Studies in Chinese Linguistics (SCL)

Style Sheet

Manuscript Submission Guidelines

The Manuscript

Information such as author’s name and affiliation should be omitted in the text. On a separate sheet, provide the following information:

  • Running head (shortened title)
  • Full title of the manuscript
  • Author(s)
  • Affiliation(s)
  • Full address for correspondence, including telephone and fax number and e-mail address

Submit 1 printed copies of the manuscript, together with an electronic MS Word file and a corresponding PDF file. Please be sure to remove all identifying characteristics in the manuscript, including author’s name in the “Properties” fields of the MS Word and PDF files. Submissions should be sent by mail and e-mail attachment to:

Studies in Chinese Linguistics
T. T. Ng Chinese Language Research Centre
Room G23, Institute of Chinese Studies
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong

Fax: (852) 2603 7989

The journal does not accept papers that have already been published, or are being simultaneously submitted to other publications.

Manuscript Presentation

Produce the manuscript on one side of A4 paper. All material should be single-spaced throughout, including text, examples, footnotes and references. Leave 3.17cm (or 1and ¼ inch) margin all around each page. Try to limit each manuscript to 20 single-spaced pages or less.

All manuscripts submitted will be subject to double-blind peer review. For this purpose, include the title of your manuscript on the first page of the text, but leave out your name and affiliation. Please also do not identify yourself elsewhere in the manuscript. For example, acknowledgements may be noted as "to be supplied after review", and direct reference to the author's own work may be temporarily rephrased. Avoid using self-referring expressions, such as I, we, the author, etc.


Times New Roman is the working font for journal articles. Phonetic transcription must be in a Unicode font (e.g. Lucida Sans Unicode, Arial Unicode MS). Use 12 point font throughout the document (including title, headings, and notes)

Please do not invent any new symbols that are not Unicode fonts or just try to approximate the correct symbol by adjusting spacing, font size, etc., since those formatting details will be lost in the regular typesetting process. Include a note with the file clearly explaining what the symbol should look like, with a picture for reference.

Do not use any other headers or footers.

Use simple text style, italics, or boldface only. Leave the use of other typestyles to the discretion of the copy editor.

Boldfaces are used for emphasized material within indented examples or italicized cited forms as in the following: the letter m in grammaticality, or the word shenme in Zhangsan chi-le shenme. They are also used for headings of sections of an article. Italics or underlines should be used for material cited as a linguistic example (within a text), the title of books, journals, dissertations, proceedings, and where necessary, emphases in the text. They are also used for headings for sub-sections of articles.


Capitals are used as required by standard punctuation rules. Capitalize names of rules, conditions, principles, and abstract symbols for tenses, case markers, etc. Where possible, avoid expressions set completely in capitals. Double quotes are used for quotations of non-linguistic examples and for titles of articles. Single quotes are used for quotes within quotes but primarily they are used for glosses, both in the text and following indented examples: the expression shenme 'what', in the following sentence:

(1)Zhangsan chi-le    shenme?
    Zhangsan eat-Perf what
    ‘What did Zhangsan eat?’

Where a period or comma occurs adjacent to a quotation mark, it follows single quotes when they are used for glosses in the text:  the forms shenme 'what', shei 'who', nali 'where', etc. In other instances, a period or comma precedes a quotation mark. This is the case when single quotes are used to enclose the full-sentence translation of an indented example, as in (1) above. It is also the case with all instances of the use of double quotes, as in the following example: The "surprising asymmetries," as they have come to be called, are not surprising at all.

The use of other adjacent punctuation marks depends on the actual situation: I know he did not say "is it grammatical?", but did he say "it is grammatical"?  
Ellipsis in cited material is indicated by three spaced periods. Where the ellipsis occurs at the end of a sentence, the three periods are followed by the original punctuation mark at the end of the cited material.

Where a raised footnote reference number occurs adjacent to a punctuation mark, it always occurs after the punctuation.

Use a single space after all punctuation, not two spaces.

Conventions and Representations

a. Divide sections with numbers and use the numbers with headings: 1., 1.1., 1.1.1., etc. Start with Section 1, not Section 0. Use extra space between sections.

b. Where square brackets are labeled, give the label immediately after the left bracket: [IP . . . ], [CP what [C' . . . ] ].

c. Number trees, labeled brackets for examples, metrical grids, etc., in sequence with other examples and prepare them neatly. Draw lines by using the function of “shapes” in MS Word if necessary, and avoid using slashes and back slashes on the computer keyboard as branches of a tree.

Example Sentences

In the text, all examples should be numbered with Arabic numerals enclosed in parentheses. Assign consecutive numbers to examples throughout the document; do not renumber from “(1)” for each section of the article. If several examples are cited together as a group, use a numeral enclosed in parentheses for the whole group, and a lowercase letter of the alphabet followed by a period for each example. Align the first words of all examples (excluding diacritics for grammaticality status) with one another. In the text, examples and subexamples are referred to by their numbers and letters enclosed in parentheses, as in (5), (7a), (8b), etc.

In footnotes, examples are numbered using lowercase Roman numerals: (i), (ii), (iiia), etc.
Each example sentence in languages other than English must be translated into English twice. First give a word-for-word gloss, and then an idiomatic translation. The word-for-word glosses should be neatly aligned under the original forms, and the idiomatic translation follows on the next line, enclosed in single quotes.



a. John said that Mary criticized herself.




b. Zhangsan














  ‘Zhangsan said that Lisi criticized himself.’

Transliterations and Orthography

All examples from languages not using the Latin alphabet, in particular all East Asian languages, must be transliterated using one of a few familiar systems of transliteration. Authors are urged to choose from the systems that are most widely used by linguists. Mandarin Chinese (Putonghua) examples should be transliterated in Hanyu Pinyin. Cantonese examples should be transliterated in the LSHK Cantonese Romanization Scheme (or known as Jyutping). Where no standard system has been adopted in the literature (e.g., examples of certain dialects never described before), use symbols to represent sounds that are as close to the IPA symbols as possible, and give explanations where appropriate. Where a transliteration system is already used in the literature, no new transliteration system invented by the author will be accepted. The single most important requirement is that authors use their chosen system consistently throughout the manuscript. Unless they are the subjects of discussion, omit all tone and pitch accent marks. Likewise, unless required by the discussion, avoid using the orthographic systems of Chinese, Japanese and Korean. If these systems are used, make sure that the written symbols are clear.


Use footnotes (not endnotes). All footnotes will be in an uninterrupted, numeric sequence, beginning with “1”. Footnotes should be kept to a minimum and should not be over-used for speculations and identification of potential problems that are not worked out in the text.  Footnotes should be enumerated using whole numbers. For instance, footnotes like “12a” are unacceptable. All notes should be typed single-spaced throughout. In the text, reference to each note is indicated by a raised numeral following the relevant material in the text. Where adjacent to a punctuation mark, the raised number follows it.


Acknowledgements of people and grants should be placed in a separate section right before the References.


In the text, all bibliographical citations should be given in forms such as the following: Chomsky (1970: 217 fn217 and 1995: 86-90), Huang (1982: 503-514), Aoun and Li (2003),. The date of publication is not parenthesized if the reference is itself part of a parenthesized expression: . . . (see, for example, Chao 1968).

All bibliographical entries are alphabetically arranged according to the last name of the author (or the first author of a joint work), beginning on a separate page following the footnotes and acknowledgements, under the heading References. The first names of all authors should be given in full if known, except when a given author regularly uses only initials. Each entry is arranged with a "hanging" indent, and typed double-spaced throughout. If a title is transliterated from a foreign language, give a free translation, enclosed in square brackets, immediately following the title. (These guidelines, as exemplified below, follow the Chicago Manual of Style, For further guidance, see the Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide on the world wide web at:

  • Journal article:

Aoun, Joseph, and Y.-H. Audrey Li. 1989. Constituency and scope. Linguistic Inquiry 20: 141-172.
Hauser, Marc, Noam Chomsky, and W. Tecumseh Titch. 2002. The faculty of language. Science 198: 1569-1579.
Huang, C.-T. James. 1988a. Hanyu zhengfan wenju de mozu yufa [A modular grammar of Chinese A not-A questions]. Zhongguo Yuwen 3: 247-264.
Huang, C.-T. James. 1988b. Wo pao de kuai and Chinese phrase structure. Language 64: 274-311.

  • Book:

Chao, Yuen-Ren. 1968. A Grammar of Spoken Chinese. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Hale, Ken and Samuel Jay Keyser, eds. 1996. The View from Building 20: Essays in Linguistics in Honor of Sylvain Bromberger. Cambridge, MA.: MIT Press.
Zhu, Dexi. 1982. Yufa Jiangyi [Lecture Notes on Grammar]. Beijing: Commercial Press.

  • Book chapter:

Cheng, Lisa L.-S., and Rint Sybesma. 2005. Classifiers in four varieties of Chinese. In The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Syntax, ed. Guglielmo Cinque and Richard S. Kayne, 259-292. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
Ning, Chunyan. 1996. De as a functional head in Chinese. In UCI Working Papers in Linguistics 1, ed. Brian Agbayani, Kazue Takeda, and Sze-Wing Tang, 63-79. Irvine, CA: ILSA, University of California, Irvine.
Tang, Sze-Wing. 2009. Yueyu jumo zhuci bala ji qi kuangshi jiegou [The sentence final particle baalaa and its discontinuous construction in Cantonese]. In Multi-disciplinary Approaches to Cantonese Studies: Papers from the 13th International Conference on Cantonese and Yue Dialects, ed. Andy Chin, Bit-chee Kwok, Peppina Lee, and Benjamin T’sou, 415-427. Hong Kong: Language Information Sciences Research Centre, City University of Hong Kong.

  • Dissertation:

Lai, Mei-fung. 2003. Yueyu tian de yixie yuyan tedian [Some linguistic properties of tim in Cantonese]. MA thesis, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Tsai, Wei-tien Dylan. 1994. On economizing the theory of A-bar dependencies. Doctoral dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Others:

Feng, Shengli. 1990. The passive construction in Chinese. Ms., University of Pennsylvania.
Frisch, Mathias. 2007. Does a low-entropy constraint prevent us from influencing the past? PhilSci archive. <> Accessed 26 June 2007.
Lee, Thomas Hun-tak, and Carine Yiu. 1998. Focus and aspect in the Cantonese final particle ‘lei4’. Paper presented at the 5th Annual Research Forum, YR Chao Center for Chinese Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley.


It is the responsibility of the author to obtain written permission for quotations from unpublished material, or for all quotations in excess of 250 words in one extract or 500 words in total from any work still in copyright, and for the reprinting of illustrations or tables from unpublished or copyrighted material.


A short abstract of not more than 200 words in English and not more than 250 characters in Chinese (if possible), which clearly summarizes the paper, should be supplied. The abstract should not contain any undefined abbreviations or unspecified references.