Production and Development

Internal configuration instructions

This page is for use by the core Semantics and Pragmatics team and production contributors.

Authors (prospective or accepted) do not need to follow these instructions.

Typesetting and proofreading

You are responsible for ensuring that the paper you are assigned adheres to the S&P standards described on this site, and is free of grammatical errors and any other typos.

It’s the responsibility of the shepherding editor to verify the content, but if you notice anything that seems wrong or doesn’t make sense, include that in your report.


As an S&P production contributor, you must be able to compile LaTeX sources on your local machine.

As of 2017, the BibLaTeX compile process requires at least the 2016 distribution to build properly.

Once LaTeX is installed, follow the S&P-specific installation instructions, installing both the BibTeX and BibLaTeX style files. You should also install the gb4e-emulate.sty, sp-hyperxmp.sty, and sp-logo.pdf files from semprag/tex to your TEXMFHOME/tex/latex/ directory, alongside sp.cls.

GitHub access

We keep all articles under source control in a private repository at semprag/submissions. You will need a GitHub account to access this repository: sign up here. Please use an intelligible username, since all of your changes will be annotated with that username.

Once you have an account, email us at with your username, and one of the semprag organization administrators will add you. You will receive an invitation to be a member of a team of the semprag GitHub organization via the email associated with that account. You’ll also be notified of your standing invitations when you log onto GitHub.

By default, whenever you need to write to a git repository on GitHub, or read from a private repository, you will have to enter your GitHub username and password. You can avoid this by adding your SSH key to your GitHub account or by caching your GitHub credentials. The latter method, caching your password, will probably be easier.

Before you commit anything, ensure that your default git username and email (which will be paired with your commit) are correct. I use these settings:

git config --global "Christopher Brown"
git config --global ""

Local development

Once you have been given access on GitHub, install the Lucida font. Test that it’s working by rendering the basic.tex file in this repository.

curl > basic.tex
pdflatex basic.tex

This should compile without complaint and be all in the Lucida font-face, and look like basic-lucida.pdf.

Prepare a working directory. I’ll use a folder called src/ in your home directory, but you can put it anywhere you want.

mkdir ~/src
cd ~/src

Now clone the semprag/submissions repository:

git clone

That creates the directory submissions/ inside your current working directory (~/src).

Now let’s say you want to render the Willer 2016 paper:

cd submissions/willer-2016

The first time you run pdflatex will produce lots of “LaTeX Warning: Reference (or Citation) X on page Y undefined on input line Z” messages, which is fine. (If you omit the .tex extension, pdflatex will infer it.)

pdflatex lessons

There will now be a lessons.aux file, and when in biblatex mode, lessons.bcf and files. Now run biber to compile the BibLaTeX, which reads the lessons.bcf file you just created, and the paper’s specified bibliography resource (in this case, Philosophy.bib). (It’s customary to omit the .bcf extension here.)

biber lessons

Biber writes its TeX-ready output to lessons.bbl (and logs to lessons.blg). Running pdflatex again will incorporate that file and all the intermediate output from the last run to incorporate all citations / references.

pdflatex lessons

All the citations and references should now show up, but since paging has changed, you might need to run pdflatex one more time.

pdflatex lessons

At this point, if the LaTeX compiler log still complains about undefined references or citations, there is something legitimately missing from the document that needs to be fixed.

Working with git

Once you’ve cloned the submissions repository, the basic process goes like this (with examples after making some changes to rojas-esponda-v2-edited.tex):

  1. Examine all the changes you’ve made to the repository

    git status
  2. Stage specific changed files

    git add rojas-esponda-v2-edited.tex
  3. Commit everything you’ve staged with, providing a short message

    git commit -m "Finalized citet->citealt fixes in rojas-esponda article"
  4. Pull the latest version from GitHub

    git pull
    • If someone else has pushed changes to the submissions repository since you cloned it or last pulled, git will prompt you to merge your changes with those. The default merge message is fine. Otherwise, it will just say “Already up-to-date.” which means you’re ready to push.
    • Alternatively, you can run git pull --rebase to pretend like you pulled before you committed your changes.
      • If you’re sure no one else has made changes to the files you’ve been working, this is a little bit cleaner, since it doesn’t require a merge commit.
      • But if any of your changed files have been modified, it might end up being messier.
  5. Push your merged commit to GitHub:

    git push origin master
    • The first time you do this, you can call git push -u origin master, which sets the defaults for future git push calls, allowing you to omit the remote (origin) and the branch (master), and simply call git push.
      • The names origin and master are the defaults built into git.

Integration with Overleaf

Overleaf is an online LaTeX editor, which makes it very easy to get started typesetting. Once an Overleaf project has been set up, you need only provide the collaborator/proofreader/typesetter with a link to the project. They will need to create an Overleaf account if they do not have one, but they will not need to install LaTeX or do any of the steps below.

The steps below are only for the initial creation and setup of the project. The commands below assume that you’ve git clone‘d the lucida and tex repositories onto your local machine, and that they are up to date.

  1. Create a new project in your Overleaf account, and note the URL:
    • This should be a “Basics” → “Blank Paper” project (but it doesn’t really matter since we don’t use any of the provided files)
    • Click the “Share” button in the project’s navigation bar and copy the Git URL, which looks something like:
  2. Clone the project locally, but give it a better name, like Author20xx-overleaf, and delete the main.tex file:

    git clone Author20xx-overleaf
    cd Author20xx-overleaf
    rm main.tex
  3. Copy the S&P style files and Lucida font .otf files into that new directory, Author20xx-overleaf/ (this is the part that assumes your the tex and lucida repositories are in a specific place):

    cp ~/semprag/tex/{.gitignore,sp.cls,sp.bst} .
    cp -R ~/semprag/lucida/opentype fonts
  4. Copy in the source files for the S&P submission, its *.tex, *.bib, and whatever other resources it includes (like gb4e-emulate.sty), and set lucidaot in the class options, e.g.:


    You should now be able to render the document from your local machine if you have LaTeX installed, but this is not required: latexmk -xelatex

  5. Stage, commit, and push your changes:

    git add .
    git commit -m "Re-initialize with sources for Author's 20xx submission"
    git push
  6. Back on the Overleaf project page, click the “⚙” (gear) button in the navigation bar at the top right. Change the “Advanced Build Options” → “LaTeX Engine” value to “XeLaTeX”; then click “Save Project Settings”. Overleaf should re-render accordingly, and everything should be in working order!

Disclaimer: The Lucida style file for LaTeX, lucimatx.sty, does a lot more than just load and configure the PostScript-format fonts. There are a lot of little tweaks and customizations that have not been ported to the OpenType integration. While the appearance of a document rendered with Lucida OpenType is much closer to the production result than with Times or Computer Roman, it isn’t pixel-perfect; in particular, the horizontal spacing of equations in math environments seems to be the most dissimilar aspect.

Overleaf “One-click to open”

Assuming you’re logged into Overleaf (or can be) in this browser, submitting the following form (by clicking the button) creates a new Overleaf project with several of the requirements pre-configured.

You’ll still need to:



  1. Ground rules (see for the latest version):
    • All source files should use UTF-8 encoding (ASCII is a subset of UTF-8)
    • Spaces, not tabs
    • No trailing whitespace
    • LF line endings, a.k.a. “Unix-style” (git should handle this for you via the .gitattributes config file).
  2. Avoid immaterial changes, like manually interpreting (i.e., beta-reducing) a LaTeX macro, or re-folding a paragraph to some different line width.
    • This helps when reviewing changes; git diff --word-diff should show only the significant / relevant things you’ve changed.
  3. Fix typos and style-guide violations outright
    • No need to comment on these, or any other non-controversial changes
  4. In the case of questionable grammar or prosody, err on the side of artistic license.
    • If the author says something awkward but not precisely ungrammatical, point out what’s wrong and how you would suggest fixing it.
  5. Record your comments in one place only, and formulate them like a to-do list that the author can work through.
    • If working directly with the .tex file, add % comments in the .tex file, and mark these comments that require authorial attention with a string that is easily searchable. This way, the author can search through the document and deal with your suggestions like a to-do list, checking items off the list by removing the comment, whether or not they implement your suggestion.
      • E.g., I usually insert a new line directly after the offending usage, describing the problem and then end with ‘^chb’.
      • If you add your comment at the end of the offending line, put a space before the % of the comment (this improves --word-diff output)
    • Alternatively, list your comments in the GitHub issue in the semprag/submissions repository corresponding to that paper (create one if needed)
    • If that’s not possible, list them in a single text file
    • If working with a PDF, ensure that the author can view all of your changes in one place, or navigate directly from one comment to the next (they shouldn’t have to scan through each page of the paper to find all of the sticky notes)
  6. If you’re working with the full S&P-style LaTeX production pipeline:
    • LaTeX compilation should finish without errors or warnings
      • Do your best to resolve any underfull or overfull violations
    • Biber should run without errors or warnings