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First Language

First Language

2017 Impact Factor: 0.796
2017 Ranking: 96/181 in Linguistics | 69/73 in Psychology, Developmental
Source: Journal Citation Reports®, 2018 release, a Clarivate Analytics product

Editor
Chloe Marshall UCL Institute of Education, University College London, UK


eISSN: 17402344 | ISSN: 01427237 | Current volume: 39 | Current issue: 2 Frequency: Bi-monthly

First Language is a forum for research into how children acquire their first language, and the application of that research into practice.

First Language publishes original research, theoretical articles, review articles and book reviews in all areas of first language acquisition. Age groups studied range from neonates to adolescents. This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Multidisciplinary in scope
Child language research is multidisciplinary and this is reflected in the contents of the journal: research from diverse theoretical and methodological traditions is welcome. Authors from a wide range of disciplines - including psychology, linguistics, anthropology, cognitive science, neuroscience, communication, sociology and education - are regularly represented in our pages. Empirical papers range from individual case studies, through experiments, observational/ naturalistic, analyses of CHILDES corpora, to parental surveys.

The journal encourages submissions in all of the following areas:

  • syntactic, semantic, morphological, phonological, and pragmatic development; language and cognitive development
  • language and social development
  • language and educational development
  • language of children with developmental disorders
  • specific language impairment; exceptional language abilities
  • bilingual development
  • role of parental speech
  • interrelationships between language and nonverbal development
  • relationships between language and literacy
  • discourse analysis; socio-economic factors and language acquisition
  • preverbal communication
  • language development across cultures; language and ethnic development
  • measurement and analysis issues in child language research.

Potential authors who are unsure of the relevance of their work to the journal's scope are welcome to contact the Editor directly for advice.

Special Issues

First Language occasionally publishes special issues devoted to topics of pressing interest. These are usually Guest Edited by prominent researchers in the relevant areas. Recent examples include:

  • Language development and developmental language disorders: A special issue in honour of Heather van der Lely, edited by Chloë Marshall
  • Indigenous children’s language: Acquisition, preservation and evolution of language in minority contexts, edited by Barbara Kelly, Evan Kidd and Gillian Wigglesworth
  • Linguistic interfaces and language acquisition in childhood, edited by Pedro Guijarro-Fuentes and Jason Rothman
  • Conversation and language acquisition, edited by Edy Veneziano
  • Intervention and metalanguage, edited by Dorit Ravid and Anat Hora

Society Discounts

Members of the International Association for the Study of Child Language (IASCL) are entitled to a 30% subscription discount to First Language (on the individual rate). Confirm details of your membership when ordering and quote the code IASCL.

For further information about the society visit http:/atila-www.uia.ac.be/iascl/index.html

Members of the British Association of Applied Linguistics are entitled to a 20% subscription discount to First Language (on the individual rate). Confirm details of your membership when ordering and quote the code BAAL.

First Language is available on SAGE Journals Online.

First Language is an international peer reviewed journal that publishes the highest quality original research in child language acquisition. Child language research is multidisciplinary and this is reflected in the contents of the journal: research from diverse theoretical and methodological traditions is welcome. Authors from a wide range of disciplines - including psychology, linguistics, anthropology, cognitive science, neuroscience, communication, sociology and education - are regularly represented in our pages. Empirical papers range from individual case studies, through experiments, observational/ naturalistic, analyses of CHILDES corpora, to parental surveys.

The journal encourages submissions in all of the following areas: syntactic, semantic, morphological, phonological, and pragmatic development; language and cognitive development; language and social development; language and educational development; language of children with developmental disorders; specific language impairment; exceptional language abilities; bilingual development; role of parental speech; interrelationships between language and nonverbal development; relationships between language and literacy; discourse analysis; socio-economic factors and language acquisition; preverbal communication; language development across cultures; language and ethnic development; measurement and analysis issues in child language research. Potential authors who are unsure of the relevance of their work to the journal's scope are welcome to contact the Editor directly for advice.

First Language operates a strictly blinded peer review process in which the reviewer’s name is withheld from the author and the author’s name from the reviewer. Reviewers may at their own discretion opt to reveal their name to the author in their review but our default policy practice is for both identities to remain concealed.

Each manuscript is assessed initially by the Editor to determine that it is relevant to the journal’s Aims and Scope, and that it is consistent with the scientific and editorial standards of the journal. Papers which proceed beyond this initial scrutiny are reviewed by at least two referees. All manuscripts are reviewed as rapidly as possible, and an editorial decision is generally reached within 6 - 8 weeks of submission.

Occasionally, authors wish to indicate persons whom they believe would not be able to provide unbiased review. While choice of reviewers remains ultimately a matter of editorial discretion, we aim to comply with reasonable requests. Occasionally, authors wish to recommend specialist reviewers and are free to do so. Recommendations will be taken into account, though the Editor is likely to select at least one reviewer independently.

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

Associate Editor
Kirsten Abbott-Smith University of Kent, UK
Virginia C. Mueller Gathercole Florida International University, USA
Evan Kidd Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, Netherlands
Judith Rispens University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ludovica Serratrice University of Reading, UK
Yasuhiro Shirai Case Western Reserve University, USA
Rosalind Thornton Macquarie University, Australia
Katherine White University of Waterloo, Canada
Anita Wong University of Hong Kong, China
Reviews Editor
Vikki Janke University of Kent, UK
Statistical Consultant
Robert Kane Curtin University of Technology, Australia
Editorial Board
Ben Ambridge University of Liverpool, UK
Joanne Arciuli University of Sydney, Australia
Anne Baker Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Judy Becker Bryant University of South Florida, USA
Angel Chan The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
Julie Dockrell UCL Institute of Education, University College London, UK
Maria Teresa Guasti University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
Pedro Guijarro-Fuentes Universitat de les Illes Balears, Spain
Gary Jones Nottingham Trent University, UK
Barbara Kelly University of Melbourne, Australia
Tamar Keren-Portnoy University of York, UK
Katherine Messenger University of Warwick, UK
Keith E. Nelson Pennsylvania State University, USA
Rama Novogrodsky University of Haifa, Israel
Amanda Owen van Horne University of Delaware, USA
Miguel P. Pereira Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Uli Sauerland Centre for General Linguistics, Berlin, Germany
Filip Smolík Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Czech Republic
Pamela Snow La Trobe University, Australia
Stavroula Stavrakaki Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Frank Wijnen University of Utrecht, Netherlands
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  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines: First Language

    This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/fla to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of First Language will be reviewed.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.

    Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that First Language may accept submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting (contact details are at the end of these guidelines) and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the journal's author archiving policy.

    If your paper is accepted, you must include a link on your preprint to the final version of your paper.

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Acknowledgements
      2.4 Funding
      2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
    3. Publishing policies
      3.1 Publication ethics
      3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.3 Open access and author archiving
    4. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 Formatting
      4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.3 Supplementary material
      4.4 Reference style
      4.5 English language editing services
    5. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 ORCID
      5.2 Information required for completing your submission
      5.3 Permissions
    6. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 SAGE Production
      6.2 Online First publication
      6.3 Access to your published article
      6.4 Promoting your article
    7. Further information

    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Before submitting your manuscript to First Language, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.

    1.2 Article Types

    The journal encourages submissions in all of the following areas: syntactic, semantic, morphological, phonological, and pragmatic development; language and cognitive development; language and social development; language and educational development; language of children with developmental disorders; specific language impairment; exceptional language abilities; bilingual development; role of parental speech; interrelationships between language and nonverbal development; relationships between language and literacy; discourse analysis; socio-economic factors and language acquisition; preverbal communication; language development across cultures; language and ethnic development; measurement and analysis issues in child language research. Potential authors who are unsure of the relevance of their work to the journal's scope are welcome to contact the Editor directly for advice.

    First Language publishes original research, theoretical articles, review articles and book reviews in all areas of first language acquisition. Age groups studied range from neonates to adolescents.

    Full papers are generally restricted to a maximum of 8,000 words, including all elements (title page, abstract, notes, references, tables, biographical statement, etc.). We are reluctant to burden our referees with very long manuscripts. Authors who suspect that their articles will have to be cut anyway should make the required deletions before submitting.

    Special Issues

    First Language occasionally publishes special issues devoted to topics of pressing interest. These are usually Guest Edited by prominent researchers in the relevant areas. Recent examples include:

    • Language development and developmental language disorders: A special issue in honour of Heather van der Lely, edited by Chloë Marshall
    • Indigenous children’s language: Acquisition, preservation and evolution of language in minority contexts, edited by Barbara Kelly, Evan Kidd and Gillian Wigglesworth
    • Linguistic interfaces and language acquisition in childhood, edited by Pedro Guijarro-Fuentes and Jason Rothman
    • Conversation and language acquisition, edited by Edy Veneziano
    • Intervention and metalanguage, edited by Dorit Ravid

    1.3 Writing your paper

    The SAGE Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.

    1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

    When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online

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    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    First Language operates a strictly anonymous peer review process in which the reviewer’s name is withheld from the author and, the author’s name from the reviewer. Reviewers may at their own discretion opt to reveal their name to the author in their review but our standard policy practice is for both identities to remain concealed. Each manuscript is reviewed by at least two referees. All manuscripts are reviewed as rapidly as possible, and an editorial decision is generally reached within 6 - 8 weeks of submission.

    Authors are welcome to make suggestions for relevant reviewers, confirming that there are no conflicts of interest (e.g., it would not be appropriate to nominate close colleagues, relatives, or persons with whom one has worked as supervisor/ supervisee).  The Editor reserves the right to make final choice of reviewers.

    2.2 Authorship

    All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.

    2.4 Funding

    First Language requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. 

    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

    First Language encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway

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    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    First Language and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a SAGE journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the SAGE Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    First Language offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information please visit the SAGE Choice website. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.

    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines  

    Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.

    4.3 Supplementary material

    This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files

    4.4 Reference style

    First Language adheres to the APA reference style. View the APA guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    4.5 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using SAGE Language Services. Visit SAGE Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    5. Submitting your manuscript

    First Language is hosted on SAGE Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/fla to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    If you are a new user, you will first need to create an account. Submissions should be made by logging in and selecting the Author Center and the 'Click here to Submit a New Manuscript' option. Follow the instructions on each page, clicking the 'Next' button on each screen to save your work and advance to the next screen. If at any stage you have any questions or require the user guide, please use the ‘Online Help’ button at the top right of every screen.

    Book reviews should be submitted in the same form as articles. The title page should be in the following form: Pathways to language: From fetus to adolescent. By K. Karmiloff & A. Karmiloff-Smith (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001). Pp. 256. Hardback, 19.50. ß $ or £?  ISBN 0-674-00476-0. The reviewer's name, affiliation and email address should also be given at the end.

    Books for review should be sent direct to the Reviews Editor:

    Vikki Janke

    Rutherford W3.S3

    English Language & Linguistics

    School of European Culture and Languages

    University of Kent

    Canterbury

    Kent, CT2 7NF

    Email: v.janke@kent.ac.uk

    Book reviews are normally commissioned by the journal; however, the Reviews Editor welcomes offers to review and will be pleased to discuss possible assignments. Potential reviewers should provide a CV indicating areas of expertise and previous publications.

    5.1 ORCID

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process SAGE is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities ensuring that their work is recognised.

    The collection of ORCID IDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID ID you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID ID will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID ID is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

    If you do not already have an ORCID ID please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

     

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.3 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the SAGE Author Gateway

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    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 SAGE Production

    Your SAGE Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly.  Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. Please note that if there are any changes to the author list at this stage all authors will be required to complete and sign a form authorising the change.

    6.2 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the SAGE Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    6.3 Access to your published article

    SAGE provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.4 Promoting your article

    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The SAGE Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice. In addition, SAGE is partnered with Kudos, a free service that allows authors to explain, enrich, share, and measure the impact of their article. Find out how to maximise your article’s impact with Kudos

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    7. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the First Language Editor in Chief Chloe Marshall at the following address: chloe.marshall@ucl.ac.uk

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