Research interests

I work in the fields of functional linguistics and discourse analysis, and have mostly analyzed present-day English and Spanish, although I also enjoy working on other languages. My research focuses on the grammar-discourse interface and aims at understanding how discourse affects grammar and vice versa, taking into account cognitive and processing factors in both production and comprehension. How do people actually speak and write in different communicative situations? What are the strategies used by speakers to carry out their communicative goals? How are these strategies interpreted by the addressees? What are the factors that are at play in making linguistic choices?

As the grammar-discourse interface covers a very broad territory, my research encompasses a wide range of topics, but all lead to the study of this interface:

  • Information structure, providing linguistic and statistical evidence that grammatical constructions are constrained by such competing motivations as syntactic patterns, (verbal and cognitive) frames, the mappings of Topic, Focus, Given and New information, as well as the contextual variables of field (socio-cultural, textual and cognitive context), tenor (participants' relations) and mode (rhetorical purpose and channel (spoken, written or multimodal discourse))
  • The functional-cognitive space, scrutinizing different aspects of the linguistic models which form part of this space, such as Systemic Functional Linguistics, Construction Grammars, Functional Discourse Grammar or Cognitive Linguistics, among others, in order to obtain optimum levels of descriptive and explanatory adequacy.
  • Contrastive linguistics, that is, the analysis of differences and similarities between/across languages.
  • Cohesion, spelling out the resources that give unity to different types of texts.
  • Coherence, where the goal is to investigate the strategies whereby speakers and writers can weave a coherent piece of discourse, basically through entity-based coherence (i.e. anaphoric relations, such as the relationship between a pronoun and its antecedent) and relational coherence (the relations among propositions in a text (e.g. elaboration, summary, contrast, condition, cause…)).
  • Genre and register analysis, aimed at characterizing different types of discourse (literary, conversational, instructional, etc.), as well as varieties of language according to user and use.
  • Pragmatics & discourse, where the focus lies on the speakers and their intentions, as well as on the global structure or other aspects of discourse (turn-taking, stages, etc.).
  • Applied linguistics & language teaching, with the compromise of devising materials that make linguistics (e.g. grammar, discourse, phonetics, etc.) more accessible or useful to students and society.