About us

Here you can find contact details for the members of our research team. Notice that the members from the University of Santiago de Compostela have new e-mail addresses.

SCIMITAR is centred in the Galician city of Santiago de Compostela, more specifically in the English Department at the University of Santiago de Compostela. This is where the majority of the participants work and it is where the members get together for their regular meetings. At the same time, Santiago is the hub of a national and international network that includes researchers from the rest of Spain, from Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Portugal.

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 Functional Discourse Grammar, Systemic Functional Linguistics, Rhetorical Structure Theory, Construction Grammar, and the Lexical Constructional Model.

Research Areas

The mapping out of functional-cognitive space

The systematic comparison of the various approaches taken to language analysis

The study of constructions and discourse markers / relations

from descriptive, contrastive and acquisitional perspectives

A multidimensional analysis of registers, genres and text types

Especially with regard to the coherent construction of expressive / evaluative language

The production of materials and resources for educational use

to teach (and learn) English as a Second Language

SCIMITAR History

SCIMITAR has existed since 2000, when it was set up by its co-ordinator, Prof. Dr. María de los Ángeles Gómez González, as a forum for international cooperation among researchers orientated to the interdisciplinary study of the interface between language and discourse from a functionalist perspective, that is, assuming that the structure of language is adapted to its primary purpose: communication between human beings. The immediate goal of this international group was to carry out research projects funded by the then Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology and the European Regional Development Fund (BFF2000-1271, BFF2000-0492) and by the Xunta de Galicia (PGIDIT03PXIC20403PN), the Autonomous Government of Galicia. These projects were concerned with describing the orthographic, phonetic-phonological and grammatical characteristics of the English language, as well as with characterizing difficulties in the acquisition of discourse structures in English as a Second Language (especially by native speakers of Spanish and Galician). The projects have run from 2000 to 2018 and have been evaluated extremely favourably. Besides these projects, other research projects have been uninterruptedly awarded to the SCIMITAR team for over one decade by different institutions (cf. below under ” SCIMITAR Funding” and “Other Funding”). The collaborators in the projects work together with face-to-face meetings in various locations, but the main tools for this joint effort are e-mail and other electronic forms of communication/cooperation. This academic work has continued, leading to further favourable evaluations and awards of research funding. It has resulted in a large number of publications. In the period since 2002 the members of the group have published:

  • More than 30 books
  • More than 200 articles
  • More than 20 reviews

In addition, the SCIMITAR group was responsible for the organization of three editions of the “International Contrastive Linguistics Conference” (ICLC), which were held in Santiago de Compostela in 2001, 2003 and 2005, and the group still plays an advisory role with respect to more recent ICLCs, which have been held in other locations. The following list includes these and other conferences that members of Scimitar have organized, or contributed to organize so far (from 1999 to present):

  • 50th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea. University of Zürich, Switzerland, 10-13 September 2017.
  • 2nd International Conference on the Discourse of Identity. University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 8-9 June 2017.
  • 8th International Contrastive Linguistics Conference (ICLC8). Athens, Greece, 25-28 May 2017.
  • 4th Santiago de Compostela International Workshop on Discourse Analysis (IWoDA’16): The construction of discourse as social interaction. University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 28-30 September 2016.
  • 3rd Santiago de Compostela International Workshop on Discourse Analysis (IWODA’15): Multivariate Statistical Analysis of Linguistic Data, a joint organization of Scimitar and Discourse and Indentity, in collaboration with partner research groups from the Universidade da Coruña. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 9-11 June, 2015.
  • 7th International Contrastive Linguistics Conference (ICLC7). Ghent, Belgium, 10-13 July, 2013.
  • 2nd Santiago de Compostela International Workshop on Discourse Analysis (IWoDA 2013), a joint organization of Scimitar and Discourse and Indentity in collaboration with three partner groups from the Universidade da Coruña, Amergin, Clin and Muste. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 19-21 June, 2013.
  • 1st Conference on the Discourse of Identity (CoDoI 2012), a joint organization of the research groups SCIMITAR and Discourse & Identity. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 13-15 June, 2012.
  • 1st Santiago de Compostela International Workshop on Discourse Analysis (IWoDA 2011), a joint organization of the research groups SCIMITAR and Discourse & Identity. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 5-9 September, 2011.
  • 6th International Contrastive Linguistics Conference (ICLC6). Free University of Berlin, Germany, 30 September – 2 October, 2010.
  • 5th International Contrastive Linguistics Conference (ICLC5). University of Leuven, Belgium, 7-9 July, 2008.
  • 4th International Contrastive Linguistics Conference (ICLC4). University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 19-23 September, 2005.
  • III Seminar on Foreign Languages Applied to Foreign Trade: “Workshop on Computer Applications: Teaching, Research and Business”. Santiago de Compostela, Spain, July, 2004.
  • 3rd International Contrastive Linguistics Conference (ICLC3). University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 23-26 September, 2003.
  • II Seminar on Foreign Languages Applied to Foreign Trade. University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, July, 2003.
  • I Seminar on Foreign Languages Applied to Foreign Trade. University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain,July, 2002.
  • 2th International Contrastive Linguistics Conference (ICLC2). University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 25-27 September, 2001.
  • 1st International Contrastive Linguistics Conference (ICLC1). University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, September 1999.
SCIMITAR Funding

The SCIMITAR group has received the following funding:

  • 2017-2020: €120,000 from the Autonomous Government of Galicia under grant no. ED431D 2017/17
  • 2015-2018: €278,500 from the Autonomous Government of Galicia under grant no. GRC2015/002 GI-1924
  • 2014-2017: €54,450 from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness for the project The construction of discourse as social interaction: Contrastive implications and applications under grant no. FFI2013-40517-P
  • 2011-2015: Funding from Contrastive Linguistics: constructional and functional approaches, European Research Network Universiteit Gent, Research Foundation-Flanders (FWO)
  • 2011-2013: €121,000 from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness for the project Estudio Multidimensional de la Interfaz Gramática-Discurso en Lengua Inglesa II under grant no. FFI2010-19380
  • 2009-2012: €55566 from the Autonomous Government of Galicia for the project Gramática, Discurso e Competencia Comunicativa en Lingua Inglesa: un enfoque multidisciplinar integrado under grant no. INCITE09 204 155 PR
  • 2008-2010: €37182.09 from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology and the European Regional Development Fund under grant no. HUM2007-62220/FILO
  • 2007-2009: €180000 from the Autonomous Government of Galicia under grant no. 2007/000145-0/
  • 2005-2008: €37182.09 from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology and the European Regional Development Fund under grant no. HUM2005-00562/FILO
  • 2003-2005: €33320 from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology and the European Regional Development Fund under grant no. BFF2002-02441
  • 2003-2005: €13000 from the Autonomous Government of Galicia under grant no. PGIDIT03PXIC20403PN
  • 2003-2005: €9000 from the Simon Fraser University (BC, Canada)
  • 2000-2003: €11419 and €13462 from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology and the European Regional Development Fund under grant nos. BFF2000-1271 and BFF2000-0492 respectively
Other Funding

Other funding awarded to SCIMITAR members:

  • 2014-2019: CND $400,000. from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for the project “Opinion, subjectivity and point of view in language”(SCIMITAR participant and main researcher: Maite Taboada).
  • 2014-2016: Funding from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness under grant no. FFI2013-43593-P for the project “Modelación Cognitiva y Construcción del Significado. Estudio Contrastivo: Teoría, Implicaciones y Aplicaciones” (SCIMITAR participant: Francisco Gonzálvez-García; Principal Researcher: Francisco José Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez)
  • 2010-2013: Funding from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness under grant no. FFI2010-17610 for the project “Fundamentos para la construcción del nivel gramatical en el entorno de una base de conocimiento léxico-conceptual” (SCIMITAR participant: Francisco Gonzálvez-García; Principal Researcher: Francisco José Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez)
  • 2009-2012: €33875 from the Autonomous Government of Galicia under grant no. NCITE O9-204-127-PR for the project “Nos-outras: Discursos das escritoras irlandesas e galegas sobre a extranxeiría” (SCIMITAR participant: María Dolores Gómez Penas)
  • 2008-2013: Can$100,000 from NSREC Discovery Grant to Maite Taboada for “Discourse parsing for summarization and sentiment detection”
  • 2008-2010: €39,000 from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science to Maite Taboada for collaborative research with Julia Lavid and others on “Developing contrastive functional descriptions (English-Spanish) through corpus analysis and annotation”
  • 2007-2009: €20,000 from the Complutense University of Madrid to Maite Taboada for collaborative research with Julia Lavid on “Corpus linguistics and contrastive learning in English and Spanish”
  • 2006-2009: Can$71,147 from SSHRC to Maite Taboada for collaborative research with Manfred Stede of the University of Potsdam (Germany) on “Subject, topic and focus of attention in spoken language”
  • 2004-2010: Can$200,000 from NSERC to Maite Taboada for her research
  • 2004-2008: Can$72,000 from NSERC to Maite Taboada for “Computational analysis of text sentiment”
  • 2004-2006: Can$10,000 from the President’s Research Grant to Maite Taboada for research into “Focus and pronominalization in spoken Spanish”