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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  • As SPIL PLUS is a peer-reviewed journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review,have been followed.
  • Any third-party-owned materials used have been identified with appropriate credit lines, and permission obtained from the copyright holder.
  • All authors have given permission to be listed on the submitted paper.
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • All DOIs for the references have been provided, when available.

Author Guidelines

The Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics Plus (SPiL Plus) style sheet is based on The Generic Style Rules for Linguistics (December 2014 version), developed under a CC-BY license by Martin Haspelmath, and the SU Department of General Linguistics’ in-house style guide. See here for the full style sheet (

Contributors are requested to submit their manuscripts as Word documents (.doc or .docx) in the following format:

  • Paper size: A4.
  • Top and bottom margins: 3 cm.
  • Left-hand side and right-hand side margins: 2.5 cm.
  • Line spacing: single (no additional space before or after paragraphs or headings).
  • Font: Times New Roman.
  • Font size: 12.
  • The manuscript must be accompanied by an abstract (max. 300 words) and up to six appropriate keywords. If the article is in a language other than English, an English translation of the abstract must accompany the manuscript (for certain special issues an extended English abstract of 1500 words may be required).
  • No authors' names or affiliations should appear on the manuscript itself.
  • Sections of text must have numbered headings (starting with the Introduction which must be numbered 1).
  • One line must be left blank between the heading and the text.
  • One line must be left open between all paragraphs, and between headings and the preceding and following paragraphs.
  • Paragraphs must be justified, with no indentation of the first line.
  • Notes must take the form of footnotes (not endnotes).
  • An alphabetical, unnumbered list of sources, under the heading References, must follow the concluding section of the article.
  • References in the reference list must have the following format:
Chomsky, N. 1995. The minimalist program. Cambridge and London: MIT Press.
Poplack, A., S. Wheeler and A. Westwood. 1989. Distinguishing language contact phenomena: Evidence from Finnish-English bilingualism. In K. Hyltenstam and L.K. Obler (eds.) Bilingualism across the lifespan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
White, L. 1991. Adverb placement in second language acquisition: Some effects of positive and negative evidence in the classroom. Second Language Research 7(1): 133-161.
  • References in the text must have the following format:
Kageyama and Willows (1989:74) claim that words have special morphological properties that distinguish them from syntactic phrases and sentences.
Words have special morphological properties that distinguish them from syntactic phrases and sentences (Kageyama and Willows 1989:74).
  • For guidelines/suggestions regarding the conventions for interlinear morpheme-by-morpheme glosses, please see the Leipzig Glossing Rules.

Akkers ("Acorns")

Akkers ("Acorns") are brief, self-contained and explicit notes which call attention to a theoretically unexpected observation about language without the need for a developed analysis or solution. They are none-the-less subject to peer review.

Such short notes are also known as "squibs", a term coined by Prof Háj Ross, one of the first editors of Linguistic Inquiry, who defines them as follows:

            Squibs are short notes about kinky facts of language. They may occasionally be welcome, in that they provide evidence for someone’s pet theory. Most frequently, however, they are rambunctious, insolent, nose-thumbing bazookas, taunting theoreticians of every stripe, daring them to stretch their minds enough to wrap around the damned facts the squibs call to our attention. In Athenian Greece, poets were not allowed to be citizens – they were too unpredictable, irreverent. Squibs are the poets sneering outside the walls of Theoretopolis, mocking us. But with luck, squibs become seeds. (

Manuscripts accepted as Akkers will not be required to propose a solution to problems they address as long as their relevance to theoretical issues is made clear. 

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