Focus and Scope

Semantics and Pragmatics (S&P) is published by the Linguistic Society of America (LSA). It is a fully open-access peer-reviewed journal publishing high quality, original, self-contained research articles on the semantics and pragmatics of natural languages. In 2013, in its sixth year of publication, Semantics & Pragmatics became one of only two full journals of the LSA, alongside the society’s flagship journal, Language. There are no publication fees of any kind for publication in S&P: no article processing charges (APCs) nor article submission charges.

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.

Our pilot issue (Vol. 0, 2007) contained an inaugural editorial explaining the concepts behind the journal.

We do not require any particular format for initial submissions (except requiring that the submission be a pdf file). See the Submission Guidelines for more details.

Once your paper is accepted, it will be typeset in LaTeX in S&P's house style. While we do not require final submission in LaTeX format, we do strongly encourage authors to submit in LaTeX and furthermore to use our LaTeX package. We do provide typesetting services for authors of accepted articles that are not in LaTeX format. However, as explained here, Word submissions will take much longer to reach the publication stage.

To stay in touch with the journal, there is an RSS newsfeed that you can subscribe to with your favorite newsreader, S&P's Facebook page, S&P on Twitter, and our editors' blog. We would be grateful for any comments and feedback on the journal and this website. You can send us email or visit our editors' blog and leave a comment there.

Section Policies

S&P has open submission for papers both as Main articles, and as shorter Squibs, remarks and replies. See the supplementary author information for more details on these categories, including length limits.

Peer Review Process

Submissions to S&P undergo rigorous peer review. The annual acceptance rate is consistently under 15%.

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 consists primarily of PhD-holding academics active in the subfields of semantics and pragmatics, selected by the editors, and subject to advice from the Advisory Board. The Board is of sufficient size that we will not normally call on the same reviewer more than twice in a year. The review board is public, but we will not reveal the identity of the reviewer of a particular paper except at the direct request of the reviewer.

As of January 2021, Semantics and Pragmatics has a double-anonymous review policy for all contributed submissions: Authors should refrain from identifying themselves, and reviewers should not attempt to identify the author. We follow the policy and guidelines of the journal Language, which can be found here; see also our Guidelines for reviewers for supplementary information.

Following initial review, the editors accept, reject, or call for revision. In case there is a need for revision, the editor may opt to request extended commentary from one or both reviewers in order to clarify what revisions are needed, and will then forward a request for revision to the author. Following revision, the editor may decide to publish, although following major revisions a paper will normally be sent for at least one further review. After acceptance, editorial assistants take charge of proof-reading and formatting.

One of the most important goals of the journal is to keep time from submission to publication to a minimum. With the advantages of the open access format, and the strong commitment of our editorial board to this goal, we aim for a significantly faster time-to-publication than is currently common in linguistics. As a snapshot, in 2013 our average time to a first decision was 70 days. We aim to improve on that (industry-leading) metric even further.

Publication Frequency

The journal publishes one volume a year. There are no separate issues bundling a subset of the articles in a volume. Instead, each article, so to speak, constitutes its own issue: the articles are numbered sequentially in the order they get published. 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. The page numbers in the article indicate both the article number and the page number. So, the 17th page of the 3rd article in the first volume will have the page number 3:17.

Open Access Policy

Semantics and Pragmatics is a fully open access journal. All content is freely and immediately accessible to readers under a liberal CC-BY license. The journal is supported by the Linguistic Society of America, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Texas. Authors do not pay publication charges (APCs) nor submission charges. Authors retain full copyright and all rights of reuse. S&P allows text mining and other ways of accessing and using the content. It is fully compliant with the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) definition of open access.

Publication Ethics

Semantics & Pragmatics, as a journal of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), adheres to the LSA's Guidelines on Ethics for LSA Publications and Conferences.


Publisher perpetually authorizes participants in the LOCKSS system to archive and restore Semantics & Pragmatics through the LOCKSS System.


Semantics & Pragmatics is indexed in the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI).

Journal Sponsorship


Linguistic Society of America


Sources of Support

Semantics and Pragmatics is made possible through the generous financial and material contributions of our sponsors. We welcome charitable donations to the LSA in support of our mission.

We also thank our Advisory Board, our Editorial Board, our Technical Advisors, our Technical Staff, and our Editorial Staff.