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Language is a peer-reviewed quarterly academic journal published by the Linguistic Society of America since 1925. It covers all aspects of linguistics, focusing on the area of theoretical linguistics. Its current editor-in-chief is Andries Coetzee (University of Michigan).

Language (journal).jpg
Edited byAndries Coetzee
Publication details
Publication history
After one-year embargo[1]
Standard abbreviations
ISSN0097-8507 (print)
1535-0665 (web)
OCLC no.50709582

Under the editorship of Yale linguist Bernard Bloch, Language was the vehicle for publication of many of the important articles of American structural linguistics during the second quarter of the 20th century, and was the journal in which many of the most important subsequent developments in linguistics played themselves out.[citation needed]

One of the most famous articles to appear in Language was the scathing 1959 review by the young Noam Chomsky of the book Verbal Behavior by the behaviorist cognitive psychologist B. F. Skinner.[2] This article argued that Behaviorist psychology, then a dominant paradigm in linguistics (as in psychology at large), had no hope of explaining complex phenomena like language. It followed by two years another book review that is almost as famous—the glowingly positive assessment of Chomsky's own 1957 book Syntactic Structures by Robert B. Lees that put Chomsky and his generative grammar on the intellectual map as the successor to American structuralism.

By far the most cited article in Language[3] is the 1974 description on the turn-taking system of ordinary conversation by the founders of Conversation Analysis, Harvey Sacks, Emanuel Schegloff and Gail Jefferson. This article describes the socially normative system of rules that accounts for the complex and turn-taking behaviour of participants in conversation, demonstrating the system in detail using recordings of actual conversation.

Language continues to be an influential journal in the field of linguistics: it is ranked sixth out of 47 in the Linguistics category in the 2006 Journal Citation Reports, with an impact factor of 1.79 and a half-life of more than 10 years.


  1. ^ Jaschik, Scott. "Language of Protest". Inside Higher Ed. 2015-11-02. Accessed 2015-11-08.
  2. ^ Chomsky, Noam. 1959. “A Review of B.F. Skinner’s Verbal Behavior.” Language 35 (1): 26–58.
  3. ^ Google Scholar counts over 9800 citations to Sacks, Schegloff & Jefferson 1974; the next most cited article is Chomsky's review of Skinner with 3500+ citations (as shown here)

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