General policies and principles for the Library's collections are stated in the General Collection Development Policy.

The purpose of collection development in linguistics is to support UCSB Linguistics Department research and curricular programs. The department offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Doctorate program that covers all the core areas of linguistics. The collection also supports the research and study of faculty and students from other departments in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Academic Department/Program Description

Faculty and students in the department engage in research across sub-disciplinary, as well as disciplinary boundaries to achieve a deeper understanding on how all the elements of language work together for their users. This is well reflected in the department’s focus in establishing connections between linguistic structure, language use, and functional explanation

Some of the core areas studied at UCSB include discourse and grammar, typology, corpus linguistics, language and cognition, language documentation, prosody, language change, sociocultural linguistics, applied linguistics, and transcription. Faculty and graduate students also specialize in different language areas of the Americas, Austronesia, the Caucasus, East Asia, and the Himalayas, as well as varieties of English.



The primary areas collected include phonology, phonetics, morphology, syntax, semantics, anthropological linguistics, social linguistics, child acquisition, computational linguistics, language universals, linguistic theory, foreign language, and area studies.


Materials collected are primarily in English or English translations. Works written in other languages are acquired in consultation with the department.

Chronological limits

There are no chronological limits applicable for this collection.

Date of publication

Twentieth Century the present are collected primarily. However, materials published from an earlier period are collected selectively.

Geographical areas

This collection has no geographical limits.

Types of materials

Materials are collected with an emphasis on research monographs and academic journals. North American university press titles are received on approval, and other materials are selected individually. Subscriptions to journals are considered in consultation with faculty. Hard copy (paper) publications of monographs are emphasized with an occasional electronic book. To maximize limited resources, most journals will NOT be available in more than one format; in general, electronic versions are preferred, so long as they have reliable and perpetual access.


Materials are collected in all formats. Electronic is preferred for journals if print is not available. E-books are purchased if requested as well as for anthologies, edited volumes and reference materials.  Data files and other non-print formats (e.g. DVDs, CD, etc.)  are purchased in consultation with the Linguistics Department.

Reprints are generally not acquired unless augmented, revised, or containing some other new intellectual material. Textbooks are not actively selected.

Other Resources

UCSB collections that support the Linguistics Department benefit heavily from the library’s participation in serials and research databases that are licensed by UC’s California Digital Library and funded by the UC campuses

Related Collection Development Policies

Subject librarian: gerardo “gary” colmenar
Policy last updated: June 2015