Western Papers in Linguistics / Cahiers linguistiques de Western

Final Manuscript Preparation Guidelines for Western Papers in Linguistics / Cahiers linguistiques de Western

This document provides details on typesetting and layout requirements pertaining to final manuscript submission to Western Papers in Linguistics / Cahiers linguistiques de Western.

The Western Papers in Linguistics / Cahiers linguistiques de Western stylesheet is available to download here:

Formatting Requirements

  • Please refer to our helpful stylesheet template to format your article
  • Do not include a title page or abstract. (Begin the document with the introduction; a title page, including the abstract, will be added to your paper by the editors.)
  • Do not include page numbers, headers, or footers. These will be added by the editors.
  • Write your article in English or French.
  • Submit your manuscript, including tables, figures, appendices, etc., as a single file (Word, RTF, or PDF files are accepted). Please consider submitting a Word file to allow our editors to easily make stylistic changes for you.
  • Page size should be 8.5 x 11-inches.
  • All margins (left, right, top and bottom) should be 2.5 cm, including your tables and figures.
  • Single space your text.
  • Use a single column layout with both left and right margins justified.
  • Font:
    1. Main Body, Examples, and References—12 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available
    2. Footnotes—9 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available
  • If figures are included, use high-resolution figures, preferably encoded as encapsulated PostScript (eps).
  • Copyedit your manuscript.
  • When possible, there should be no pages where more than a quarter of the page is empty space.

Additional Recommendations

Indenting, Line Spacing, and Justification

Indent all paragraphs except those following a section heading. An indent should be 1 cm.

Do not insert extra space between paragraphs of text with the exception of examples, long quotations, theorems, propositions, special remarks, etc. These should be set off from the surrounding text by additional space above and below.

Don't "widow" or "orphan" text (i.e., ending a page with the first line of a paragraph or beginning a page with the last line of a paragraph).

All text should be left-justified (i.e., flush with the left margin—except where indented). Where possible, it should also be right-justified (i.e., flush with the right margin). "Where possible" refers to the quality of the justification. For example, LaTeX and TeX do an excellent job of justifying text. Word does a reasonable job. But some word processors do a lousy job (e.g., they achieve right justification by inserting too much white space within and between words). We prefer flush right margins. However, it is better to have jagged right margins than to have flush right margins with awkward intra- and inter-word spacing. Make your decision on whichever looks best.

Language & Grammar

All submissions must be in English or French. Please provide glosses for any linguistic examples which are not the language of the main text.

Authors should use grammar appropriate for a journal article. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White (now in its fourth edition) is the "standard" guide, but other excellent guides (e.g., The Chicago Manual of Style, University of Chicago Press) exist as well.

Article Length

Because this journal publishes electronically, page limits are not as relevant as they are in the world of print publications. We are happy, therefore, to let authors take advantage of this greater "bandwidth" to include material that they might otherwise have to cut to get into a print journal. This said, authors should exercise some discretion with respect to length. We recommend papers be shorter than 15 pages.

Coloured text

Set the font colour to black for the majority of the text. We encourage authors to take advantage of the ability to use colour in the production of figures, maps, etc., however, you need to appreciate that this will cause some of your readers problems when they print the document on a black & white printer. For this reason, you are advised to avoid the use of colours in situations where their translation to black and white would render the material illegible or incomprehensible.

Please ensure that there are no coloured mark-ups or comments in the final version, unless they are meant to be part of the final text. (You may need to "accept all changes" in track changes or set your document to "normal" in final markup.)

Emphasized text

Whenever possible use italics to indicate text you wish to emphasize rather than underlining it. The use of colour to emphasize text is discouraged.

Font faces

Use Times or the closest comparable font available. If you need a second font -- for instance, if Times is not available for a writing system -- use a comparable sans serif, non-calligraphic font

Font size

The main body of text should be set in 12pt. Avoid the use of fonts smaller than 6pt.


Headings (e.g., start of sections) should be distinguished from the main body text by number and bolding. Use the same font face as the main body and indicate hierarchy by numbering. There should be space above and below headings.

Main text

The font for the main body of text must be black and, if at all possible, in Times or closest comparable font available.


Whenever possible, titles of books, movies, etc., should be set in italics rather than underlined.


Footnotes should appear at the bottom of the page on which they are referenced rather than at the end of the paper. Footnotes should be in 9 pt. Times or closest comparable font available and they should be single spaced. Footnote numbers or symbols in the text must follow, rather than precede, punctuation. Excessively long footnotes are probably better handled in an appendix. All footnotes should be left and right-justified (i.e., flush with the right margin), unless this creates awkward spacing.

Tables and Figures

To the extent possible, tables and figures should appear in the document near where they are referenced in the text. Large tables or figures should be put on pages by themselves. Avoid the use of overly small type in tables. In no case should tables or figures be in a separate document or file. All tables and figures must fit within 2.5 cm margins on all sides (top, bottom, left and right) in both portrait and landscape view.

Linguistic Material

Linguistic material should be set in italics when in the body of the text.

Examples (including diagrams) should be numbered in sequence using Arabic numerals in parentheses, with all lines of each example indented 1cm from the left margin. If more than one sub-example is included, each sub-example should be assigned a letter that is indented 1cm and followed by a period. In this case, all lines of the example should be indented 2cm from the left margin. Asterisks (and so forth) should be inserted between the number or letter and the example, using spaces to place it immediately before the example. Word-by-word glosses should be lined up with example words using left-tab stops, and translations should be enclosed in single quotation marks. Please see the example in the stylesheet template.

Language in unusual fonts should be treated with care. Be sure to select the "embed all fonts" option when converting your document to PDF. When proofing your document under PDF pay particular attention to the rendering of any special fonts.


It is the author's obligation to provide complete references with the necessary information. References should appear right after the end of the document, beginning on the last page if possible. Leave two blank lines after the last line of the text, then type the label References, centred, bolded, and in 12-point font. Leave one blank line and then begin listing references on the next line.

References should be in 9-point font and single-spaced, with no blank lines between entries. Second and successive lines of individual references should be indented 1 cm. The format for references is the same as that for the Canadian Journal of Linguistics, as illustrated in the stylesheet. Please reference the Canadian Journal of Linguistics Style Guide for more details surrounding citing your work.