This online textbook serves to provide an introduction to the science of linguistics, its major subfields, and its theoretical consequences.

Part of the Linguistics Collection

Contents Edit

"Freedom" (amagi), or "liberty", taken from a clay document written about 2300 B.C. in the Sumerian city-state of Lagash.

00.Introduction- How does language work?

linguistics, descriptivism, hidden knowledge, deep structure, experimental data

"IPA" in IPA

01.Phonetics- The sounds of speech

articulatory phonetics, acoustic phonetics, auditory phonetics, the International Phonetic Alphabet


02.Phonology- Internal Representations and Rules of Sounds

phonemes, allophony, morphophonology

Word structure tree of Dutch compounds

03.Morphology- How we make words

morphemes, affixes, other morphemes, inflectional morphology, derivational morphology, morphosyntax, non-morphemic theories

Parse of the sentence "John hit the ball".


Inclusive and exclusive "nous"

Ergative morphosyntactic alignment

07.Typology- The unity and diversity of language

phonological, morphological, morphosyntactic, syntactic

An example Old English typeface called "Blackletter".

An icon showing glyphs from different alphabets

09.Orthography- The use of written language

directionality, spelling systems, alphabets, abjads, abugidas, syllabaries, logographies, mixed scripts, unwritten language and new orthographies

Multilingual sign in Nador, Morocco

Linguistic hedge effect

11.Psycholinguistics- Language in the mind

understanding of language

Skull of Homo neanderthalensis

Tok Pisin Wikipedia logo

Sign language hands

Computer and stack



definition of terms

IPA Chart

IPA chart

See also Edit