Frequently Asked Questions

Language Q&As

Question: How can I subscribe to Language and/or become a member of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA)?

Answer: Information about LSA membership and subscriptions to Language is available at this link.

Question: I have not received the latest issue of Language. Could there be a problem with my subscription? Who should I contact?

Answer: If you have not received your issue of Language and think there may be a problem, contact the LSA office (see contact information here). Note that you must request a missing issue of Language within 30 days after mailing of the subsequent issue; issues are normally mailed around the 20th of the month of publication. If your request is made after this date, you will need to purchase the back issue (see question below).

Question: How can I purchase a particular (back) issue?

Answer: Back issues of Language (subject to availability) may be purchased in hard copy format through the LSA; for availability and pricing, please  contact the LSA office (see contact information here). For access to electronic copies of back issues and individual articles, please visit JSTOR.

Question: I am looking for a particular article published in Language, but our library does not carry it. Can the LSA or the Editorial Office send me a copy?

Answer: The LSA is unable to accommodate inquiries of this kind. You may obtain back issues or articles from other resources—another library, the author, or the online resources that offer back issues of Language (JSTOR and Project Muse).

Question: Does Language provide offprints to authors of articles published in Language?

Answer: Language does not provide free offprints to authors. Each author has the opportunity to order offprints at cost from the printer at the proofing stage. As LSA members, authors of articles in Language receive access to the journal in hard copy, online, or in both formats.

Question: What is the policy on reprinting from LSA publications?

Answer: Requests for permission to reprint from Language (1925-2012) are handled by the Copyright Clearance Center. Reprint permissions for articles published after 2012 should be directed to the individual authors of those articles, who retain the copyright.

About Submitting to Language

Question: I would like to submit a paper to Language. What exactly should I send, and how long should I expect the review process to take?

Answer: Please see the Notes to Contributors section.

Question: How long does the review process take?

Answer: Every attempt is made to expedite the editorial process at all stages. Over the past few years, the average time from submission until an editorial decision is taken (whether than be accept, revise-and-resubmit, or decline) has been approximately 4 months. Our goal is to render a decision within no more than 6 months of receipt of a new or revised submission. Although we usually achieve this goal, circumstances outside of our control sometimes result in longer review periods. If that is the case, we will try to keep you informed about the delays.

Question: Does Language consider papers for review whose (partial) findings or whose very short version has been published in conference proceedings?

Answer: As a general policy, Language will not consider for publication research that has been published elsewhere or that is currently under consideration for publication in a  different venue. Exceptions to this policy can be granted for papers that have been published in a working paper volume, or in a conference proceedings volume. If your manuscript has been published previously, contact the editor before submission to confirm whether your manuscript will be eligible for review. The final decision about whether a manuscript will be considered for review, rests with the editor. If some of the results from or parts of your paper have been published elsewhere, the paper you submit should build on those results and should develop the ideas and evidence along new lines or in greater depth.

About Language Content on the LSA Website

Question: The LSA website offers selected articles from Language immediately upon publication, while others are only available via Project MUSE. Why is that?

Answer: Beginning with Volume 89, Language transitioned from a restricted-access subscription model to a green open-access publishing model. As a general rule, articles published in Language, starting with Volume 89, will be available freely on an LSA website after a one-year embargo period. Authors who wish for their articles to appear immediately on the LSA website may pay an article processing charge. Authors may request a waiver of this charge for a specific purpose, subject to approval by the Editor of Language. As always, Language content is immediately available to LSA members online through Project Muse (more information is available here). Back issues of Language are also available online through JSTOR (from Volume 1 up to five years prior to the current issue).