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LIN 230 (Cabrera)

A guide to finding sources on linguistics topics for LIN 230.

What are scholarly sources?

Scholarly sources are:

  • Written by experts in a particular field of study (most often by college professors with Ph.D.s)
  • Try to move the conversation around a topic forward in some way (vs summarizing something that is already known)
  • May present and analyze data that has been gathered (observation, survey, interviews, experiments, or other means)
  • But may also apply a theory or methodology to a particular topic or analyze primary sources
Two main types of scholarly sources
Books/book chapters Scholarly journal articles
  • Often cover broader topics
  • More likely to provide history/overview/background info
  • May pull together/synthesize research published in journal articles
  • Frequently a bit easier to read
  • Okay to use individual chapters, rather than the whole book!
  • Usually 10-25 pages long
  • Usually on very narrow, specific topics
  • Where new, groundbreaking research is published
  • Can use a lot of technical terminology and be hard to read


Library Search

I'm suggesting the Library Search tool (search box on the library home page), as the best starting point for most of your topics, for the following reasons.

  1. Library Search will bring back books.  Books can provide great background and history of topics that journal articles won't.  For instance, if I was looking for sources on the history of a writing system or systems, I would look for a book.
  2. Some of the topics (like attitudes toward sign languages and bilingualism) are studied within multiple disciplines.  Library search will automatically cross search many databases to bring back a wide variety of perspectives.

Databases for articles

Searching an individual database can help reduce the number of results you get and help to find journal articles on written from specific disciplinary perspectives.  The ones listed below are ones that are likely to include articles related to linguistics.

This is not a comprehensive list of our databases!  If none of these match up with your topics well, please email me your topic and I can advise on databases for other subject areas!

Article interlibrary loan through a database

Step 1:  First identify an article that we don't have full text

Step 2:  Once in ILLiad, check to see if the autofill worked correctly.


Step 3:  Then scroll down to submit the request.


Step 4:  When the article arrives, you will get an email.  Log back into ILLiad to download the PDF.

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