Linguistics - History of the Collection 1950 - 2015
Universitätsbibliothek » Linguistics - History of the Collection 1950 - 2015

Linguistics - History of the Collection 1950 - 2015

Special Subject Collection 7.11 General Linguistics. Comparative Linguistics

For the period 1950 to 2015 the University Library hosted the Special Subject Collection "7.11 General Linguistics. Comparative Linguistics". The German Research Foundation (DFG) promoted the establishment of special subject collections (Sondersammelgebiete SSG) at German university and specialized libraries and funded the acquisition of international literature. In Germany, there had to be at least one copy of each foreign scientific publication and it had to be accessible via the interlibrary loan system or through a document delivery service.

In 1950/51, the DFG assigned the Special Subject Collection "7.1 General and comparative linguistics, literature studies and folklore" to then Stadt- und Universitätsbibliothek Frankfurt am Main, since those disciplines were deeply rooted in the library's tradition.

In 1970, this SSG was divided into three independent ones
  7.11 »General and comparative linguistics«
  7.12 »General and comparative literature studies«
  7.13 »General and comparative folklore studies«.

Then, in 1998, the SSG 7.13 was transferred to the University Library of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin where it was incorporated in the SSG "10 Folklore Studies and Social Anthropology". After 1976/77 the SSG 7.11 was officially named "General Linguistics. Comparative Linguistics". In 2015, the DFG discontinued the Special Subject Collections program that had been promoted since 1949.

Collection's profile

In accordance with the terms of the DFG, the SSG 7.1 or rather 7.11 had to collect solely publications on general linguistics in the narrow sense including the neighboring or related disciplines. The literature on linguistics of single languages was in the responsibility of the respective language or regional SSG.
The SSG Linguistics acquired as comprehensively as possible and regardless of the country of origin all publications written in European languages. In addition to the conventional publication forms, the SSG collected also difficult-to-acquire research papers and other publications of provisional or documentary character such as preprints, work-in-progress-reports, conference contributions, etc.

The profile of the collection included:

  • Applied linguistics
  • Artificial intelligence*
  • Bilingualism
  • Child language
  • Cognitive linguistics*
  • Colloquial language
  • Computer linguistics*
  • Dialectology
  • History of language
  • Phraseology
  • Language acquisition
  • Language change
  • Language norm
  • Language pathology
  • Language planning
  • Language teaching*
  • Lexikology
  • Linguistic logic
  • Mathematical linguistics
  • Morphology
  • Neurolinguistics
  • Onomastics
  • Philosophy of language
  • Phonetics
  • Phonology
  • Pragmalinguistics
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Rhetoric
  • Semantics
  • Semiotic
  • Sign language
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Syntax
  • Textlinguistics
  • Theory of grammar
  • Theory of language
  • Theory of translation
* selection

The SSG also covered:

  • Indo-European studies
  • Indo-European languages that were not part of other SSGs
  • Romani languages
  • Publications dealing with linguistic phenomena from more than two languages, i.e. publications that otherwise would require the involvement of more than two SSG-hosting libraries, e.g. "Syntactic change in English, French, and Spanish" (instead of the three SSGs "English language and literature", "French language and literature" and "Spain, Portugal")

The collection did not cover publications on:

  • Language teaching with focus on didactical aspects (SSG "Education Research")
  • Cognitive science and language psychology with focus on the psychological and not on the linguistic aspects (SSG "Psychology")
  • Philosophy of language with predominantly philosophical topics (SSG "Philosophy")
  • Communication research as part of the media studies (SSG "Media and Communication Sciences")
  • Publications on a single language or on two single languages were acquired either by the respective discipline-related SSG (e.g., "German language and literature", "English language and literature") or by the respective region-related SSG (e.g., "Sub-Saharan Africa", "Benelux")


  • Profile of the Collection
  • History of the Collection 1950 - 2015

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Heike Renner-Westermann
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