z7004.S43 E78.

International bibliographies of publications with some connection to semiotics. Bibliography of Semiotics includes book reviews but excludes works published in the Soviet Union. The 10,839 entries are listed alphabetically by author. Two indexes: book reviews; subjects. Semiotik-Bibliographie organizes about 4,000 works (published between 1965 and June 1976) in 12 unclassified divisions: architecture, film, semiotic theory and terminology, history of semiotics, art, literature, music, nonverbal communication, pragmatics, semantics, sociosemantics, and miscellaneous works. Two indexes: scholars; subjects. Zeichen-Text-Bedeutung includes dissertations. Entries are listed alphabetically by author in six classified divisions: general studies, systematic studies (syntax, semantics, and pragmatics), communication theory and text analysis, background studies, interdisciplinary studies, and works by and about individual semioticians. Indexed by scholars. Although all include a considerable number of studies of literary works, locating these studies is frequently impossible except in Semiotik-Bibliographie; Zeichen-Text-Bedeutung lacks a subject index, and the one in Bibliography of Semiotics is nothing more than an uncritical alphabetic list of title keywords (with no attempt to reconcile equivalent terms in various languages). In all three compilations, the heavy reliance on other bibliographies leads to the inclusion of numerous works only remotely related to semiotics. The lack of any stated criteria governing what constitutes semiotic scholarship results in a hodgepodge that would benefit from judicious organization and indexing.

See also

Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory (U6133) sometimes devotes a chapter to semiotics.


Guides to Scholarship

Surveys of Research

““The Year’s Work in Stylistics, [1998– ]”.” Language and Literature 8–  (1998– ). Annual. P301.L32.

A highly selective review essay, with evaluations that tend to be fuller than one typically finds in surveys of research these days. The organization of each essay is determined by the topics of the studies reviewed.

Serial Bibliographies

““Stylistics Annotated Bibliography, [1966–90]”.” Style 1–25 (1967–91). PE1.S89 805.

A highly selective annotated bibliography of books, dissertations in ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (H465), and articles. Since the bibliography for 1979 (vol. 15 [1981]), entries are listed alphabetically by author in six divisions: bibliographies; general theory; culture, history, and style—period, nation, and genre; the author; the text; and the reader. The last four have subdivisions for theoretical and applied studies, with the latter classified by elements of style. Three indexes: scholars (beginning with the bibliography for 1987–88, in vol. 23 [1989]); subject terms (since the bibliography for 1980, in vol. 16 [1982]); persons as subjects (since that for 1981, in vol. 17 [1983]). Although not comprehensive (especially since the bibliography for 1987–88 [vol. 23 (1989)], when coverage was drastically scaled back), the bibliography was once the best source for identifying stylistic scholarship published between 1967 and 1986. Beginning in 26 (1992) “Stylistics Annotated Bibliography” was replaced with a bibliography issue that prints checklists and annotated bibliographies of individuals and subjects; the last of these issues appeared in vol. 34 (2000).

Other Bibliographies

Bailey, Richard W., and Dolores M. Burton, S. N. D. English Stylistics: A Bibliography. Cambridge: MIT P, 1968. 198 pp. Z2015.S7 B2 016.808.

A bibliography of primary works and scholarship (including dissertations) through c. 1966 on the stylistic study of English and American literary texts since 1500. Bailey also includes highly selective coverage of classical and medieval literature. The approximately 2,000 entries are organized in three divisions: bibliographies, language and style before 1900 (with each period subdivision including sections for primary works and related scholarship and general studies), and the twentieth century (with sections on creativity and style, modes of stylistic investigation, statistical approaches, translation, prose stylistics, and poetry). A few entries are accompanied by brief descriptive annotations. Two indexes: literary authors as subjects; scholars. The rather confusing organization, the lack of cross-references, and the failure to provide a subject index seriously impede locating studies on topics, stylistic features, or methodologies. Despite these drawbacks and the incomplete coverage, Bailey and Burton is useful because it represents the fullest list of stylistic studies before 1966 of English and American literature. Review: Louis T. Milic, Style 2.3 (1968): 239–43.

More comprehensive coverage of statistical studies is offered by Richard W. Bailey and Lubomír Doležel, comps. and eds., An Annotated Bibliography of Statistical Stylistics (Ann Arbor: Dept. of Slavic Languages and Literatures, U of Michigan, 1968; 97 pp.). For some additions, see the review by Robert S. Wachal, Style 6.1 (1972): 66–70.

Louis T. Milic, Style and Stylistics: An Analytical Bibliography (New York: Free; London: Collier, 1967; 199 pp.), whose approximately 800 entries are mostly English-language studies of literatures in English, is much less thorough than Bailey and Burton but it does cite some works omitted in Bailey and Burton and is more accessible, thanks to a subject index. Review: Richard W. Bailey, Style 2.3 (1968): 233–38.

Because stylistic studies are virtually impossible to locate readily in most of the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G, these three bibliographies and Bennett, Bibliography of Stylistics (U6085), are indispensable guides to scholarship.


Bennett, James R. A Bibliography of Stylistics and Related Criticism, 1967–1983. New York: MLA, 1986. 405 pp. Z6514.S8 B46 [PN203] 016.809.

A selective bibliography of works on the stylistic criticism of literature. Bennett covers studies published between 1967 and 1983 (along with a few from 1984) but excludes dissertations, theoretical studies that do not involve literary application, most psychoanalytic works as well as those about film and literature, and all articles (except for bibliographies and a few in collections of essays). The approximately 1,500 entries are organized by publication date in six classified divisions: bibliographies and reference works (with sections for annual bibliographies and journals and for other bibliographies and reference works); general studies and concepts of style; works on period, national, and genre style (with sections for theoretical studies; diction, imagery, and tropes; syntax and schemes; prosody and sound patterns in prose; and studies involving several linguistic levels); single-author studies (with the same sections as the preceding division); studies of individual texts (again, with the same sections as the preceding division); and the phenomenology of readers (with sections for theoretical and practical studies). A majority of the entries are descriptively annotated (although the annotations too often rely on quotations from the works) and accompanied by citations to reviews (with frequent quotations from reviews). Three appendixes: a chronology of important works and events in stylistics from 1878 to early 1985; a classification of critics by theoretical or methodological approach; a suggested reading list on aspects of stylistic criticism. Four indexes: terms; literary authors and anonymous works; critics and theorists; authors of works cited. Although Bennett is limited by its exclusion of articles and dissertations, unevenly and incompletely annotated (especially for foreign language works), and incomplete in its coverage of studies of individual authors and works, its international coverage and clear indexing make the Bibliography an essential preliminary guide to book-length theoretical studies and practical applications of stylistic criticism and theory. Users will have to supplement coverage with “Stylistics Annotated Bibliography” (U6075), Bailey and Burton, English Stylistics (U6080), MLAIB (G335), Arts and Humanities Citation Index (G365), the bibliographies and indexes in section G, and works in section H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses.


General Introductions


Visser, F. Th. An Historical Syntax of the English Language. 4 vols. Leiden: Brill, 1963–73. (Vol. 1 has been published in a corrected second impression, 1970.) PE1361.V5.

A diachronic study of the development, in written language, of syntactic constructions with a verb form as a nucleus. Organized according to the number of verbs in a phrase, then by syntactic unit, the detailed analysis and history of each structural pattern is accompanied by numerous illustrations from Old English to the present century. Indexed by word in vols. 1 and 2, with a cumulative index in 4. The organization is confusing at times, and there are numerous typographical errors. Although reviewers have disagreed with some interpretations, all admit that this is a monumental contribution to the study of English syntax. Literary researchers will find it particularly useful in interpreting syntactic structures in literary works. Reviews: Norman Davis, Review of English Studies ns 17.65 (1966): 73–75, 20.78 (1969): 196–200, 22.85 (1971): 64–66, 26.104 (1975): 454–58.

Guides to Scholarship


Scheurweghs, G., et al. Analytical Bibliography of Writings on Modern English Morphology and Syntax, 1877–1960. 5 vols. Louvain: Nauwelaerts, 1963–79. Z2015.A1 S33.

  • Vol. 1: Scheurweghs. Periodical Literature and Miscellanies of the United States of America and Western and Northern Europe. 1963. 293 pp. (With an appendix by Hideo Yamaguchi on Japanese publications.)

  • Vol. 2: Scheurweghs. Studies in Bookform, Including Dissertations and Programmabhandlungen, Published in the United States of America and Western and Northern Europe. 1965. 232 pp. (With appendixes on Japanese and Czechoslovak publications by Yamaguchi and Ján Simko, respectively.)

  • Vol. 3: Soviet Research on English Morphology and Syntax. By Scheurweghs. Ed. G. C. Pocheptsov. English Studies in Bulgaria, Poland, Rumania, and Yugoslavia. By M. Mincoff et al. Ed. Pocheptsov. 1968. 267 pp.

  • Vol. 4: Scheurweghs and E. Vorlat. Addenda and General Indexes. 1968. 123 pp.

  • Vol. 5: Vorlat, ed. Articles in Periodicals, 1961–1970. 1979. 416 pp.

Bibliographies of publications and dissertations from several countries on English morphology and syntax since c. 1500. Pedagogical studies and popular journalism are excluded. Vols. 1–4 are organized by country, then by type of publication (journal articles, books, dissertations), then alphabetically by author; vol. 5 is organized by periodical, with articles following in order of publication. The individual volumes vary considerably in the thoroughness of their coverage. Some entries in vols. 1–4 are accompanied by descriptive annotations; vol. 5 offers extensive descriptions of each article. Vol. 4 prints additions to vols. 1 and 2. Two indexes (scholars and subjects) in each volume; the appendixes and the five countries in vol. 3 are separately indexed, and vol. 5 has an additional index of literary authors and works referred to. Vols. 1–3 are cumulatively indexed in five indexes in vol. 4: scholars; authors discussed; dissertations (by country, then institution); subjects of articles and books; subjects of dissertations. Although the Analytical Bibliography is valuable for its extensive (but not complete) coverage of foreign language scholarship and inclusion of several studies of literary works, the lack of effective organization and insufficiently thorough indexing make locating works sometimes difficult.