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About Semantics and Pragmatics
Open Access
Current Editors
Section Policies
Peer Review Process
Publication Frequency


About Semantics and Pragmatics

Semantics & Pragmatics is published by the Linguistic Society of America (LSA). Semantics & Pragmatics is a fully open-access peer-reviewed journal publishing high quality, original, self-contained research articles on the semantics and pragmatics of natural languages. Originally founded as a co-journal of the LSA’s eLanguage publishing platform in 2008, Semantics & Pragmatics became one of only two full journals published by the LSA in 2013. The publication of Sematics and Pragmatics is part of the LSA's larger effort to broaden and expand its publishing operations to serve the entire linguistics community. 

While the core target audience of Semantics & Pragmatics is academic linguists, we also publish material by, or of relevance to, philosophers, psychologists, and computer scientists. Papers must include new results of interest to those working in semantics and pragmatics, and must demonstrate clear significance for theoretical development of those areas. Provided the work meets those criteria, we welcome both submissions of papers on core topics in semantics and pragmatics, and submissions of interdisciplinary papers involving work on syntax, phonology, psycho-linguistics, text and corpus studies, discourse and conversation analysis, computational semantics, the lexicon, historical linguistics, cross-linguistic typology, logic, and philosophy of language.

We have an ambitious goal: to publish as many as possible of the top 100 articles in semantics and pragmatics in a given year, and no other full articles.

Open Access

The Semantics and Pragmatics team is committed to full open-access publishing - free to publish, free to access. We believe that any publishing model other than full open-access compromises the free flow of scholarly information to at least some degree. Furthermore, we believe that the adoption of a fully open-access publishing model will lead to a huge reduction in the costs incurred by individual, institutional, and governmental stakeholders, e.g. University Libraries. Semantics and Pragmatics aims not only to be a top quality journal in its own right, but also to serve as an existence proof of the following precept: that a fully open-access publishing model would be both viable and desirable for linguistics as a whole.


Even full open-access publication is associated with costs. Although our costs are well below what would be normal for a typical for-profit scientific journal, external support is vital to develop and streamline our future operations, and to offset operational, production, and hosting costs. To maintain full open-access, the journal relies on financial and infrastructure support from the LSA, and currently receives further support from the University of Texas, and MIT. We also rely on the extraordinary and supererogatory voluntary effort of editors and reviewers.

Donations in support of the journal’s running and development costs may be made to the LSA's Publications Fund.

Current Editors:

David Beaver (Founding Editor)
Kai von Fintel (Founding Editor)

Associate Editors

Josh Dever
Paul Elbourne
Michael Franke
Anthony S. Gillies
Magdalena Kaufmann
Louise McNally
Kjell Johan Sæbø
Katrin Schulz
Kristen Syrett
Judith Tonhauser

Section Policies

The journal publishes two primary types of content; 1) main articles, and 2) squibs, remarks and replies. All manuscripts are submitted through the journal’s open submission process, and are peer-reviewed.

Peer Review Process

Our submission and rejection rates are comparable with the other top journals in our field. Our acceptance rate for 2012 submissions was 16%. In addition to commissioned articles, we received 66 papers for review.

S&P has a faster publication cycle than most competing journals, with an average time to first decision (up until 2012) of 41 days, 2—6 months faster than has been standard in Linguistics in recent years.

The editors act as a first stage filter on papers, normally within a week of receipt. If a paper is determined to be of potential relevance, it will be sent to at least two reviewers drawn from our Editorial Board. The Editorial Board is large, consisting of over 250 PhD-holding academics active in semantics, pragmatics, and related subfields. Editorial Board members are selected by the editors, and subject to advice from the Advisory Board.

We do not require that submitted papers be anonymous, since this is frequently an unattainable goal. However, the author of a paper has the right to remain anonymous to the reviewers throughout the review process. In that case, the author should take care to anonymize the paper, and should include in a clearly visible position on the front page the text ``Submitted to Semantics & Pragmatics for anonymous review." The reviewers are then considered under obligation not to attempt to discern the identity of the author.

Following initial review, the editors accept the paper subject to revision, or reject it. Our policy is to issue revision decisions only when we regard the revision required as minor, so that there will not necessarily be a further stage of external review. After acceptance, editorial assistants take charge of copy-editing and formatting.

Publication Frequency

We publish papers as soon as the production process is complete, nominally indexing each year as a separate volume, and each paper as a separate issue. In 2012, we published 8 articles for a total of 348 pages. For page numbering, we have adopted the scheme introduced by the ACM recently (Boisvert et al. 2007). The page numbering for each article starts at 1, and issue numbers are indicated together with standard page numbers. So, the 17th page of the 3rd article in the first volume will have the page number 3:17. A list of forthcoming articles is available here.


In early 2012 we studied citation rates for four front-line semantics journals (Linguistics & Philosophy, Natural Language Semantics, Journal of Semantics, Semantics & Pragmatics) since 2008, the year of our first published article. We focused on the cohort of articles published between 2008 and 2010, and on articles which received 10 citations or more according to Google Scholar. The four journals combined published 141 main research articles in that time frame. 54 of those (= 38%) received 10 or more citations. As a new journal, we published fewer articles than the other three journals (11 in fact: 1 in 2008, 3 in 2009, 7 in 2010), since were still ramping up the quantity of publications. But Semantics & Pragmatics had a slightly outsized share of the top impact articles: we had 5 articles in the Top 20, and an overall rate of 64% of our articles had already received 10 or more citations. We will perform repeat studies in the future.


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