Cornell Library’s linguistic collection focuses on both theoretical and applied linguistics and spans all major subfields of linguistics: phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, historical and comparative linguistics, Indo-European philology, sociolinguistics, cognitive linguistics, and recently computational linguistics.
The collection serves primarily the Department of Linguistics, but is also of interest to the departments of Classics, English, Romance Studies, the Language Resource Center, the Institute for European Studies, and the Asian Studies programs.
The collection in most areas of theoretical linguistics is a research-level collection. Works that are primarily pedagogical are bought selectively. There is growing interest in applied linguistics as linked to various linguistic theories, and more is being published and bought in this area. Less is being acquired at this time in dialectology, artificial languages (such as Esperanto), and lexicography.
Materials in English, German, and French are collected near-comprehensively; materials in Spanish and Slavic languages are collected selectively. General linguistics, comparative studies and works about languages that do not fall within another bibliographer's language or subject boundaries: Basque, American Indian languages, Pacific languages not covered by the Asia collections, Finno-Ugric languages not covered by the Slavic collections and aboriginal languages of Australia, are also acquired selectively.
From ancient treatises on language to contemporary linguistic developments.
Material for the Language Laboratory and language textbooks are acquired separately under the rubric Second Language Studies. Linguistics specific to European languages and English is covered by the bibliographers who buy the literatures, and the linguistics of languages covered by the Area bibliographers is bought by them. Works on computational linguistics and artificial intelligence are bought both by Olin/Uris and Engineering. Material on language as related to child development and first-language acquisition is bought both by Olin/Uris and Mann.