About the Book

2nd edition now available

A much-expanded and revised edition of Essentials of Linguistics is now available. You can find it at http://essentialsoflinguistics.ca.



About Essentials of Linguistics

This Open Educational Resource (OER) brings together Open Access content from around the web and enhances it with dynamic video lectures about the core areas of theoretical linguistics (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics), supplemented with discussion of psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic findings. Essentials of Linguistics is suitable for any beginning learner of linguistics but is primarily aimed at the Canadian learner, focusing on Canadian English for learning phonetic transcription, and discussing the status of Indigenous languages in Canada. Drawing on best practices for instructional design, Essentials of Linguistics is suitable for blended classes, traditional lecture classes, and for self-directed learning. No prior knowledge of linguistics is required.

Essentials of Linguistics is revised regularly to add content and enhance existing content. If you’re interested in contributing material, please contact the author at canders@mcmaster.ca.

To the Student

Your instructor might assign some parts or all of this OER to support your learning, or you may choose to use it to teach yourself introductory linguistics. You might decide to read the textbook straight through and watch the videos in order, or you might select specific topics that are of particular interest to you. However you use the OER, we recommend that you begin with Chapter 1, which provides fundamentals for the rest of the topics. You will also find that if you complete the quizzes and attempt the exercises, you’ll achieve a better understanding of the material in each chapter.

To the Instructor

You may use Essentials of Linguistics as a stand-alone textbook or as a supplement to a traditional textbook. The OER is suitable for an in-person, blended or fully online course. Because this is an entirely open resource, its content is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution 4.0. International License; therefore,  you are free to redistribute, revise, remix, and retain any of the parts of the eTextbook.

If you adopt this eBook for your course, either as the required text or as an optional supplement,  please take 90 seconds to fill out the adoption form here:




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Essentials of Linguistics Copyright © 2018 by Catherine Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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