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Linguistics and Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL): Language Descriptions



Updated regularly, Ethnologue has profiles for every language and country on earth and maps of where each language is spoken.


World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS)


A large database of structural (phonological, grammatical, lexical) properties of languages gathered from descriptive materials (such as reference grammars) by a team of 55 authors.


Language Descriptions in the Library Catalog


Try these Advanced Searches:


  • Any field contains "descriptive grammar" OR "reference grammar"  -  include the quotes in your search. On another line, select Subject contains and add the name of the language.
    • Screenshot of grammar search in library catalog

  • Subject is (exact) Japanese language--Grammar. Another example: Subject is (exact) Hindi language--Grammar.
    • If you're not getting many results, try removing grammar and searching only for Subject is (exact) Cherokee language, for example.
    • Screenshot of subject search for grammar for a specific languages


Other advanced searches to try:

Include the quotes and, under Material Type, select Books.

  • Title contains "Oxford handbooks in linguistics"
  • Title contains "Mouton Grammar Library"
  • Title contains "Routledge language family series"
  • Any field contains "Linguistic atlas"


Selected Books