Focus and Scope

The Journal of Historical Syntax (JHS) presents theoretically-informed papers dealing with any aspect of historical syntax, whether diachronic change or the synchronic description of historical language states. Papers that combine philological expertise with insights from linguistic theory are particularly welcome, though no particular theory or framework will be given precedence.

Alongside full-length articles, squibs of up to 3,000 words and book reviews will also be solicited.

Contributors should not feel restricted by the traditional limitations of print journals. The use of hyperlinks is encouraged and appendices submitted alongside the manuscript may include analysed data or corpus query files, with no limit on length within reason.

Peer Review Process

All contributions will be reviewed anonymously by at least two reviewers. Reviewers will be given eight weeks to review each paper, and this deadline will be strictly enforced so as not to negate the advantages in speed of publication that the online format provides. In cases where submissions relate to a specific language or language family, at least one of the reviewers will be a specialist in that area whenever possible; likewise, at least one of the reviewers will normally work within the same theoretical framework as the author, even in cases of submissions in minority frameworks. In addition to specific comments, reviewers will be asked to state whether they recommend that the paper should be a) accepted with minor changes, b) accepted with major (specified) changes, c) revised and resubmitted, or d) rejected, and to give reasons for their decision. The Editor, where necessary in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Board, will then make the final decision, such that the author should hear back from the Editor not more than twelve weeks after submitting their paper.

We do not require that submitted papers be anonymous, since this is frequently an unattainable goal. However, the author of a paper has the right to remain anonymous to the reviewers throughout the review process. In that case, the author should take care to anonymize the paper, and should include in a clearly visible position on the front page the text "Submitted to Journal of Historical Syntax for anonymous review." The reviewers are then considered under obligation not to attempt to discern the identity of the author.

Publication Frequency

Following the scheme initiated by Semantics and Pragmatics, the journal will publish one volume a year. There will not be 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 (Boisvert et al. 2007). The page numbering for each article will start at 1. The page numbers in the article will 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

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. We do not charge APCs, and we aim to keep it that way. We will never charge for article submission.


The journal is archived via the PKP Preservation Network.

Journal History

JHS was founded in 2011 by George Walkden as part of eLanguage, with Ian Roberts as Editor-in-Chief. From 2013-2017 the journal was an online-only section of the LSA's flagship journal Language, with George joined by Caitlin Light as Associate Editor. From 2017 onwards, JHS is once more a fully independent journal. The editorial team consists of George Walkden (Konstanz), Lauren Fonteyn (Leiden) and Marieke Meelen (Cambridge).