For one to find out about the definitions of "generative grammar", "sandhi phenomenon", "agglutinative morphology", etc.

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    Yes even linguistics experts are unlikely to be expert in all fields so I'm sure there will be some terms that any of would have to look up sooner or later. Sep 14, 2011 at 9:32

3 Answers 3


The only one which I have really used in that past is the Lexicon of Linguistics. There is also the Glossary of linguistic terms, which does not seem to be as complete. A brief search also revealed this Linguistics Glossary, which has very few entries.

In print, there are potentially more options, such as A Dictionary of Linguistics & Phonetics, but I imagine that these can become outdated rather quickly (which is not to say that websites do not, in practice, but they are theoretically easier to maintain).

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    The Online Dictionary of Language Terminology is also somewhat useful. Sep 14, 2011 at 14:22
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    In print I swear by Trask's two dictionaries, "A Dictionary of Phonetics and Phonology" and "A Dictionary of Grammatical Terms in Linguistics".
    – kaleissin
    Sep 14, 2011 at 21:49
  • I'd second the mention of Trask's books. They are a bit dated now but even so his definitions are highly readable and back by wide familiarity with the field.
    – pat
    Sep 15, 2011 at 23:30
  • +1 to SIL's Glossary of Linguistic Terms
    – Arthaey
    Dec 8, 2011 at 7:08

I know we've already mentioned it a dozen times already - but I always find Wikipedia a good mix of basic definitions and indepth discussion. It usually doesn't seem to be too theoretically biased either.

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