The International Encyclopedia of Linguistics, 2nd Edition encompasses the full range of the contemporary field of linguistics, including historical, comparative, formal, mathematical, functional, and philosophical linguistics with special attention given to interrelations within branches of linguistics and to relations of linguistics with other disciplines. Areas of intersection with the social and behavioral sciences--ethnolinguistics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and behavioral linguistics--receive major coverage, along with interdisciplinary work in language and literature, mathematical linguistics, computational linguistics, and applied linguistics.
Longer entries in the International Encyclopedia of Linguistics, ranging up to four thousand words, survey the major fields of study--for example, anthropological linguistics, history of linguistics, semantics, and phonetics. Shorter entries treat specific topics within these fields, such as code switching, sound symbolism, and syntactic features. Other short entries define and discuss technical terms used within the various subfields or provide sketches of the careers of important scholars in the history of linguistics, such as Leonard Bloomfield, Roman Jakobson, and Edward Sapir.
A major portion of the work is its extensive coverage of languages and language families. From those as familiar as English, Japanese, and the Romance languages to Hittite, Yoruba, and Nahuatl, all corners of the world receive treatment. Languages that are the subject of independent entries are analyzed in terms of their phonology, grammatical features, syntax, and writing systems. Lists attached to each article on a language group or family enumerate all languages, extinct or still spoken, within that group and provide detailed information on the number of known speakers, geographical range, and degree of intelligibility with other languages in the group. In this way, virtually every known language receives coverage.
For ease of reference and to aid research, the articles are alphabetically arranged, each signed by the contributor, supported by up-to-date bibliographies, line drawings, maps, tables, and diagrams, and readily accessible via a system of cross-references and a detailed index and synoptic outline. Authoritative, comprehensive, and innovative, the 2nd edition of the International Encyclopedia of Linguistics will be an indispensable addition to personal, public, academic, and research libraries and will introduce a new generation of readers to the complexities and concerns of this field of study.