Focus and Scope

Language, the flagship journal of the Linguistic Society of America, publishes research articles dealing with linguistic theory, language and public policy, and the teaching of linguistics. We also publish notes of interest to the academic and professional linguistic community, and reviews of recently published linguistic books.

Journal History

The Linguistic Society of America was established as an organization at a meeting in New York in 1924. The “proceedings” of that meeting and abstracts of the papers presented there were published in the first issue of Language, which began publication in 1925. Since that time Language has been among the most important and influential journals of linguistics, in general, and of structural and theoretical linguistics in particular. In 2013, the Executive Committee of the LSA made Language a “green” open-access journal, which means that after a one-year embargo, all Language content is made available for free to readers everywhere. In addition, individual articles are occasionally made available immediately upon publication, after payment of an article processing charge of $400 or under special circumstances by agreement with the Editor and the Secretary-Treasurer of the LSA. 

In the early 2000's, online only sections with a more specific thematic focus were added to Language. Two of those sections have since been developed into independent journals:  Since 2017, Historical Syntax has been published as a journal that is no longer formall affiliated with the LSA. In 2018, the online section Phonological Analysis became Phonological Data and Analysis, an independent LSA journal. Two additional online sections remain parts of LanguageTeaching Linguistics and Language and Public Policy.

In 2013, another fully-indexed open-access journal, Semantics and Pragmatics (S&P) was added to the LSA's publication program. With joint funding from the LSA and its Open Access Fund, and the universities of the Editors (MIT and University of Texas, Austin), this journal offers immediate open access for all of its content, at no charge to authors. Following the same open-access model, the LSA began publishing proceedings for the annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (through 2014), the Annual Conference on Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT), and the Annual Meetings on Phonology (AMP). In addition, in 2016 the LSA began using the same open-access model for the Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America (PLSA), which contains papers developed from presentations at the LSA's Annual Meeting.