Collection Selector

photo of Barbara Maratos

Barbara Maratos

Literature & Languages Librarian

Mugar Memorial Library

General Purpose of the Collection

The Linguistics collection is composed of approximately 4,600 items. Most of these are monographs; there is also a selection of journals in the field. The focus of the collection is on general linguistics and linguistic theory. It is strong in syntactic theory, generative grammar, phonetics, phonology, morphology, discourse analysis, semantics, pragmatics, and language acquisition. Particular areas of teaching interest include French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Creole, and sign language linguistics. Faculty with an interest in historical linguistics have been hired recently.

This collection supports research in linguistics on both the undergraduate and graduate levels at the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The Linguistics program offers courses for undergraduate students in linguistic theory. The focus at the graduate level is on interdisciplinary relationships between linguistic theory and various applied domains (language acquisition, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, neurolinguistics, etc). PhD, MA, and BA degree candidates (both Major and Minor concentrations) use the collection, as does a faculty with a variety of interests, including generative grammar, syntax, phonology, morphology, formal and lexical semantics, discourse analysis and pragmatics, linguistic typology, language acquisition, language disorders, and sign language linguistics. The collection also supports the annual Translation Seminar. (See Applied Linguistics Program and the Undergraduate Linguistics programs.)

Scope of Coverage

1. Languages collected (primary and selective) or excluded. The collection consists primarily of material in English. Items in French, German, Italian, and Spanish are selectively acquired. Exceptions are made for dictionaries of other foreign languages.
2. Geographical areas covered by the collections in terms of intellectual content, publication sources, or both, and specific areas excluded, as appropriate. All geographical areas are covered with the exception of studies of English, African, Greek and Native American languages.
3. Chronological periods covered by the collection in terms of intellectual content, movements or schools, and specific periods excluded, as appropriate. The collection covers the evolution of modern languages spoken today, although the focus is on modern (post-1955) linguistic analysis. Extinct languages are not collected.
4. Chronological periods collected in terms of publication dates, and specific periods excluded, as appropriate. Linguistics acquisitions emphasize current works. Older publications are acquired selectively and on request.

General Subject Boundaries and Library Locations

The general scope of this collection is primarily determined by Library of Congress call number P.


  • P 1-35.5 : General Philology, Linguistics
  • P 101-299 : Comparative Grammar (General)
  • P 321-410 : Etymology, Semantics, Lexicology

Collected Selectively:

  • P 47 : Textual Criticism
  • P 98-99.4.S62 : Computational Linguistics, Semiotics
  • P 501-769 : Indo-European (Indo-Germanic) Philology
  • Z 1201-4980.A-.Z : National Bibliography
  • Z 7001-7124 : Philology and Linguistics
  • Z 8001-8999 : Personal Bibliography

Collected Very Selectively:

  • P 61-85 : History of Philology, Biography of Philologists

All items in these categories are housed in Mugar Memorial Library.

The collection is related to several other collections in the library.

Related subjects and Interdisciplinary Relationships

African Studies
The African Studies Selector acquires all materials on African languages.
Consultations regarding Native-American studies are held with the Anthropology Selector.
The Biology Selector chooses materials dealing with neuro-linguistics.
The Communication Selector collects materials dealing with communication and mass media (P 87-96).
English and American literature and language
The English and American Literature and Language Selector acquires materials dealing with the English language and materials dealing with prose, oratory, or style (PN 3311-4355 and P 301).
The Education Selector acquires materials related to education, study and teaching; there is consultation regarding materials dealing with language acquisition.
The Classics Selector is responsible for all materials on or in the Greek language (ancient or modern) and extinct ancient or medieval languages (P 901-1091).
Modern Languages & Comparative Literature, and Romance Studies
Collaboration occurs with the MLCL and RS Selector, especially in the areas of dictionaries, translation studies, and discourse analysis.
Materials relating to logic (P 39) are the responsibility of the Philosophy Selector.
The Psychology Selector collects all material relating to psychology and psycho-linguistics (P 37 and Z 7004.P8).
Works that relate to sociology, non-verbal communication and sociolinguistics (P 40-40.5, P 99.5-99.6, and Z 7004.S65) are acquired by the Sociology Selector.

Types of Materials

Books, periodicals; reference materials, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, linguistic atlases, directories, indices and abstracts.
Collected Selectively
Electronic resources, proceedings, multimedia, and microforms.
Not Collected
Government documents, newspapers, textbooks, juvenile literature, scores, dissertations, films, video recordings, and theses.