This list is not comprehensive. It rather merely reflects a growing list of resources that myself and others have found especially formative. It is intended to aid those wishing to gain a better understanding of so-called “non-formalist” approaches to linguistic analysis. It is not designed as a “course in linguistics” per se, where one must proceed through every text on the list before attempting to apply the principles learned. Indeed, some texts need not necessarily be read cover-to-cover, and some will overlap extensively with other texts on the list. That being said, an attempt has been made to order the list hierarchically such that each major section builds upon principles covered by texts in prior sections. Accordingly, within each section, texts that are more introductory in nature precede those that contain more nuanced discussions. –Josh R. Westbury, PhD

General Introductions to Linguistics

Fromkin, V., Rodman, R. & Hyams, N. (2010) An Introduction to Language. 9th edition. Boston: Wadsworth Publishing.

O’Grady, W., Archibald, J., Aronoff, M. & Rees-Miller, J. (2009) Contemporary Linguistics. 6th edition. London/New York: Longman.

Lyons, J. (1981) Language and Linguistics: An Introduction. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Lyons, J. (1981) Language, Meaning & Context. London: Fontana.

Seuren, P. (1998) Western Linguistics: An Historical Introduction. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Grammar & Syntax

Kroeger, P.R. (2004) Analyzing Syntax: A Lexical-Functional Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kroeger, P.R. (2005) Analyzing Grammar: An Introduction. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Pavey, E. (2010) The Structure of Language: An Introduction to Grammatical Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Cruse. A. (2011) Meaning in Language: An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics, 3rd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Geeraerts, D. (2010) Theories of Lexical Semantics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Riemer, N. (2010) Introducing Semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Saeed, J. (2008) Semantics. 3rd edition. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.


Birner, B.J. (2012) Introduction to Pragmatics. Oxford: Blackwell.

Huang, Y. (2007) Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ariel, M. (2010) Defining Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Relevance Theory

Sperber, D. & Wilson, D. (1995) Relevance: Communication and Cognition. 2nd edition. Oxford: Blackwell.

Wilson, D. & Sperber, D. (2004) “Relevance Theory”. In L. Hord & G. Ward (eds.). Handbook of Pragmatics. Oxford: Blackwell.

Wilson, D. & Sperber, D. (2012) Meaning and Relevance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cognitive Linguistics

Croft, W. & Cruse, D.A. (2004) Cognitive Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Evans, V. & Green, M. (2006) Cognitive Linguistics: An Introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Dirven, R. & Verspoor, M. (2004) Cognitive Explorations of Language and Linguistics, 2nd Revised Edition. Amsterdeam/Philidelphia: John Benjamins.

Geeraerts, D. (2006) Cognitive Linguistics: Basic Readings. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. (1980) Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Lakoff, G. (1987) Women, Fire & Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal about the Mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Langacker, R.W. (2008) Cognitive Grammar: A Basic Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Langacker, R. W. (2013) Essentials of Cognitive Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Radden, G. & Dirven, R. (2007) Cognitive English Grammar. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Taylor, J. (2003) Cognitive Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Taylor, J. (2003) Linguistic Categorization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Tyler, A. and V. Evans 2003. The Semantics of English Prepositions: Spatial Scenes, Embodied Meaning and Cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bergan, B. (2012) Louder Than Words. New York: Basic Books.

Fauconnier, G. and Turner, M. (2003) The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind’s Hidden Complexities. New York: Basic Books.

Information Structure

Lambrecht, K. (1994) Information Structure and Sentence Form: Topic, Focus and the Mental Representation of Discourse Referents. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Erteschik-Shir N. (2007) Information Structure: The Syntax-Discourse Interface. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ward, G. & Birner, G. (2004) “Information Structure and Non-Canonical Syntax”. In L. Hord & G. Ward (eds.). Handbook of Pragmatics. Oxford: Blackwell. 154-173.

Linguistic Typology & Language Change

Bybee, J. et. al. (1994) The Evolution of Grammar: Tense, Aspect and Modality in the Languages of the World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Croft, W. (2003) Typology and Universals. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Fischer, O. (2007) Morphosyntactic Change: Functional and Formal Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hopper, P. & Traugott, E. (2003) Grammaticalization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Velupillai, V. (2012) An Introduction to Linguistic Typology. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Discourse Analysis and Discourse Particles

Costermans, J. & M. Fayol, (eds.) (1997) Processing Interclausal Relationships: Studies in the Production and Comprehension of Text. Mahwah, N.J: L. Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Fischer, K. (ed.) (2006) Approaches to Discourse Particles. (Studies in Pragmatics 1). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Georgakopoulou, A. & D. Goutsos (2004) Discourse Analysis: An Introduction. 2nd ed. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburge University Press.

Louwerse, M. & W. Van Peer, (eds) (2002) Thematics: Interdisciplinary Studies. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjaminis Plublishing Company.

Renkema, J. (2004) Introduction to Discourse Studies. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Renkema J. (2009) The Texture of Discourse. Towards an Outline of Connectivity Theory. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Werth, P. (1999)Text Worlds: Representing Conceptual Space in Discourse. Singapore: Longman.

Applied Linguistics

Lewis, M. (2002) The Lexical Approach: The State of ELT and a Way Forward. Boston, MA: Heinle.

Schumann, J., et al. (2004) The Neurobiology of Learning: Perspectives from Second Language Acquisition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Cognitive Science & Neurolinguistics

Damasio, A. (2010) Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain. New York: Vintage Books.

Gazzaniga, M. (2011) Who’s In Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain. New York: Harper Collins.

Gazzaniga, M. (1989) Mind Matters: How Mind and Brain Interact to Create our Conscious Lives. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Platek, S., J. Keenan, and T. Shackelford, eds. (2007) Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Pulvermüller, F. (2002) The Neuroscience of Language: On Brain Circuits of Words and Serial Order. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Purves, D. et al. (2012) Neuroscience, Fifth Edition. Sunerland: Sinauer Associates.

Goodglass, H. (1993) Understanding Aphasia. San Diego:  Academic Press.

Basso, A. (2003) Aphasia and its Therapy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Important Reference Works

Crystal, D. (2008) A Dictionary of Linquistics and Phonetics. 6th edition. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Geeraerts, D. & Cuyckens, H. (eds.). (2010) The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Horn, L. & Ward, G. (eds.). (2006) Handbook of Pragmatics. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.