LaTeX system


While we accept submissions in both LaTeX and Microsoft Word formats, we publish all articles using LaTeX typesetting. We prefer LaTeX submissions, because it is easier to remain true to the author’s vision when typeset in the S&P style and because it expedites the production process, thus leading to much faster publication. We therefore strongly encourage authors to submit in LaTeX format, and ideally in our house style. If you yourself are not familiar with LaTeX, maybe a friend or colleague could help you with preparing your manuscript. If you have to submit in Word format, please read our Word-specific instructions.

Style guidelines

Compiling your LaTeX document in the S&P house style requires using the documentclass sp and a custom bibliography style. See the installation instructions for details on where to put these sources.

In our experience, even submissions in LaTeX format often require intensive re-typesetting and additional work on the bibliography. We hope that authors can take some of the burden of that work, again in the interest of an expedited publication process. To that purpose, please read our style guidelines, especially as they pertain to LaTeX submissions.

Frontmatter (the preamble)

Instructions for the content that comes before \begin{document}.


The \pdf*{} commands control the metadata inserted into the published PDF. Only ASCII characters are allowed in these fields, otherwise the pdflatex compiler will throw very hard to debug errors.


The \title{} can contain a \thanks{} acknowledgements section. If you do not give \title[Something Short]{Full} the optional argument (here, “Something Short”), no title will be shown in the headers of subsequent pages. If your title is shorter than 30 characters, use the same title for each.


There is no limit to the number of authors you can have. Each use of \spauthor{} should be separated by \AND.

The optional argument to \author (inside square brackets) is what appears in the header on subsequent pages. Just give your full name. For two authors, you can give both full names conjoined with and. When the author list becomes too long, use last names only, and use & instead of and. If you have more than three authors, use “Murphy et al.” (where Murphy is the last name of the first author).

The document


Our general formatting rules for examples:

There are three example-numbering packages that are approved for use in S&P documents: linguex, expex, and gb4e (as gb4e-emulate, see below). Each of these have different syntaxes and functionality, and you can use whichever fits your needs (but not more than one of them).

Both linguex and expex are very sensitive to whitespace (perhaps because they date back to plain TeX). If you use one of them, be careful that whitespace around \label{...} calls do not produce extra (unintended) spacing in the output.

We advise against all other example packages (e.g., covington), because in our experience they create difficult integration problems with our house style.

BibTeX and Citations

The sp.cls style file adds a few commands to the standard natbib commands. The sb.bst file will handle most details about how your .bib file is rendered, but here are a few things to keep in mind.

There are four main citation forms:

The S&P file also supports the following commands:

Every reference to an article must be coded with one of these commands. This ensures that all bibliographic entries are included, and, since these automatically hyperlink to the corresponding entry in the bibliography, allows your readers to determine what work you are referring to.

Images and custom figures

You can easily include a range of figures using the \includegraphics{} command.


N.B. \includegraphics prefers filenames without underscores.

Floats, for figures and tables

The sp.cls includes the float package by default. If you need to modify the S&P float configuration temporarily, you can:

% outside brackets ensure that the style returns to normal
% after the temporary adjustment
  % See the `float` documentation for other styles.
    Your figure goes here.


The end sections are organized in this order:

  1. Appendix
  2. References
  3. Addresses


The appendix environment is a good home for lengthy proofs, fragments, experimental materials, etc.



Simply use the following, where you have a file your-references.bib in the same folder.


If you have a system-wide BibTeX file somewhere else that’s accessible to your LaTeX library, that is fine too. However, when submitting your article, you will need to include whatever .bib file you use here.


Full author addresses appear at the end of each article. They are specified in an addresses environment, which consists of address environments:

    Author1 \\
    Street \\
    ... \\
    Author2 \\
    Street \\
    ... \\
  % repeat if needed

Packages included by sp.cls

The sp.cls file includes the following packages by default, which means you have access to all their commands without having to \usepackage{} it in your own document (in fact, it is a very good idea to delete the relevant \usepackage{} commands from your preamble):

Prohibited packages

The following packages overwrite or violate the S&P style, and should not be used.

Turing completeness and complexity

LaTeX is infamous for being Turing complete. However, the .tex sources you submit for publication should be as simple and finite as possible.

For both .tex and .bib sources:


We strongly recommend rendering directly to PDF with pdflatex, avoiding dvi and ps formats entirely. This ensures that line breaks and hyperlinks appear correctly.

If you must use postscript for certain diagrams, we recommend rendering those to PDF format independently (e.g., via latex & dvipdf or by using ps2pdf), and then importing the result directly into your S&P submission:


Failing that, you can use the option \documentclass[dvips]{sp} or the pdftricks package.

If you provide us with a TeX document that requires postscript, we will most likely convert your figures to PDF and render the document with pdflatex anyway. By submitting in pdflatex-able format, with graphics in separate documents, you will ensure that the final publication is as close as possible to what you envision.