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Linguistics: Navigating the Internet

A research guide to finding books, articles, and other resources in Linguistics

Evaluating Websites

Criteria for evaluating websites include:

  • Accuracy
  • Authority
  • Coverage
  • Currency
  • Objectivity

Remember to examine websites carefully before using them for research purposes.  If you still aren't sure, ask a librarian or your professor for assistance.

Using Virtual Libraries

Virtual libraries . . .

♦  Provide directories of carefully selected Web resources.

♦  Include annotations (summaries) of the selected websites.

♦  Are usually maintained by librarians or other information specialists.

♦  Furnish the quality control that is lacking in web search engines.

Users can usually browse by subject or search.  For example, see:

Finding Dulcinea: Librarian of the Internet. (If the search feature does not work, try this link.)

See also the Library of Congress's Virtual Reference Shelf, which includes "selected online resources for research," and Alcove Nine: An Annotated List of Reference Websites.

Citing Your Sources

While writing research papers, you may need to:

  List your sources in bibliographies or works cited, and

♦  Provide either footnotes or endnotes.

Here is a link to the UMW Libraries' Guide to Citing Resources.

Navigation Menu

When looking for web resources related to any of the following topics, either click on these links or scroll down:

Directories and Guides

Languages of the World




Google Tricks

Directories and Guides

Annotated list of sites related to phonetics, historical linguistics, dialect studies, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and neurolinguistics.

The Linguist List
An annotated directory of linguistic and language resources.

Linguistics, Natural Language, and Computational Linguistics Meta-Index
"A guide to the best linguistic resources on the web."

Languages of the World

The Endangered Language Project
This resource, sponsored by the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity, provides resources on endangered languages and functions as a "forum for advice and best practices for those working to strengthen linguistic diversity."

Ethnologue: Languages of the World (UMW subscription)
Provides information on the 7,100 languages spoken around the world. Browse or search by language name, language family, or country. Provides features not available in the free version of Ethnologue (below).
An encyclopedic reference work that catalogs the 7,100 known languages in the world.

Language Documentation and Conservation
Maintained by the Department of Linguistics at the University of Hawaii, which has "long been a leader in the work to document, preserve, and revitalize endangered languages around the world."   Proves links to the department's projects and various initiatives, including the Endangered Language Catalog, "the most definitive, authoritative, and up-to-date resource on the endangered languages of the world."
The Projects have "one thing in common: studying dialects of English as it is spoken in the United States."
Provides an "overview of the current development of North American dialects in urbanized areas, and to provide the basis for more detailed studies of particular areas."


The various tools included in the CHILDES are used to study conversational interactions. "These tools include a database of transcripts, programs for computer analysis of transcripts, methods for linguistic coding,and systems for linking transcripts to digitized audio and video."

WordNet: A Lexical Database for English
The design of this lexical reference system is "inspired by current psycholinguistic theories of human lexical memory. English nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are organized into synonym sets, each representing one underlying lexical concept."


Provides links to numerous relevant sources (organizations, journals, scholars, publishers, and labs) involved with the study of human nonverbal behavior.


Designed to promote and improve the teaching and learning of languages and to provide information on language and culture.
Promotes the "scientific study of phonetics and the various practical applications of that science."

Google Tricks

  • Use quotation marks for exact words or phrases.
    • For example, “global warming” (to search global warming as a phrase rather than two separate words).
  • Use an asterisk as a wildcard or a placeholder. 
    • For example, universit* (for university or universities); “a * saved is a * earned”
  • Use OR to search for one word or the other.  Useful for synonyms. 
    • For example, attorneys OR lawyers
  • Use site: to search within a site or domain (no space after colon).
    • For example, “global warming”; climatology
  • Use a dash to exclude a word or phrase from a search. 
    •  For example, cougar speed –car; “global warming” –
  • Use allintitle: to show results with word(s) in the title (no space after colon).
    • For example, allintitle:“global warming”
      • You can also use allinurl to find websites with words in the URL.
  • Use related: to search for sites similar to ones you know (no space after colon).
    • For example,
  • Use link: to find sites linked to a particular web page (no space after colon).
    • For example,;
  •  Use filetype: to restrict results to certain file type (no space after colon).
    • For example, climatology filetype:pdf
  • Use two periods without spaces to search for a number range, such as dates, prices, and measurements.
    • For example, “test scores” 2013..2014; microwaves $100..$300