The editorial team of Semantics & Pragmatics is pleased to announce that, as of January 1, 2021, the journal is moving from an optionally double-blind to a double-blind only reviewing policy, in line with other LSA journals. See our revised Peer Review Statement for details.
It started on October 27, 2005 with a short item on Kai’s blog about the then new open access journal Logical Methods in Computer Science. Kai wrote “Maybe this will inspire us to get something similar off the ground in semantics etc.”
Soon after, David Beaver sent an email saying “Do you mean it?” More than a year of discussions and loads of work ensued.
We made the first public announcement about S&P at SALT 17 at UConn in May 2007. We opened for submissions in November 2007.
We didn’t know whether this project would succeed but we were sure it was the right thing to try. We are now convinced that it was a success. The main empirical argument for this is that two very busy, established scholars at the top of our field have agreed to take the reigns.
Today on October 1, 2019, Louise McNally and Kjell Johan Sæbø officially take over as editors-in-chief of S&P.
We would like to thank everyone who has supported the journal: the entire S&P editorial team, past and present, the LSA as our publisher, the many reviewers who contribute their time and effort, and the authors who entrust their work to us. We can all be very proud of what we have achieved. The field is the better for it.
S&P Early Access
Visitors to S&P’s homepage will see our newest feature in action. Accepted papers for which we have a LaTeX source file will, with the authors’ permission, now immediately be published in an “early access” version. They will already be assigned their final DOI, so they can be linked and referred to as officially published. This way they can be listed on CVs with all their final citation details (with the sole exception of missing page numbers, since we won’t know how many pages the article has until the final typeset version).
This year’s volume of S&P already shapes up to be epic. We invite you to browse through the amazing collection of articles that our authors have entrusted to S&P.
S&P acquired by LSA
We are excited to share good news about the future of S&P. We have been working with the LSA on moving S&P out of its current incubating stage to the next level with fuller support. This morning, the LSA Executive Committee unanimously approved an agreement to that effect.
As of today, S&P is a full-fledged LSA journal, alongside Language but independent of it. The LSA will join MIT and the University of Texas in providing financial support to the journal. In return, S&P is to become a journal owned by the LSA and titled “Semantics and Pragmatics” with the subtitle “A Journal of the Linguistic Society of America”.
The day-to-day operations of the journal will not change. The current editorial team will stay in place. The policies and procedures, including the open access nature of the journal, will remain as they are. Big decisions will be made cooperatively by the LSA Executive Committee, the editors, and the S&P advisory committee.
Both the LSA and the S&P team are excited about this partnership. Open access is the future of scholarly communication and we intend to work together to make S&P the best journal in its field and a model for our discipline and others.
An S&P underground classic
Semantics & Pragmatics today published an underground classic, Craige Roberts’ famous paper “Information structure in discourse: Towards an integrated formal theory of pragmatics”, which had previously been published in a volume of OSU Working Papers in Linguistics, and then circulated in a slighly edited manuscript form, but was never officially published. With the help of Anders Schoubye, Chris Brown, and Justin Cope, the old manuscript was transformed into LaTeX and formatted for the S&P stylesheet. Craige wrote a new afterword and prepared an annotated bibliography, which is linked from the afterword. We’re proud to be able to make this classic paper and the supplementary material available in an official publication.
Reissuing underground classics is a worthwhile undertaking, we believe. Some famous examples are David Kaplan’s “Demonstratives” published in Themes from Kaplan, Kripke on presupposition published in Linguistic Inquiry, and in a sense also Grice’s William James Lectures. There was also volume 7 of the series “Syntax and Semantics” entitled “Notes from the linguistic underground” (edited by Jim McCawley in 1976), featuring famous papers such as Karttunen’s “Discourse referents” and gems like “Why you can’t do so into the sink” by Lakoff & Ross. So, we are continuing a respectable tradition.
Question for our audience: which other underground classics in semantics and pragmatics should S&P consider publishing? You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, comment on our Facebook page or our Google+ page, tweet (cc’ing @semprag), or leave a comment below.
Citation Impact 2008-2010
We were curious to see how S&P is doing as far as the impact of published articles on the field is concerned. Below we have compiled a list of all articles published in the four main semantics journals (Linguistics & Philosophy, Natural Language Semantics, Journal of Semantics, Semantics & Pragmatics) since 2008 (the year of S&P’s first published article) that have received 10 citations or more according to Google Scholar. There are not yet any articles published in 2011 on that list. So, let’s focus on the cohort of articles published between 2008 and 2010. The four journals combined published 141 main research articles in that time frame. 54 of those (= 38%) have received 10 or more citations. S&P published fewer articles than the other three journals (11 in fact: 1 in 2008, 3 in 2009, 7 in 2010), since we’re still ramping up the quantity of publications. But S&P already has an outsized share of the top impact articles: we have 5 articles in the Top 20, and an overall rate of 64% of our articles have already received 10 or more citations.
By all accounts then, S&P’s first three years were a resounding success quality-wise. Now, we’ll be working on increasing our quantitive share of the semantics market while not decreasing our quality share. You can help: submit your best work to S&P. You will receive top-notch and fast peer-reviewing and editorial feedback and fast time-to-print. Plus, your work will be openly accessible to anyone with access to an internet connection, rather than being locked behind prohibitive subscription barriers.
[There are other things to notice, such as the domination in the upper range of articles by NLS, distancing the two older journals JoS and, especially, L&P.]
- [54 citations] Kehler, Kertz, Rohde et al. – JoS 2008. Coherence and coreference revisited
- [53 citations] Hackl – NLS 2009. On the grammar and processing of proportional quantifiers: most versus more than half
- [48 citations] Chemla – NLS 2009. Presuppositions of quantified sentences: experimental data
- [42 citations] Schlenker – S&P 2009. Local contexts
- [37 citations] Rothstein – JoS 2010. Counting and the mass/count distinction
- [32 citations] Wilhelm – NLS 2008. Bare nouns and number in Dëne Sųłiné
- [31 citations] Barker, Shan – S&P 2008. Donkey anaphora is in-scope binding
- [28 citations] Geurts, Pouscoulous – S&P 2009. Embedded implicatures
- [28 citations] Breheny – JoS 2008. A new look at the semantics and pragmatics of numerically quantified noun phrases
- [27 citations] von Fintel, Gillies – NLS 2010. Must… stay… strong!
- [27 citations] Rullmann, Matthewson et al. – NLS 2008. Modals as distributive indefinites
- [27 citations] Magri – NLS 2009. A theory of individual-level predicates based on blind mandatory scalar implicatures
- [24 citations] Elbourne – L&P 2008. Demonstratives as individual concepts
- [22 citations] Chemla – S&P 2009. Universal implicatures and free choice effects: Experimental data
- [21 citations] Matushansky – L&P 2008. On the linguistic complexity of proper names
- [21 citations] Farkas, Bruce – JoS 2010. On reacting to assertions and polar questions
- [21 citations] Alonso-Ovalle, Menendez-Benito – NLS 2010. Modal indefinites
- [21 citations] Bale – L&P 2008. A universal scale of comparison
- [20 citations] Nouwen – S&P 2010. Two kinds of modified numerals
- [20 citations] Singh – L&P 2008. On the interpretation of disjunction: Asymmetric, incremental, and eager for inconsistency
- [19 citations] Kissine – NLS 2008. Why will is not a modal
- [18 citations] Gualmini, Hulsey, Hacquard et al. – NLS 2008. The Question–Answer Requirement for scope assignment
- [18 citations] Harris et al. – L&P 2009. Perspective-shifting with appositives and expressives
- [17 citations] Abusch – JoS 2010. Presupposition triggering from alternatives
- [17 citations] Ippolito – JoS 2008. On the meaning of only
- [17 citations] Hacquard – L&P 2009. On the interaction of aspect and modal auxiliaries
- [17 citations] Morzycki – NLS 2009. Degree modification of gradable nouns: size adjectives and adnominal degree morphemes
- [17 citations] Lascarides et al. – JoS 2009. Agreement, disputes and commitments in dialogue
- [16 citations] Bale et al. – JoS 2009. The interpretation of functional heads: Using comparatives to explore the mass/count distinction
- [16 citations] Gillies – S&P 2010. Iffiness
- [16 citations] Brasoveanu – L&P 2008. Donkey pluralities: plural information states versus non-atomic individuals
- [16 citations] Moltmann – L&P 2009. Degree structure as trope structure: a trope-based analysis of positive and comparative adjectives
- [15 citations] Villalta – L&P 2008. Mood and gradability: an investigation of the subjunctive mood in Spanish
- [15 citations] Syrett, Kennedy et al. – JoS 2010. Meaning and context in children’s understanding of gradable adjectives
- [15 citations] Lascarides et al. – JoS 2009. A formal semantic analysis of gesture
- [14 citations] Arregui – L&P 2009. On similarity in counterfactuals
- [14 citations] Chemla – JoS 2008. An epistemic step for anti-presuppositions
- [13 citations] Abbott – L&P 2008. Presuppositions and common ground
- [13 citations] Hacquard – NLS 2010. On the event relativity of modal auxiliaries
- [13 citations] Chaves – L&P 2008. Linearization-based word-part ellipsis
- [13 citations] Moltmann – NLS 2008. Intensional verbs and their intentional objects
- [12 citations] Koenig, Mauner, Bienvenue et al. – JoS 2008. What with? The anatomy of a (proto)-role
- [12 citations] Nicolas – L&P 2008. Mass nouns and plural logic
- [12 citations] Dekker – L&P 2008. A multi-dimensional treatment of quantification in extraordinary English
- [11 citations] Nouwen – NLS 2008. Upper-bounded no more: the exhaustive interpretation of non-strict comparison
- [11 citations] Sharvit – L&P 2008. The puzzle of free indirect discourse
- [11 citations] Gualmini et al. – JoS 2009. Solving learnability problems in the acquisition of semantics
- [11 citations] Brasoveanu – JoS 2010. Decomposing modal quantification
- [11 citations] Davis – JoS 2009. Decisions, dynamics and the Japanese particle yo
- [11 citations] Lin – NLS 2009. Chinese comparatives and their implicational parameters
- [10 citations] Martí – NLS 2008. The semantics of plural indefinite noun phrases in Spanish and Portuguese
- [10 citations] Beck – S&P 2010. Quantifiers in than-clauses
- [10 citations] Zweig – L&P 2009. Number-neutral bare plurals and the multiplicity implicature
- [10 citations] Francez – L&P 2009. Existentials, predication, and modification
[NB: data from February 5, 2012]
Total papers published by the four journals 2008–2010: 141
54 have received 10 citations or more (54/141 = 38%)
Share of the Top 54:
JoS: 15 papers (of 41 published 2008–2010) = 15/41 = 37%
L&P: 17 papers (of 55 published 2008–2010) = 17/55 = 31%
NLS: 15 papers (of 34 published 2008–2010) = 15/34 = 44%
S&P: 7 papers (of 11 published 2008–2010) = 7/11 = 64%
S&P backend offline for upgrade
We are upgrading our backend to a new version of the Open Journal Systems software that is running the journal’s operations. During this period, we have switched to a minimal static homepage, from which all published articles are still accessible. If you have any time-critical business with the journal, send us an email. We hope to be fully back by the end of the day.
S&P Year-End Stats
Time for a year-end statistical rundown on how S&P is faring.
In 2011, we published 5 main articles and 3 short articles for a total of 331 pages.
The submission rate has almost doubled since 2010. We are very lucky to now have 6 associated editors working hard alongside David and Kai. We received 43 new submissions in 2011, of which we published 5 (three of the articles published in 2011 were originally submitted in 2010) and accepted 6 more (those are in various stages of revision or typesetting). We declined 24 submissions (6 of those were declined without external review, usually within a day or so). For the 29 submissions that were sent out for review and have already been decided on, the average time to the decision was 48 days (our goal is 60 days, which we missed in only a few cases). 8 submissions are still under review.
Our acceptance rate for this year’s submissions was 11/35 = 31% (to be updated when the rest of the submissions have been decided on).
Our articles are each downloaded well over 1000 times per year. Our most downloaded article is Matthewson 2010, which has been downloaded more than 12,000 times so far. By now, some of our articles are building up a good citation rate on Google Scholar. As of 2011, S&P is also indexed in the influential MLA International Bibliography. We will continue to work on having S&P be indexed and ranked by all relevant providers.
2007: 4 submissions, all declined, avg decision: 37 days, acceptance rate: 0%
2008: 16 submissions, 5 published, avg decision: 59 days, acceptance rate: 31%
2009: 21 submissions, 6 published, avg decision: 59 days, acceptance rate: 29%
2010: 25 submissions, 3 published, 1 accepted, avg decision: 58 days, acceptance rate: 16% 
2011: 43 submissions, 5 published, 6 accepted, 8 under review, avg decision: 48 days, acceptance rate: 31% 
[NB: these stats do not include commentaries or other articles that were not subject to standard external peer review but were solicited by the editors and received expedited editorial review. S&P has published 6 invited commentaries and is about to publish its first “underground classic”.]
Downloads (not including invited commentaries)
as of 12/28/2011:
Matthewson 2010: 12,233 downloads of the pdf of the article
Schlenker 2009: 5,342
Geurts & Pouscoulous 2009: 5,119
Chemla 2009: 4,723
Beck 2010: 4,688
Barker & Shan 2008: 4,318
Nouwen 2010: 3,960
De Swart & Farkas 2010: 3,923
Gillies 2010: 2,513
McCready 2010: 2,604
Barker 2010: 1,827
Franke 2011: 1,779
Rothschild 2011: 1,253
Rothschild & Klinedinst 2011: 698
Abrusán 2011: 681
Khoo 2011: 539
Magri 2011: 287
McClure 2011: 87
Bary & Haug 2011: 63
Google Scholar citation counts
as of 12/29/2011 (links go to Scholar citations):
Schlenker 2009: 42
Barker & Shan 2008: 30
Geurts & Pouscoulous 2009: 28
Chemla 2009: 22
Nouwen 2010: 16
Gillies 2010: 15
Beck 2010: 10
Farkas & DeSwart 2010: 7
Schlenker’s local context work wins award
Congratulations to S&P author Philippe Schlenker, whose paper “Presuppositions and Local Contexts” was just declared one of last year’s ten best philosophy papers. The paper that won the award appeared in Mind, but it is kind of a reader’s digest version of a more technical article that originally appeared in S&P in 2009: “Local Contexts”. So, S&P also basks in the glory.
Crossref updates DOI display guidelines
CrossRef, the organization that administers the DOI system for linking to academic articles, has updated their display guidelines.
Before today, one was supposed to display DOIs as follows:
doi:10.3765/sp.4, which is not immediately recognizable as a linkable URL. Usually, one would then associate a link to http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/sp.4 with that display text to make it clickable (on a webpage or in a pdf).
Now, the display text itself is supposed to be the immediately recognizable URL http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/sp.4.
This will necessitate updating all kinds of stylesheets, such as the
sp.bst BibTeX style that we developed for S&P (and which implements almost the entire Unified Stylesheet for Linguistics Journals). Expect an update to
sp.bst soon. Going forward, all S&P articles will comply with the new guidelines. We will also update the S&P website to display all DOIs in the new format.