How to format your references using the Natural Language & Linguistic Theory citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Natural Language & Linguistic Theory. For a complete guide how to prepare your manuscript refer to the journal's instructions to authors.

Using reference management software

Typically you don't format your citations and bibliography by hand. The easiest way is to use a reference manager:

PaperpileThe citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and othersThe style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.
BibTeXBibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.

Journal articles

Those examples are references to articles in scholarly journals and how they are supposed to appear in your bibliography.

Not all journals organize their published articles in volumes and issues, so these fields are optional. Some electronic journals do not provide a page range, but instead list an article identifier. In a case like this it's safe to use the article identifier instead of the page range.

A journal article with 1 author
Orrit, Michel. 2002. Single molecules. Molecular entanglements. Science (New York, N.Y.) 298: 369–370.
A journal article with 2 authors
Penninger, J. M., and J. Woodgett. 2001. Stem cells. PTEN--coupling tumor suppression to stem cells? Science (New York, N.Y.) 294: 2116–2118.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lavrentovich, Oleg D., Israel Lazo, and Oleg P. Pishnyak. 2010. Nonlinear electrophoresis of dielectric and metal spheres in a nematic liquid crystal. Nature 467: 947–950.
A journal article with 11 or more authors
Miritello, Giovanna, Rubén Lara, Manuel Cebrian, and Esteban Moro. 2013. Limited communication capacity unveils strategies for human interaction. Scientific reports 3: 1950.

Books and book chapters

Here are examples of references for authored and edited books as well as book chapters.

An authored book
Ibe, Oliver C. 2013. Elements of Random Walk and Diffusion Processes. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Wang, Yinglin, and Tianrui Li, ed. 2012. Practical Applications of Intelligent Systems: Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Intelligent Systems and Knowledge Engineering, Shanghai, China, Dec 2011 (ISKE2011). Vol. 124. Advances in Intelligent and Soft Computing. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Kalmar, Bernadett, and Linda Greensmith. 2008. Heat Shock Proteins as Therapeutic Targets in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. In Heat Shock Proteins and the Brain: Implications for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Neuroprotection, ed. Alexzander A. A. Asea and Ian R. Brown, 69–107. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

Web sites

Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for Natural Language & Linguistic Theory.

Blog post
Fang, Janet. 2015. Why Do Snakes Have DNA For Limb Development? IFLScience. IFLScience. October 5.


This example shows the general structure used for government reports, technical reports, and scientific reports. If you can't locate the report number then it might be better to cite the report as a book. For reports it is usually not individual people that are credited as authors, but a governmental department or agency like "U. S. Food and Drug Administration" or "National Cancer Institute".

Government report
Government Accountability Office. 1997. Air Traffic Control: Immature Software Acquisition Processes Increase FAA System Acquisition Risks. AIMD-97-47. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Goldstein, Jacob. 2012. Murder in Colonial Albany: European and Indian Responses to Cross-Cultural Murders. Doctoral dissertation, Washington, DC: George Washington University.

News paper articles

Unlike scholarly journals, news papers do not usually have a volume and issue number. Instead, the full date and page number is required for a correct reference.

New York Times article
Kenigsberg, Ben. 2017. Film Series. New York Times, August 24.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Orrit 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Penninger and Woodgett 2001; Orrit 2002).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Penninger and Woodgett 2001)
  • Three or more authors: (Miritello et al. 2013)

About the journal

Full journal titleNatural Language & Linguistic Theory
AbbreviationNat. Lang. Linguist. Theory
ISSN (print)0167-806X
ISSN (online)1573-0859
ScopeLanguage and Linguistics
Linguistics and Language

Other styles