Article Types

Research Articles

Submissions for General Research articles should be no longer than 10,000 words including references. When preparing their submissions, authors should keep in mind that LDD is read by scholars who work across diverse world regions and theoretical orientations. Regardless of the topic a manuscript addresses, the work’s relevance should be made clear to a broad audience interested in documentary and descriptive linguistics.

This section is peer reviewed.

Language Contexts

Submissions for LDD’s Language Contexts article series should be 5,000-7,000 words including references. We strongly encourage the inclusion of images, maps, and other illustrative material, as well as links to online resources and materials in archives. Coverage of the following topics is suggested, but authors are encouraged to discuss any other topics they deem relevant to the context of language use.

Language Identification

  • name (autonym, exonym, allonyms)
  • Dialects and varieties
  • ISO 639-3 code and Glottolog code (and/or issues with these classifications)
  • Genetic classification (need not be defined, just discussed)
  • Population (number of speakers as L1 and L2 and/or numbers of members of the ethnic group, if different)
  • Geographical distribution - please provide maps and/or links to online maps


  • Vitality status
  • Multilingual repertoire of speakers
  • Official status in polities where spoken
  • Use in education
  • Transmission to children, generational knowledge and use
  • Domains of use, including online and mobile use
  • If assessments are available on a scale like UNESCO’s vitality index or EGIDs, mention it here


  • Language social status
  • Historical contact
  • Migration
  • Archaeology

Linguistic neighborhood

  • Other languages in the region, related and unrelated
  • Language contact
  • Multilingualism
  • Contact languages and lingua francae
  • Diglossia

Linguistic culture

  • Genres and registers of language use
  • Music, song, poetry
  • Literacy
  • Writing system, types and use
  • Literature, published or unpublished
  • Special lects
  • Naming practices
  • Print, radio, television use
  • Digital domain use, including social media

Social organization

How the social organization of the community influences language maintenance: for example, if women marry in from another language group, or if grandparents play the role of primary caregiver.

Material culture

Features of material culture that bear on language use, language maintenance or shift, or cultural identity: for example, if the arrangement of labor or the domestic space somehow benefits or is problematic for intergenerational language transfer.

Existing literature

This section should go beyond a simple list, to describe the range of available materials, its quality and usage, highlighting key gaps. Authors are encouraged to check the relevant Glottolog entries and ensure their reference list is comprehensive and up to date.

This section is peer reviewed.

Language Snapshots

Submissions for LDD’s Language Snapshot article series should be approximately 1,500 words including references. We welcome the inclusion of maps and links to suitable online resources and archives, as well as links to audio and video. We suggest Language Snapshot articles include the following types of information:

Language identification

  • Language names (autonym, exonym, alternative names)
  • Dialects and varieties
  • ISO 639-3 codes and Glottolog codes (and/or notes about the use of these codes)
  • Brief discussion of genetic classification(s)
  • Population (number of speakers as L1 and L2 and/or numbers of members of the ethnic group)
  • Geographical distribution, such as a map and/or links to online maps


  • The language’s vitality status, as described by factors such as the multilingual repertoire of speakers, the language’s social position and attitudes towards it, domains of use, use in education and media, generational knowledge, official status in the geographic entities where spoken, writing system and literacy (if any), online and mobile use.

Linguistic neighborhood

  • Other languages in the area, language contact, lingua francas, diglossia.

Existing literature

  • Available materials on the languages, and significant gaps. Notes on others’ research or activities.


  • Audio or video resources (or links to them) that add to the overview of the language and its community.

Linguistic features

  • Linguistic features of interest.

Current research

  • The contributor’s current research or projects on the language situation and the planned outcomes of this work.

This section is peer reviewed.

Review Articles

Submissions for review articles should be no longer than 10,000 words including references. Review articles should only be submitted after prior consultation with the editor.

This section is peer reviewed.

Author Guidelines

Submission information

When preparing your manuscript for LDD please consider these author guidelines, which draw liberally from those established by Glossa. Please note that formatting in accordance with the guidelines and stylesheet is not required unless the manuscript is accepted for publication.

Submissions should be made electronically through this website. Once submitted, the author can track the submission via the online journal management system.

When submitting, a word count including footnotes and references should be noted under the paper title.

The manuscript should be converted into a single PDF file containing all tables and figures. A Word file should also always be submitted. Separate properly formatted image files will be requested if the submission is accepted for publication.

If submitting for double-blind peer review include only the title and abstract on the submitted manuscript. Be sure to check the file properties to remove identifying information embedded in the format of the document as well. (The names of all authors, affiliations, contact details, and corresponding author details will be documented elsewhere in the submission process.) If you have questions about the mechanics of blinding or about what approach to peer review will work best for you, contact the editor.

In making the initial online submission, the Abstract and up to six keywords should be included in the metadata.

Authors are encouraged to submit an ORCID ID to associate with their name. More information about ORCID IDs can be found here.



Research articles should be prefaced by an abstract of no more than 200 words summarizing the main arguments and conclusions of the article. Use the heading ‘Abstract’.

Main text

The document may be structured with up to three levels of headings with a bold-faced heading in each case. The numbering always begins with 1, not 0. The conclusion is the last numbered section. Any other sections, such as Acknowledgments, are optional and unnumbered.

Accessibility of Data

Data, structured methods, or code cited in the research should ideally be referenced so that readers know where and how to access these sources. Include the repository location and DOI where possible. See the Tromsø Recommendations for Citation of Research Data in Linguistics for suggestions about what information to include and how to format it.

The journal is able to host supplementary files such as audio, video, or other data that is specifically associated with an LDD publication. Supplementary files should be submitted for review during the original submission process. Provide a separate list of any such files with a corresponding number, title, link, and description. If the associated manuscript is accepted for publication, the final form of the files will be assigned a DOI by the publisher.


Acknowledgments are optional, but if included they should appear separately under their own heading, placed after the main text but before the reference list. Acknowledgment of grant funding should be presented in this section.


Include all references in the main text file.


Appendices are not typeset and published as part of the article, but rather are linked to as an additional file supplied by the author. Information that is integral to an article's message should be formatted as part of the article itself.

Permissions and Declarations

The author is responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions before an accepted manuscript will be published. All third-party content used in the research must be acknowledged and cited.

Upon submission the author will be required to affirm that full due diligence has been paid to matters of ethics and consent, acknowledgment of funders, declaration of competing interests, and authorship of the submission. 

Language and Text


Accepted manuscripts will be formatted in 9 point font, on pages that are standard US Letter size, with margins of 15 millimeters on either side. This means a line length of approximately 7.3 inches. Please keep these parameters in mind as you prepare your final manuscript, especially when formatting linguistic examples. Use standard left-alignment (rather than justified margins) for the entire document.

Linguistic examples

Examples from languages other than English must be provided with a translation and interlinear glosses where appropriate. For guidance on the presentation and translation of linguistic examples, please consult the Leipzig glossing rules. Note, however, that LDD does not italicize the language line in interlinear glossed examples. This is a departure from what one finds in the Leipzig glossing rules.

Example numbers are enclosed in parentheses, and left-aligned. Example sentences usually have normal capitalization at the beginning and normal punctuation. The gloss line has no capitalization and no punctuation.

For questions about nonstandard layout in examples please consult with the editor.

Include a list of abbreviations in a footnote at the start of the paper or upon first use. Follow the format ʙᴇɴ benefactive; ᴄᴏɴᴅ conditional; ᴅᴜ dual; ғᴜᴛ future; ɪʀ irrealis; etc.

Alignment of linguistic material in numbered examples should be achieved by formatting as tables. Alternatively, interlinear text may be set in fixed-width fonts (Consolas, Monaco, Menlo, Ubuntu Mono; avoid Courier) with position of words and their glosses aligned using spaces indexed from the left margin. Do not align linguistic examples using tabs.


Figures such as images, graphs, diagrams, and the like must be professionally and clearly presented. If a figure is not easy to understand or does not appear to be of a suitable quality, you will be asked to re-render or omit it.

All figures must be cited within the main text, in consecutive order using Arabic numerals (e.g. Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.). Label each figure with a descriptive title. A short additional descriptive statement is allowed if necessary.

Figure 1. 1685 map of London.

Figure 1. 1685 map of London. Note the addition of St Paul’s Cathedral, absent from earlier maps.

The source of the image should be included, along with any relevant copyright information, if needed.

Figure 1. Firemen try to free workers buried under piles of concrete and metal girders. Photo: Claude-Michel Masson. Reproduced with permission.

Place figure titles and legends within the document where you would ideally like to see them appear, recognizing that they may need to be moved in typesetting.

Please be aware that if a figure file includes text then it will render as it appears; i.e., it may not match the typeset text.

Tree diagrams should be treated as examples, not as figures.


Tables should be included in the manuscript in their preferred location. The final layout will place the tables as close to this location as possible.

All tables must be cited within the main text, numbered with Arabic numerals in consecutive order (e.g., Table 1, Table 2, etc.).

Give each table in the text an accompanying descriptive title. This should clearly and concisely summarize the content and/or use of the table. A short additional description of the table is optional.

Tables should not include rotated text, color or shading intended to denote meaning (it will not display the same on all devices), images, or vertical or diagonal lines

General information about tables and figures

The placement of tables and figures on the page may change during typesetting from where you put it in your manuscript. For this reason, please do not refer to tables and figures using the words “following”, “below”, or “above”, as its final placement may change.

Tables and figures are numbered consecutively, with the figure or table number in bold. Each should be provided with a label. The label should end in a full stop.

All figures must be uploaded separately as supplementary files, if possible in color and at a resolution of at least 300dpi. Each file should not be more than 20MB. Standard formats accepted are: JPG, TIFF, GIF, PNG, EPS. For line drawings, please provide the original vector file (e.g. .ai, or .eps). Use a systematic file naming convention and refer to each in the text by its file name. 


Use footnotes rather than endnotes. These will appear at the bottom of each page. All notes should be used only where crucial clarifying information needs to be conveyed. 

Avoid using notes for purposes of referencing, with in-text citations used instead. If in-text citations cannot be used, a source can be cited as part of a note. Please place the footnote marker after the end punctuation in the text wherever possible.

Footnote numbers start with 1. Avoid presenting examples in footnotes; however if it is unavoidable they should be numbered using (i), (ii), etc.

Data & Symbols


Symbols that are not in common use should be provided with an explanatory definition on first use. Do not use the symbol § to refer to sections; instead spell out the word, as in "Section 1.1".

Hyphenation, em- and en-dashes

There is no set rule on the use of hyphenation between words, as long as they are consistently used.

Em dashes should be used to denote emphasis, change of thought or interruption to the main sentence.

The president’s niece—daughter of his younger brother—caused a media scandal when…

En dashes (note: not hyphens!) should be used when indicating a range. No space should surround either em- or en-dashes.

10–25 years
pp. 10–65


For zero to nine spell out the whole words. Use Arabic numerals for 10 or higher.

Authors may use either words or Arabic numerals to represent large whole numbers (i.e. one million or 1,000,000) as long as they are consistent throughout the text.

If the sentence includes a series of numbers then Arabic numerals must be used in each instance.

Artefacts were found at depths of 5, 9, and 29 cm.

If the number appears as part of a dataset, in conjunction with a symbol or as part of a table then the Arabic numerals must be used.

This study confirmed that 5% of…

If a sentence starts with a number it must be spelled out, or the sentence should be re-written so that it no longer starts with the number.

Fifteen examples were found to exist…
The result showed that 15 examples existed…

Use period rather than comma for a decimal place.

2.43 NOT 2,43

Precede the decimal point with ‘0’.

0.24 NOT .24

Dates in the text should follow the pattern Day Month, Year.

20 May, 2002

Typographical matters


Submission title:

Capitalize nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs and subordinate conjunctions (i.e. as, because, although). Use lowercase for articles, coordinate conjunctions and prepositions.

Slip-Sliding on a Yellow Brick Road: Stabilization Efforts in Afghanistan

Headings within the main text:

First level headings in the text should follow the same rule as the main title. For lower-level subheadings, only capitalize first letter and proper nouns. Section headings do not end with a period.


For submissions made in English, authors should use American spellings (e.g., color instead of colour). When referring to proper nouns and normal institutional titles use the official, original spelling:

World Health Organization, not World Health Organisation


The font used should be commonly available and in an easily readable size. This may be changed during the typesetting process. Underlined text should be avoided whenever possible. Bold or italicized text may be used to emphasize a point. Limit use of such formatting to maximize its effectiveness.


Use bullet points to denote a list without hierarchy or order of value. If the list indicates a specific sequence then a numbered list must be used. Use lists sparingly to maximize their impact.

Quotation marks

Use double quotation marks except for quotes within another stretch of quoted speech, in which case single quotation marks are used. Quotation marks should generally appear inside a following punctuation mark.

For quotations longer than three lines in length, use in an indented paragraph separate from the main text.

The source of any quoted material must be indicated clearly.

Acronyms & Abbreviations

Spell out acronyms on first use, indicating the acronym in parentheses immediately thereafter. Use the acronym for all subsequent references.

Research completed by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows …

Abbreviations should usually be in capital letters without periods.

USA, not U.S.A.

Common abbreviations from Latin origin do not follow this rule and should be lower case and include full periods. Both e.g. and i.e. should be followed by commas.

e.g., i.e., etc.


If quoting copyrighted material beyond the bounds of fair use, permission will need to be obtained from the copyright holder.

In-text citations

The reference form used in the text consists of author’s surname and publication year, followed by page numbers where necessary. Parentheses surround the year, except if the citation is already inside parentheses, in which case there are no parentheses around the year. If the author name is not mentioned in the main text then the surname and year should be inserted, in parentheses, after the relevant text. Information acquired through personal communication should be cited as (First name Last name, personal communication, YEAR-MONTH-DAY [as available]).

If there are more than three authors, the surname of the first author plus et al. should be used. If all the authors are listed, the last name is separated from the others by an ampersand.

Thomason & Kaufman (1988: 276–280) point out that the northern dialects of English show more morphological innovations (and are morphologically more simple) than the southern English dialects. The notation we use to represent this is borrowed from theories according to which φ-features occur in a so-called feature geometry (Gazdar & Pullum 1982). Bannard et al. (2009) ...

Both Jones (2013) and Brown (2010) showed that …

Multiple author citations should follow alphabetical order, rather than date order.

Use comma between dates of works by the same author in citations, but semicolon between different authors.

The statistics clearly show this to be untrue (Brown 2017; Jones 2013, 2019).

If citations are used from the same author and year, then a lowercase letter, starting from ‘a’, should be placed after the year.

(Jones 2013a, 2013b)

If specific pages are being cited then the page number should follow the year, after a colon.

(Brown 2004: 65–66; Jones 2013: 143)

For publications authored and published by organizations, use the short form of the organization’s name or its acronym in lieu of the full name.

(ICRC 2000) NOT (International Committee of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies 2000)

Do not include URLs in parenthetical citations, but rather cite the author or page title and include all details, including the URL, in the reference list.

Surnames with internal complexity have upper or lower case according to how the author spells his/her own name.

It has been claimed by de Swart (1998) and De Belder (2011) that meaning is compositional.

Chinese and Korean names may be treated in a special way: As the surnames are often not very distinctive, the full name may be given in the in-text citation, e.g.

the neutral negation is compatible with stative and activity verbs (cf. Teng Shou-hsin 1973; Hsieh Miao-Ling 2001; Lin Jo-wang 2003)

Reference format

All citations must be listed at the end of the main submission file, in alphabetical order of authors’ surnames. If multiple works by the same author are being listed, please re-type the author’s name out for each entry, rather than using a long dash. DOIs should be included for reference entries where possible.

General guidelines:

  • The names of authors and editors should be given in their full form as in the publication, without truncation of given names.
  • When a multi-authored (or multi-editor) work is listed as an entry in the references the initial name is given in the order Lastname, Firstname, while subsequent authors are listed Firstname Lastname. However when a work appears in a volume with multiple editors, all the editors are listed Firstname Lastname; i.e., the first editor is not treated differently from subsequent editors.
  • When there is more than one author (or editor), the last name listed is separated from the others by an ampersand with no preceding comma.
  • Page numbers of journals are obligatory. Provide issue numbers whenever possible.
  • Journal titles are not abbreviated.
  • Main title and subtitle are separated by a colon, not by a period.
  • Titles of works written in a language that readers cannot be expected to know should be accompanied by a translation, given in square brackets.
  • No author names are omitted, i.e., et al. is not used in the references.

There are four standard reference types: journal article, book, article in edited book, thesis. Works that do not fit easily into these types should be assimilated to them to the extent possible.

Journal article

Milewski, Tadeusz. 1951. The conception of the word in languages of North American natives. Lingua Posnaniensis 3: 248–268.  

Coseriu, Eugenio. 1964. Pour une sémantique diachronique structurale. Travaux de linguistique et de littérature 2(1): 139–186.


Matthews, Peter. 1974. Morphology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Lightfoot, David W. (ed.). 2002. Syntactic effects of morphological change. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chelliah, Shobhana & Willem de Reuse. 2010. Handbook of descriptive linguistic fieldwork. Dordrecht: Springer. 

Johnson, Kyle, Mark Baker & Ian Roberts. 1989. Passive arguments raised. Linguistic Inquiry 20: 219–251.

Article in edited volume

Erdal, Marcel. 2007. Group inflexion, morphological ellipsis, affix suspension, clitic sharing. In Jocelyne Fernandez-Vest (ed.), Combat pour les langues du monde: Hommage à Claude Hagège, 177–189: Paris: L’Harmattan.

Jung, Dagmar & Nikolaus P. Himmelmann. 2011. Retelling data: Working on transcription. In Geoffrey Haig, Nicole Nau, Stefan Schnell & Claudia Wegener (eds.), Documenting endangered languages: Achievements and perspectives, 202–220. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter.

Thesis or Unpublished manuscript

Yu, Alan C. L. 2003. The morphology and phonology of infixation. Berkeley, CA: University of California dissertation.

Williams-van Klinken, Catharina & Rob Williams. 2015. Mapping the mother tongue in Timor-Leste: Who spoke what where in 2010? Dili: Dili Institute of Technology manuscript.

Further matters

Names of book series directly follow the book title, without intervening punctuation. They appear between brackets and in roman font. They may be accompanied by an (optional) issue number.

Gawne, Lauren & Andrea L. Berez-Kroeker. 2018. Reflections on reproducible research. In Bradley McDonnell, Andrea L. Berez-Kroeker & Gary Holton (eds.), Reflections on language documentation 20 years after Himmelmann 1998, 22–32 (Language Documentation & Conservation Special Publication 15). Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.

Capitalize all lexical words (i.e., use title case) in journal and series titles. Capitalize only the first word (plus proper names, including place names, and the first word after a colon or m-dash) for book and dissertation titles, and article and chapter titles. The logic is to use title case for the titles that are recurring, lower case for those that are not.

Regular publications that are available online are not treated in a special way, as this applies to most publications. When citing a web resource that is not a regular scientific publication, it should be treated like a book, to the extent that this is possible. For example:

Hermes, Mary, Melissa Engman & Kevin Roach. 2019. Walking the land: Documenting intergenerational, conversational Ojibwemowin in the forest. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation. Online at Accessed 2023-05-01.

For references to archival materials, see the Tromsø Recommendations for suggestions about what information to include and how to format it.

Titles of works written in a language that readers cannot be expected to know should be accompanied by a translation, given in brackets. Only directly cited works should be translated, not the titles of journals or edited volumes in which they appear:

Haga, Yasushi. 1998. Nihongo no shakaishinri [Social psychology in the Japanese language]. Tokyo: Ningen no Kagaku Sha. 

Janzen, G. & M. Hawlik. 2005. Orientierung im Raum: Befunde zu Entscheidungspunkten [Orientation in space: Findings about decision points]. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 213(4): 179–186.

Li, Rulong. 1999. Minnan fangyan de daici [Demonstrative and personal pronouns in Southern Min]. In Rulong Li & Song-Hing Chang (eds). Daici, 263–287. Guangzhou: Ji’nan University Press.

Submission checklist

  1. The submission has not been previously published, in part or in whole, nor is it before another journal for consideration.
  2. All authors qualify as authors and have given their permission to be listed on the submitted paper.
  3. Authors commit to obtaining all necessary permissions to use third-party material upon acceptance of their manuscript for publication.
  4. Authors commit to adhering to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines upon the manuscript’s acceptance for publication.
  5. All tables are cited in the main text and are included within the main text document.
  6. All figures are cited in the main text and are uploaded as supplementary files. Figures and images have a resolution of at least 150dpi (300dpi or above preferred). The files are in one of the following formats: JPG, TIFF, GIF, PNG, EPS (to maximise quality, the original source file is preferred).
  7. Authors have obtained all necessary ethics approvals to conduct and publish the research reported in their submission.
  8. The authors have declared any conflicts of interest or confirmed that they have no conflicts of interest.
  9. ORCID identifiers are provided for authors, if practicable.
  10. Every effort has been made to ensure that the submission has been blinded for peer review, or else the author has specifically arranged for single-blind review in consultation with the editor.

Copyright Notice

  1. Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms. If a submission is rejected or withdrawn prior to publication, all rights return to the author(s):

    1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
    2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
    3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).

Submitting to the journal implicitly confirms that all named authors and rights holders have agreed to the above terms of publication. It is the submitting author's responsibility to ensure all authors and relevant institutional bodies have given their agreement at the point of submission.

Note: some institutions require authors to seek written approval in relation to the terms of publication. Should this be required, authors can request a separate licence agreement document from the editorial team (e.g. authors who are Crown employees).

Publication Fees

Language Documentation and Description does not charge Publication Fees.

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