This post was republished and archived on June 28, 2017.

Historical Syntax (HS) is a new peer-reviewed open access online section of the Linguistic Society of America's flagship journal, Language.

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  • Here are the papers published so far:


    HS aims to present theoretically-informed papers dealing with any aspect of historical syntax, whether diachronic change or the synchronic description of historical language states. This subfield of linguistics has never in the past had its own dedicated venue for publication, but the flourishing of work in the area since the 1970s, bringing with it advances in the understanding of typical pathways of change as well as in the understanding of the relationship between syntactic theory and diachrony and in the tools of the discipline (large annotated corpora), means that such a venue is long overdue.

    The open access, online-only format of the section makes it ideal for hosting articles that go beyond the limitations of print. For instance, in historical syntax, corpus queries and collections of data can be linked to from within the article, making high quality quantitative work replicable in a way that is impossible in traditional print journals, with no limit on length within reason.

    Editorial Information


    • Caitlin Light, University of York (Associate Editor)
    • George Walkden, University of Manchester (Associate Editor)
    • Greg Carlson, University of Rochester (Editor of Language)

    Advisory Board

    • Edith Aldridge, University of Washington
    • Kate Burridge, Monash University
    • Lyle Campbell, University of Hawai'i
    • Sonia Cyrino, University of Campinas
    • Eric Haeberli, University of Geneva
    • Björn Hansen, University of Regensburg
    • Ritsuko Kikusawa, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan
    • Katalin É Kiss, RIL, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
    • Adam Ledgeway, University of Cambridge
    • Christopher Lucas, SOAS, University of London
    • Victor Manfredi, Boston University
    • Cecilia Poletto, University of Frankfurt
    • Ann Taylor, University of York
    • Joel Wallenberg, Newcastle University
    • Richard Waltereit, Newcastle University
    • David Willis, University of Cambridge

    Submission Information

    The section is now accepting submissions! Papers that combine philological expertise with insights from linguistic theory are particularly welcome, though no particular theory or framework will be given precedence. Read the official call for papers.

    To submit a manuscript, please visit our online submissions portal and follow the guidelines there, making sure you submit to the Historical Syntax online-only section. The editorial process for Language will be followed, with double-blind review of manuscripts by expert reviewers. The associate editors welcome inquiries about possible article topics.

    In cases where submissions relate to a specific language or language family, at least one of the reviewers will be a specialist in that area whenever possible; likewise, at least one of the reviewers will normally work within the same theoretical framework as the author, even in cases of submissions in minority frameworks.

    Online Publishing Details

    HS is an online publication, and articles in this section will be disseminated as soon as they are ready and made available to anyone with access to Project MUSE. The articles will then be listed in the subsequent issue of Language and will be paginated in that context. After one year, everything published in Language will be made available on the LSA website to anyone, including non-members, thereby meeting "green" Open Access standards. There are also options for arranging for immediate open access. Read more about the new online sections of Language and other developments in LSA publications.

    Back Issues

    HS is the new incarnation of the Journal of Historical Syntax (JHS, 2011-2013; ISSN: 2163-6001), an eLanguage co-journal in which several articles and reviews were published. These back issues can be accessed in the eLanguage Archive.

    • Vol. 1, Issue 1 (2012): The role of gender in the rise of numerals as a separate category (Katarzyna Miechowicz-Mathiasen, Dominika Dziubaɫa-Szrejbrowska)
    • Vol. 1, Issue 2 (2012): Review of van Kemenade & de Haas (2012), Historical Linguistics 2009 (Moreno Mitrović)
    • Vol. 2, Issue 1 (2013): Functional differentiation and grammatical competition in the English Jespersen Cycle (Phillip Wallage)
    • Vol. 2, Issue 2 (2013): Review of Hendery (2012), Relative Clauses in Time and Space: A Case Study in the Methods of Diachronic Typology (Na'ama Pat-El)
    • Vol. 2, Issue 3 (2013): Review of Patten (2012), The English It-cleft: A constructional approach and a diachronic investigation (Matthew Reeve)
    • Vol. 2, Issue 4 (2013): Case transmission beyond control and the role of Person (Christina Sevdali)
    • Vol. 2, Issue 5 (2013): The history of the Greek NEG2: two parameter resets linked to a syntactic status shift (Katerina Chatzopoulou)

    These articles were made available Open Access under a CC-BY-NC license.