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Linguistics

My interests in linguistics are primarily used for natural language processing work. On this page I just want to touch some references about general linguistic topics I find cool.

General thoughts on linguistics

There are many good general books on linguistics for both lay people and linguists out there. The Unfolding of Language is a very compelling book about language evolution in general.

The Horse, The Wheel And Language by David Anthony is a wonderful book to understand how Indo-European languages might have originated.

Terrence Deacon's The Symbolic Species is an old but still intellectually stimulating book on the very origins of human language within the realms of humans' evolution.

Stanislas Dehaene's book The Number Sense: How the Mind Creates Mathematics is more on mathematics and the brain but it touches language for number processing.

If you really want to get a glimpse into language and brain processing, you can go to Eric Kandel's Principles of Neural Science and read the chapters on language and learning - but that book is a general introduction and probably contains more than what most non-neurologists would like to know about the brain.

I am an absolute layman when it comes to psycholinguistics but I follow the research produced by such organisations as the Dutch MPI. Check them out if you are also interested in brain and language research.

Language learning

Linguistics and learning languages are different although definitely related kettles of fish. Learning and keeping afresh more than one language is time-consuming, so one definitely needs to develop good strategies to optimize one's resources. Below you can see some of the ideas and language resources I have found useful.

Genre Title Description
General suggestions Lomb's How I learn languages This is one of Kathó Lomb's book about how to master several languages
Estonian Teach Yourself Complete Estonian (ISBN 978-1-444-10602-2) I have not seen much for Estonian in English but this presents a good introduction and has two CDs
Estonian Estonian Textbook - Grammar, Exercises, Conversation (ISBN 978-0-933070-54-7) I bought this book by Juhan Tuldava after I bought the Teach Yourself series and I prefer this. It has more grammar, I like its vocabulary choice. It is older as it was published in 1994 and it does not contain any recordings but it still gives a lot of information I have not found in the other books
Estonian Eesti vene (ISBN 978-9949-17-303-7) This is a phrasebook for Estonians who want to come around in Russian. But if you speak Russian, you can also use it to get the Estonian words. It is a bit outdated.
Estonian Lehrbuch der estnischen Sprache (ISBN 978-3-87548-544-8) This is for German speakers wanting to learn Estonian. It aims at A2 level and it contains a CD with mp3. It is almost 10 years old already.
Estonian Wörterbuch Estnisch Deutsch (ISBN 978-3-9341-10636-9) This is the largest Estonian to German dictionary in the market right now. It was published in 2019. It is aimed at German speakers.
Estonian Hispaania-Eesti Eesti-Hispaania. Tea taskusõnastik (ISBN 978-9985-71-308-2) A Spanish-Estonian-Spanish pocket dictionary. It is primarly for Estonians. There are really very few Spanish speakers wanting to learn Estonian.
Estonian Algunos apuntes muy personales sobre lo que vaya descubriendo del idioma estonio. Estas son algunas cosas que iré colocando sobre lo que vaya descubriendo del idioma estonio.
German Radio Wissen Public online radio about cultural and scientific things
Norwegian Norwegian-English Dictionary: A Pronouncing and Translating Dictionary of Modern Norwegian (Bokmal and Nynorsk) (ISBN 978-0299038748) Probably the best Norwegian-English dictionary, somewhat outdated
Norwegian Norwegian Practical Dictionary (ISBN 978-0781811064) There are few decent English-Norwegian dictionaries out there. This one is from and into English. It is fairly decent and has quite some information on collocations.
Norwegian Norwegisch ohne Mühe Assimil (ISBN 978-3896250100) I think Assimil has better and worse books. I liked this one because it contains a large amount of expressions and it assumes some general familiarity with many terms and grammar principles as it is for German speakers. Its humour is not my cup of tea but that is the same with the rest of Assimil books.
Norwegian NRK The public Norwegian TV and radio.
Polish Słownik tempatyczny Hispański (ISBN 978-83-7429-527-7) A Spanish thematic dictionary for Polish speakers, it is also good for me as a native Spanish speaker who wants to learn some Polish. You won't find here morpho-syntactic information for Polish but there is a lot of vocabulary nicely organized.
Polish Nowy Świat This is an independent radio station, its employees came mostly from Trójka.
Russian Dictionary of Advanced Russian Usage: A Guide to Idiom, Colloquialisms, Slang and More (ISBN 978-0884003502) Lots of concrete translation examples for expressions you do not find even in the Oxford Russian dictionary.
Russian Oxford Russian Dictionary (ISBN 978-0198614203) There are very few decent Russian dictionaries out there and this is the best I have been able to come up with for the English-Russian pair.
Russian Russian for all Occasions (ISBN 978-1138960725) A Russian English collocation dictionary! Finally we get one for Russian.
Russian Communiquez en russe (ISBN 978-2266037051) This remarkable little book for French speakers has a lot of useful Russian expressions. Unfortunately, the book is out of print.
Russian Novaja Gazeta This is a fairly known Russian newspaper, good when comprehension levels are already high.
Russian Meduza Russian news, independent and because of that in exile in Latvia.
Russian A Comprehensive Russian Grammar (ISBN 978-4051-3639-6) One of the best Russian grammars I have seen for English speakers.


My own little list of some Russian verbs with Spanish translations (good for someone with B2 level).

Some language games

Calculating your English vocabulary
Om jouw woordenschat Nederlands in te schatten
Cliquez ici si vous voulez savoir combien de langues vous pouvez reconnaître


Andrés Domínguez Burgos, 2021 ©