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Languages, Literatures & Cultures

A guide to library resources to those studying languages and cultures

Reference Sources

The following resources all can be found in Milner Library.  Most are located in the Reference Collection on the main floor, though some are available online and others are found on the sixth floor.  All locations and call numbers are noted.

Literary Terms and Concepts

A Dictionary of Literary Symbols. Michael Ferber. Cambridge, U.K.; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. REF. PN56.S9 F47 2007.

"Two hundred main entries explain and illustrate common literary symbols (swan, rose, goose, moon, gold), supplying cross-references and quotations. Concentrates on English literature, but entries range from the Bible and classical authors to the 20th century, taking in American and European literatures." (from the introduction) Bibliography appended.

Encyclopedia of Rhetoric. Thomas O. Sloane, ed. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. REF, PN 172.E52 2001.

"This one-volume work covers...the elements, structure, principles and techniques of rhetoric in literature, communication, and more specifically, public speaking. Major figures and rhetoric in non-Western cultures are

A Glossary of Literary Terms. Abrahms, M.H. 7th ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 2009. REF. PN41.A184 2009.

"For clarity, concision and elegance Abrams has few peers and no superiors; plain spoken but not simplistic, his essays on critical methods are the best short treatments in the business." (Choice)

covered as well." (Publisher)

Handbook to Literature. William Harmon and Hugh Holman. 9th ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2003. REF. PN41.H355 2000.

". . . this handbook provides an alphabetical listing of more than 2,000 important terms and facts in literature, linguistics, rhetoric, criticism, printing, bookselling, and information technology. Covers a wide range of terms, most centered in literature, but extending into other areas such as film, radio, TV, printing, linguistics and literary theory, music, graphic arts, classical studies, and computing and information science terms." (Publisher)

Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism. Groden, Michael, editor.; Kreiswirth, Martin, editor; Szeman, Imre, eds. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005--    .

Includes entries on individual critics and theorists, critical and theoretical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods. Each enty includes a selective primary and secondary bibliography.

Literary Research Guide: An Annotated Listing of Reference Sources in English Literary Studies. James L. Harner. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2008. REF. Z2011.H34 2008.

A valuable tool for the graduate student studying any aspect of English Literature--whether it be British literature, literatures of the United States, other literatures in English, or their related topics.


MLA International Bibliography

MLA International Bibliography offers the largest and most comprehensive database of journal articles, books and dissertations published in the modern languages, linguistics, literature, folklore, and drama (including film, opera, radio, television and theater). Literary criticism and theory are extensively included.

Biographical Sources

Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1978- . REF. PS128.D5.

A set of over 300 volumes, still being produced, designed to provide biographic, bibliographic and critical material on major writers of America and Great Britain as well as some writers of international fame. Each volume is arranged alphabetically by the writers covered. A list of references is provided at the end of each entry as well as an index at the end of each volume.


Contemporary AuthorsDetroit:  Gale, 1981-  .  REF.  Z1224.C622.

  Contemporary Authors offers continuous access to current biographical and bibliographical data on more than 120,000 modern authors. Easily search for an author by name, title of work, subject/genre, nationality, date and place of birth, honors, awards and much more.



The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language. 2nd ed. David Crystal. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. REF. P29.C64 1997.

This is a collection of concise and readable essays on the many subfields of linguistics, ranging from the invention of the alphabet to the Kurzweil Reading Machine and covering both theoretical and applied approaches to the subject. (Library Journal review of 1987 edition) Includes illustrations, charts, glossary, a table of the world's languages, and several indexes and bibliographical references.

Encyclopedic Dictionary of Applied Linguistics: A Handbook for Language Teaching. Keith Johnson and Helen Johnson, eds. Oxford, U.K.: Blackwell, 1998. REF. P129.E53 1998.

This volume provides a comprehensive reference guide to the key concepts, ideas, movements, and trends of applied linguistics for language teaching. With over 300 entries of varying length, the volume includes essential coverage of language, language learning, and language teaching. . . . The volume will be invaluable to students of applied linguistics, language teaching, TESOL, and related subject areas. (Publisher)

The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. R.E. Asher, editor in chief; J.M.Y. Simpson, coordinating editor. 10 vols. Oxford; New York: Pergammon press, 1994. REF. P29.E48 1994.

This ten-volume set serves as the primary linguistics encyclopedia for many scholars and students. "Articles range in length from a few sentences to a dozen double-columned pages and cover academic fields, linguistic topics, languages, countries, and individual scholars. Examples and illustrations are numerous, there are cross-references, and each article concludes with a short bibliography. A superb subject index is accompanied by a name index, glossary, list of the world's languages, and many other useful lists and appendixes." (Choice)

The International Encyclopedia of LinguisticsNew York:  Oxford University Press, 2003.  REF.  P29 .I58 1992

The Encyclopedia encompasses the full range of topics in linguistics, including such areas as historical, comparative, formal, mathematical, functional, philosophical, and sociolinguistics. Special attention is given to interrelations within these branches of the field and to relations of linguistics with other disciplines. This interdisciplinary focus makes the encyclopedia an invaluable resource not only for linguistics but also for scholars working in the fields of computer science, mathematics, philosophy, the social and behavioral sciences, and literary studies.



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Jean MacDonald
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