Encyclopedia of Linguistics

Style Guide

Format Requirements

All submissions to the Encyclopedia of Linguistics should consist of (1) the essay, (2) a bibliography of the works about the subject, and (3, for biographies) a capsule biography and a list of selected works. Please send both a double-spaced hard copy and the corresponding electronic file. Please make sure that the hard copy is the latest printout of the electronic file (i.e., hard copy and file match exactly). You may send these files either on a 3.5" disk or as email attachments. While we can accept a number of different types of files prepared on either PC or Macintosh computers, please indicate both the word-processing software used and the version (e.g., Microsoft Word 7.0, WordPerfect 8.0, etc.) as well as the system on which it was run (e.g., Macintosh System 7.5.2, Windows 95, etc.). We are unable to accept Claris Works files.

General Style Requirements

All punctuation should be in the same font as is the text that precedes it. For example, if a comma follows the title of a work, the comma should also be italic.

All punctuation should appear inside quotation marks (with the exception of the colon or semicolon). Double quotation marks should be used. For quotations within quotations, single quotation marks should be used.

Quotations of more than two or three lines in length should appear as block quotations; that is, set off from the text and indented, no quotation marks.

Please note that quotations from the works discussed or other sources should be paraphrased as much as possible; footnotes will not be incorporated in the text. When it is necessary to quote directly from a source, please list that work in the bibliography at the end of the entry and give the author's name, the title of the work, the year of the publication, and the page(s) on which the quoted material appears in parentheses at the end of the quote.

Spelling will be standardized to conform to American usage as found in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed. However, contributors who are more comfortable using British spelling are welcome to submit their essays according to British usage.

Singular possessives should always end in 's, even those ending in s or z. Plural possessives should always end in an apostrophe only.

Foreign words should be italicized if not found in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed.

Please be consistent in your use of special characters and diacritics. If your word-processing software does not allow the use of special characters, please indicate on the hard copy where these should appear.

Personal names should be capitalized and spelled according to Webster's Biographical Dictionary; place names should be capitalized and spelled according to Webster's Geographical Dictionary, 3rd edition. Please note that initials in place of first names are given without space between letters:

M.A.K. Halliday 
J.L. Austin

The general rule for foreign place names is that the English equivalent is used rather than the original; thus, "Wien" should be given as "Vienna," "Venezia" should be given as "Venice," etc.

Names of organizations should be given spelled out the first time, followed by the accepted abbreviation, without periods between letters, in parentheses:

Modern Language Association (MLA)
Linguistic Society of America (LSA)

For all other spelling matters, please consult the dictionary. If you consistently spell specific words or terms in ways that do not conform to the above guidelines or Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed., please inform us of them and provide a brief justification for their use in a cover letter accompanying your essays.

Titles of Works
Titles of books and journals are italicized and works should be followed (upon first mention) by the original publication date:

Chomsky's Syntactic Structures (1957)
Rizzi's article in Language (1990)

When non-English titles appear in the text, please supply the original publication date and either the published translation title (in italics) or a courtesy translation (in roman) immediately after the original title:

Karl Bühler's Sprachtheorie (1934; Theory of Language).
Ferdinand de Saussure's Mémoire sur le systéme primitif des voyelles dans les langues indo-européennes (1879; Report on the Primitive System of Vowels in Indo-European Languages)

Please spell out cardinal and ordinal numbers from 1 to 10; for all numbers over 10, both cardinal and ordinal, please use the numeral for all numbers up to 999,999. For numbers greater than one million, please use a numeral followed by the word million (e.g., "1.7 billion people," "2 million copies," "2.3 million catalogs").

Centuries should follow the rule for ordinal numbers given above: "tenth century," but "19th century." Decades should be indicated by numerals with the century indicated, such as "1890s," "1920s." Specific dates should appear in the order day month year with no intervening punctuation, such as "1 January 1998." Use bce   and ce, not bc and ad. Note that they are set in small caps without periods.  Both bce and ce follow the date (63 bce). Use of wording such as "the second centure ce" is acceptable. Do not use ah to signify "in the Hebrew year"; write it out (in the Hebrew year 2757").

Capsule Biography(to follow linguist entries):

The purpose of the capsule biography is to give the reader quick reference to concise information about the linguist's dates and career. In general, any information that is found in the Selected Works list should not be given in the capsule biography. Similarly, discussions of the influences, acquaintances, and so forth should be included in the essay rather than in the biography.

Biographies contain three main sections, separated by periods. These are birth information, education and career information (which may include additional sections, also separated by periods), and death information (or current place of residence for living linguists). Important honors received by the linguist should be listed in a fourth section that immediately precedes the death (or residence) information.

The basic format of the capsule biography is as follows:

Born in [US state/country],* [date (day month year—no commas)]. [Education (include fields studied, names of institutions, degrees, tutors)]. [Employment (include city and country information)]. [Important awards, memberships (e.g., member of the Linguistic Society of America, 1973)]. Died in [US state/country], [date (day month year—no commas)].

*Note that city and other place names should follow U.S. usage as found in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition.

(The following is an example for Swadesh, Morris):


Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, 22 January 1909. BA (1930), MA (1931) for dissertation on Nootka aspect, tutored by Edward Sapir, University of Chicago; followed Sapir to Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, Ph.D. for work on Nootka semantics, 1933, then work at Yale on synchronic phonological theory and on American English grammar, 1933-37. Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin--Madison, 1937-39. Moved to Mexico City, there Director, Consejo de Lenguas Indígenas, and Director of Linguistics, Departamento de Asuntos Indígenas, 1939; Professor, Instituto Politécnico Nacional de México, Escuela de Antropología, and Departamento de Asuntos Indigenas, 1939-41. Linguist for the War Department in New York City during World War II; Associate Professor, City University of New York, 1948; lost his teaching appointment and had his passport revoked because of “leftist” views and activities; researcher at the Boas Collection, Library of the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 1949-53; independent field work 1953-56. Moved again to Mexico City, there Research Professor, Instituto de Historia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and Professor, Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 1956-67. Member, Linguistic Society of America (LSA) in 1931, Life Member in 1937; member of two special interest groups of the LSA, 1939; President of the Linguistic Section of the 29th International Congress of Americanists, 1939; editor of Word, 1946-49. Died in Mexico City, 20 July 1967.

Selected Works(to follow capsule biography):

The purpose of the Selected Works lists is to give the reader quick access to the linguist's most important works, listed in chronological order. Please be sure to list all works mentioned in the essay portion of the article as well as any other important works. Include in each citation the title of the work (in italics for books or in double quotes for articles and essays), date of first publication, translations into English, and any key subsequent editions or updated versions of the work (2nd edition, revised edition, new edition, etc.). In rare cases, unpublished manuscripts and dissertations are appropriate for Selected Works; they are formatted as follows:

"The Aspect-Case Typology Correlation," unpub. ms., 1996
"A Theory of Category Projection and Its Applications," Ph.D. diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1986

The basic format for the works list is as follows:

[title], [date]; [as English Title, translated by Firstname Lastname, date]; [important subsequent editions]

Selected Works[Morris Swadesh]

The Expression of the Ending-Point Relation in English, French, and German, 1932

"The Phonemic Principle," Language 10 (1934)

"A Method for Phonetic Accuracy and Speed," American Anthropologist 39 (1937)

"Linguistics as an Instrument of Prehistory," Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 15 (1959)

The Origin and Diversification of Language, 1971

Further Reading (to follow all essays)

The Further Reading section should contain six to 12 print sources on the topics. Criteria for selecting titles for the Further Reading section are as follows: 1.) the most comprehensive work in any language; 2.) the best works in English, particularly those rich in bibliography; 3.) seminal works in any language; 4.) classic works; 5.) works mentioned in the article. The goal in all cases is to direct readers to the best recent scholarship. Titles in European and Asian languages may be cited; if an English-language translation exists, please cite as well. For non-Romance language titles without English translations, please provide a courtesy translation in parentheses following the title. 

One final note: the Further Reading section does not constitute part of an article's word count.

Titles in the bibliographies are listed alphabetically by author. Publication information for the first publication in both the United States and England should be included. The following samples serve to illustrate both the format and style for the bibliographies.

Format: Author last name, first name, Book Title, place of publication: publisher, date

Rice, Keren, A Grammar of Slave, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1989

Simultaneous U.S. and U.K. editions, single publisher
Ackema, Peter, Issues in Morphosyntax, Amsterdam and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Benjamins, 1999

Simultaneous U.S. and U.K. editions, separate publishers
Gatland, Kenneth, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Space Technology, London: Salamander Books, and New York: Harmony Books, 1989

Staggered U.S. and U.K. editions, separate publishers
Lumsden, Michael, Existential Sentences, London: Croom Helm, 1988; London and New York: Routledge, 1990

Staggered U.S. and U.K. editions, single publisher
. . . , London: Abrams, 1981; New York: Abrams, 1982

Article in a book edited by someone else
Yip, Moira, "Coronals, Consonant Clusters, and the Coda Condition," in The Special Status of Coronals: Internal and External Evidence, edited by Carole Paradis and Jean-François Prunet, San Diego, California: Academic Press, 1991

*Book, two author
Levin, Beth, and Malka Rappaport Hovav, Unaccusativity, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1995

Dorian, Nancy C., editor, Investigating Obsolescence, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989

Paradis, Carole, and Jean-François Prunet, editors, The Special Status of Coronals: Internal and External Evidence, San Diego, California: Academic Press, 1991

First publication outside U.S. or U.K.
Creighton, Ralph, A Social History of Canada, Markham, Ontario: Viking, 1988; London and New York: Penguin, 1989

Haegeman, Liliane, Introduction to Government and Binding Theory, Oxford and Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell, 1991; 2nd edition, 1994

Schnapp, Alain, La conquête du passé, Paris: Carré, 1993; as The Discovery of the Past, translated by Ian Kinnes and Gillian Varndell, London: British Museum Press, 1996; New York: Abrams, 1997

*Books with different titles (list original title first; it's not uncommon for a book published in one country to have a different title in another country)
Sarles, Harvey B., After Metaphysics, Lisse, The Netherlands: Peter de Ridder Press, 1977; as Language and Human Nature, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985

*Article in a Journal

Swadesh, Morris, "The Phonemic Principle," Language 10 (1934)

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