Semantics and Pragmatics is now open for business and accepting submissions. Please go check out the site: As you’ll see, Kai and I have put together a small pilot issue, with an editorial summarizing some of our policies and goals, and a paper with instructions on our house style.  

We had to deal with quite a few technical and practical details over the last few months, including some unexpected glitches. But we’ve made it, at last. And we couldn’t have done so without extensive help from Chris Potts and Ken Shan (our Technical Editors), Leslie Hastings of Kodiak Web Design (who put together the website style sheets), Cornelius Puschmann (the eLanguage technical support guru) and Dieter Stein (head of the eLanguage initiative), plus further administrative assistance from UT graduate student Emilie Destruel. Thanks to all of them!  

So, now Kai and I sit back and wait to see what comes in through the door. To paraphrase Tim Curry, we are shivering with antici………..pation.

General update

With a lot of help, we are slowly putting together the smoothly functioning journal machine that will (we hope) be Semantics and Pragmatics.

Advisory Board: we may add one or two people, but as Kai blogged here, it’s in great shape. Several advisory board members have already been offering us some things to think about.

Editorial Board: these are the second most important people to the success of the journal (after the authors). And we already have a spectacular Editorial Board line up. So far 82 fabulous semanticists, pragmaticists, philosophers, psychologists and computer scientists have completed the sign up process, running the gamut from Abbot to Zimmerman. The breadth and strength of our Editorial Board will mean that we send each reviewer an article only infrequently, and that we can target articles to our own expert board members for review without seeking outside help.

Journal website: we have a professional designer, Leslie Hastings, doing some great work for us. She’s developing style sheets which turn the very functional Open Journal Systems web pages into something more distinctive and visually appealing. In the color scheme of Leslie’s current (top secret) incarnation of the web site, subtle hints of MIT and UT coloring buzz through a sharp white foam of content on a creamy beige background. I call this style “latte”. But who knows – it may be Mocha, Halloween or Juicy Fruit by the time you see it. The site should go live in a matter of weeks.

Journal style and latex class files: Chris Potts and Ken Shan of our Technical Board are close to a release of the new class files. We aim to beta release them within a couple of weeks to allow some user testing. While we’re still finalizing various font and spacing issues, we’re confident that S&P articles will look very professional, and be comfortably readable both on-screen and in print. More news on this to follow soon.

Journal policy: while Kai and I have discussed, and taken advice, on just about every aspect of the journal, many crucial details are still hanging over us, for example the exact wording of journal policy documents and copyright policy (which will resemble the Creative Commons license).

So the big question is: when will we be open for submissions? Everything’s going smoothly, but we’re not there yet. Could it be that we’ll accept our first paper before Thanksgiving? Watch this space!

Announcement: LSA Affiliation!

My first post to our editors’ blog, and Kai’s letting me start with a bang: I’m very happy to announce that Semantics and Pragmatics has now been officially accepted as an affiliated journal of the Linguistic Society of America as part of their eLanguage initiative.

Kai and I are really delighted about what we hope will be a mutually beneficial relationship with the LSA. They will be hosting the journal for us, and providing technical support, meaning that Kai and I can concentrate on getting top quality content into the journal. For the LSA this provides a way of actively supporting and disseminating leading-edge research specific to the fields of Semantics and Pragmatics, something that, because of its generalist nature, has not been possible in the journal Language. We hope that as a result the LSA will come to play a much more central role in our field than has been the case in recent years. (Why do I suggest that the LSA doesn’t currently play a central role in our field? More on that in a later blog.)

We were in discussion with the LSA for several weeks, and I’d like to publicly thank Dieter Stein (eLanguage editor in chief), Stephen Anderson (LSA president), and Gregory Ward (LSA Secretary-Treasurer, and our Pragmaticist mole in the LSA, but don’t let on that he’s on our side) for their enthusiasm and efforts on our behalf.

The LSA executive initially planned a restriction that eLanguage journal authors would have to be LSA members, as is the case for Language authors. But, and Kai and I think this is great, they’ve now decided to impose no such restriction. So Semantics and Pragmatics will truly be free: it will not only be free to read, but also free to write for. And, or course, we also plan to accept free advice from reviewers, advisory board members, and, well, anyone who wants to contact us.

How can you show your support for the LSA’s decision to accept our journal and make it truly free to anyone with an interest in our field? Suppose e.g. that you are a semanticist or pragmaticist who is not a member of the LSA but who wants to signal your support for an initiative which will impose no pressure at all on you to join the LSA. In that case, there’s no stronger way to communicate your opinion than by the ultra-Gricean move of joining the LSA. Please tell them we sent you!