Santiago-Centred International Milieu for Interactional, Typological and Acquisitional Research

SCIMITAR is a forum for international cooperation among researchers oriented to the study of the interface between grammar and discourse in present-day English.

The methods used are strongly contrastive. We work on the intralinguistic comparison of different varieties of English, and cross-linguistic comparison of English with other languages, notably Spanish.

The tools used are primarily those of corpus and computational linguistics, and the approaches taken include fucntional and/or cognitive models such as Functional (Discourse) Grammar, Systemic Functional Linguistics, Rhetorical Structure Theory, Construction Grammar, the Lexical Constructional Model, or Cognitive Grammar/Linguistics, among others.

There are regular opportunities for research positions in SCIMITAR as Research Assistant, for graduate or undergraduate students; and for graduate students to do their theses. If you are considering this possibility, or if you are interested in any of the research areas covered by the team, please get in touch with us.

Upcoming Events

  • 14-15/05/2020. In collaboration with the Department of Modern Languages of the University of Genoa (Italy), SCIMITAR will be involved in the organisation of the Ninth International Contrastive Linguistics Conference (ICLC9) to be held at Villa Durazzo ( in Santa Margherita-Portofino (Italy). For more information visit:



Newest Publications

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  • Alba-Juez, L. and J.L. Mackenzie, 2016. Pragmatics: Cognition, Context and Culture. Madrid: McGraw Hill.
  • Gómez González, M. Á. 2016. Canonical tag questions in English, Spanish and Portuguese: A discourse-functional study. In Marie-Aude Lefer & Svetlana Vogeleer (eds.), Genre- and Register-related Discourse Features in Contrast. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Gómez González, M. Á. and M. T. Sánchez Roura. 2016. English Pronunciation for Speakers of Spanish. From Theory to Practice. Boston/Berlin/Beijing: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Gómez González, M. Á., M. T. Sánchez Roura, M. Torrado Cespón, A. Rollings and M. D. Gómez Penas. 2016. EPSS Multimedia Lab. (Interactive Website Patent).
  • González Álvarez, E. and S. M. Doval Suárez. 2016. The use of extraposition in the written production of Spanish advanced learners of English. The Linguistics Journal.
  • Hengeveld, K. and Mackenzie, J.L., 2016. Reflections on the lexicon in Functional Discourse Grammar. Linguistics 54.5. 1135-1161.
  • Mackenzie, J.L., 2016. Dynamicity and dialogue: Perspectives from Functional Discourse Grammar. English Text Construction. 9.1. 56-76.
  • Mackenzie, J.L., 2016. A first history of Functional Grammar. In Carlos Assunção, Gonçalo Fernandes & Rolf Kemmler (eds), History of Linguistics 2014: Selected Papers from the 13th International Conference on the History of the Language Sciences (ICHoLS XIII), Vila Real, Portugal, 25 – 29 August 2014. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Mackenzie, J.L. 2016. Functional linguistics. In K. Allan (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Linguistics, London: Routledge. 470-484.
  • Taboada, M. 2016. Sentiment analysis: An overview from linguistics. Annual Review of Linguistics. 2: 325-347.
  • Trnavac, R. and M. Taboada. 2016. Cataphora, backgrounding and accessibility in discourse. Journal of Pragmatics. 93: 68-84.





  • 28/03/2019. María de los Ángeles Gómez González was awarded the prestigious national XXII Rafael Monroy Research Prize for Experienced Researchers from the Spanish Society for Applied Linguistics (AESLA) for the book The Construction of Discourse as Verbal Interaction (co-edited with L. Lachlan Mackenzie).
  • 30/06/2018. María de los Ángeles Gómez González was awarded (in national competition) the Spanish Ministry of Education Salvador de Madariaga research grant to investigate discourse relations in the Discourse Processing Lab of Simon Fraser University.
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  • Gómez Gómez González, M. Á., M. T. Sánchez Roura, M. Torrado Cespón, A. Rollings and M. D. Gómez Penas. 2017. English Pronunciation for Speakers of Spanish: DVD Toolkit . Interactive multimedia DVD. Santiago de Compostela: Santiago de Compostela University Press – ISBN 978-84-16954-20-9
  • Gómez González, M.Á. and M.T. Sánchez Roura. 2016. English Pronunciation for Speakers of Spanish. From Theory to Practice (EPSS). Boston/Berlin/Beijing: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 1/2016. We are pleased to announce the release of the USC English Phonetics toolkit (book and companion website) developed by SCIMITAR members in the English and German Department of the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC):
  • 15/4/2016. We are pleased to announce that Christopher Butler and Francisco Gonzálvez García have received the AESLA 2016 Prize for experienced researchers for their book Exploring Functional-Cognitive Space at the annual meeting of the Spanish Society for Applied Linguistics in Alicante.