Guidelines for authors

On-line submission

Papers to be considered by the International Journal of American Linguistics should be submitted on-line through the Editorial Manager system. First-time users must register with the system to create an account. Authors may use the system to upload PDF, Word, RTF, or LaTeX files, as well as an accompanying media (audio or video) files. Authors may also upload an optional cover letter as a separate document. We strongly recommend the submission of articles and accompanying documents in PDF format to avoid loss of fonts or formatting problems. Authors encountering difficulties with the on-line system should contact the editors (

During the submission process, the author will be prompted to supply an abstract of 100-150 words and approximately five keywords defining the paper’s subject matter. These must be typed or pasted into the system rather than being uploaded as separate documents.

IJAL is able to publish sound files in the electronic version of the journal hosted on JSTOR. Authors are strongly encouraged, whenever possible, to submit sound files with their papers. If the article is accompanied by audio or video files, please ensure that these are referenced clearly by filename in the text of the article so that the editors and reviewers can refer to them as needed. Permanent links to media files will be implemented in the final stages of production of accepted papers.  Authors encountering difficulties submitting media files through the on-line Editorial Manager system should contact the editors (

Manuscripts submitted for review must not be concurrently in review with another journal. Please do not post copies of manuscripts under review to websites or on research-sharing sites such as or Researchgate.

Academic integrity

IJAL adheres to the highest standards of academic integrity regarding authorship, attribution, and intellectual property, and follows the procedures and guidelines for handling academic misconduct outlined by Committee on Publication Ethics. All papers submitted to IJAL through the Editorial Manager are vetted by automatic plagiarism detection software before being sent out for review.

Formatting instructions

Submissions for review may be formatted in any standard manuscript style appropriate to the discipline, as long as they are clearly laid out and conform to the specifications given below.  While there is no absolute limit on article length, any manuscript longer than 40 pages (including footnotes and references) is unlikely to be reviewed rapidly. Manuscripts of such length are rarely accepted without major revisions, as such length is almost never justified.

All manuscripts MUST meet the following technical specifications:

  1. Papers must be typed in a 12 pt Serif font, left-aligned (NOT justified), with 1.5 line-spacing used for running text (single-spacing should be used for examples, tables, and figures); page margins must be at a minimum 1.25 inches on all sides. First lines of paragraphs should be indented 0.25 inches; do not add an extra line between paragraphs.
  2. Manuscripts should be submitted with continuous line numbering throughout.
  3. Manuscripts are reviewed anonymously. Therefore, authors must not use their own names in such a way as to identify themselves. Authors should cite their own work in the third person, rather than the first person. Acknowledgments and personal communications should be omitted in the review version of the manuscript, and replaced with placeholders like “Acknowledgments” or “redacted”. References to the author’s own work in the References section may be left under the author’s own name.
  4. The paper must be accompanied by an abstract of no more than 150 words; this is uploaded separately in the Editorial Manager at time of submission. Do not include an abstract in the body of the paper.
  5. A table of contents for the manuscript must be included; this table need not include page numbers but should show, in outline format, the basic organization of the paper.
  6. Pages, examples, figures, and tables must be numbered consecutively to allow the editors and reviewers to refer to specific material in the paper while writing reviews.
  7. The paper must contain a complete list of sources cited, given at the end of the manuscript (rather than citations placed in footnotes); only references actually cited in the paper should be included in the list of references.
  8. The paper must contain a complete list of abbreviations used in examples and discussion; this is usually included in a footnote at the bottom of the first page or attached to the end of the paragraph preceding the first interlinearized data set.
  9. Analyzed examples must conform to the  IJAL style for the formatting of interlinearized linguistic examples, and all sources for linguistic data must be clearly indicated.

Papers that do not meet these specifications will be returned to the author for reformatting before being sent out for review. Authors are advised to check their papers against the Author checklist before submitting their work.

Once a manuscript has been accepted for publication, authors will be asked to prepare a version of their paper that conforms specifically to IJAL’s stylesheet for final submissions.

Line numbering

Manuscripts submitted for review must include continuous line numbering across all sections of text, including the bibliography. Most word processors can automatically apply line numbering with a single command (e.g. in MS Word go to ‘Format’ > ‘Document …’ > ‘Layout’ > ‘Line Numbering’). Line numbering applied in a word processor document will be included on conversion to PDF, but does not affect layout, margins, or pagination. Please feel free to contact the contact the editorial staff ( for assistance.

Figures and notes

Authors should use footnotes, not endnotes, for this stage of the submission; all figures and tables should appear in the manuscript in the location where they should appear in print. This is different from the final submissions stage, where endnote are used and figures/tables are submitted separately.

Presentation and citation of data

Authors should ensure that, on submission, they have presented their data in a uniform and standard way, following the general conventions of the field. Forms offered in text as linguistic data must be italicized; if they are words in a language other than the primary language in which the article is written (English or Spanish), they must be followed immediately by a gloss enclosed in ‘single quotes’: “The Spanish word ilusión ‘hope’ is cognate with the English word illusion.”

All examples of more than a few words or those that are drawn from languages other than English, Spanish, or other major European languages must be interlinearized and presented as a numbered dataset, following the IJAL style for the formatting of interlinearized linguistic examples. Please use a Unicode font for all non-Latin characters.

IJAL aims (inter alia) to be a reliable archive of data on American indigenous languages. Since those data may later be used for purposes unimagined by the author of the original manuscript, all linguistic forms must be cited in an orthography that records all significant phonetic contrasts. Although symbols may be used in any way deemed appropriate by the author, a footnote to the first cited form should explain any deviation from common Americanist or IPA usage, as well as the value of ambiguous letters such as c, j, q, x, or y.

Authors must cite the source of any linguistic data that are not the result of their own original fieldwork. Data from published sources must include a reference to a complete bibliographic entry in the list of references and a page number or other unique static locator. If data is drawn from the author’s fieldwork, this should be indicated in an early footnote, stating that all uncited data in the paper are taken from the author’s fieldnotes or recordings. If the author wishes to remove this note for the purposes of anonymizing the paper at the time of review, this can be indicated in the cover letter attached to the submission. Under no circumstances will the final version of a paper be published in which the provenance of the data used is unclear.

Articles should include the ISO639-3 three-letter code, if available, for the language(s) being discussed.

Provenance and acknowledgement of materials

IJAL is a journal whose primary focus is research based on original fieldwork or archival documentary materials, and the sources and provenance of data, as well as the methods used to collect it, figure in editorial decisions about the acceptance of manuscripts. Authors must provide this information—typically including the time period and locations in which fieldwork was conducted and sources of funding—either in the text of the article or in the “Acknowledgements” footonote at the beginning of the article. If an author feels that this information may reveal their identity to potential reviewers, it may be redacted from the anonymized manuscript but then must be provided in a separate cover letter to the editors at time of submission for review. Information about secondary sources and the methods used to gather data should, as a rule, be included in the first sections of the paper.

In the final version of the manuscript, it is recommended that authors thank by name individual native speakers who collaborated closely on the work presented in the paper (provided they have not requested anonymity). In some cases, co-authorship may be appropriate and authors are encouraged to consider this option. Similarly, for papers that are based entirely on secondary sources or material gathered by others, it may be appropriate in some circumstances to consider co-authorship with the originators of the material.

Submission of book reviews

Reviews should be e-mailed as attachments in .doc or .docx format to the Review Editor ( If there are special fonts in the review, a file in .pdf format should also be attached. 

Reviews may also be submitted (in duplicate) by mail to:

Willem J. de Reuse
Review Editor, IJAL
Department of Linguistics and Technical Communication
1155 Union Circle #305298
University of North Texas
Denton, Texas 76203-5017, USA

IJAL’s stylesheet for final submissions contains detailed instructions on the format for reviews. Reviewers should follow those guidelines in preparing their reviews for publication.

Open Access Policy

The University of Chicago Press hasdeveloped practices and policies around open and free access and author rights with the guidance of the editors and society sponsors of the journals it publishes.

“Gold” Open Access

International Journal of American Linguistics authors have the option to make their accepted paper freely available online immediately upon publication. The fee for Open Access is $2,000. Contact for more information.

UK authors should note that this option cannot be used to comply with RCUK regulations for gold OA, as the University of Chicago Press requires permission for commercial reuse. UCP does comply with the RCUK regulations for green OA.

“Green” Open Access

The University of Chicago Press supports Green Open Access for all articles, as defined by the RCUK Open Access Policy, under the Press’s Guidelines for Journal Authors’ Rights. Green Open Access conforms to the Canadian Tri-Council Open Access Policy on Publications.