Universidade de Vigo
Universitat de les Illes Balears

Our interest in morphosyntactic variation in World Englishes started in the late 2000s when, as historical linguists, we became intrigued by conspicuous similarities and connections between the history of English and the evolution of new varieties of English. In 2010 Cristina Suárez-Gómez decided to explore relativization processes in some varieties of English and, together with Elena Seoane, she also examined variation in the expression of perfect meaning in different Englishes worldwide. In 2012 Lucía Loureiro-Porto joined us, producing a number of studies on modality in World Englishes. Since then we have broadened our interests to include more varieties of English and other morphosyntactic issues, including the use of passives in academic World Englishes and the study of a number of complementation patterns in different ENL, ESL and ESD varieties.

Our theoretical framework is the cognitive model Usage-Based Theory (USB, cf. Croft 2000; Langacker 2000; Bybee 2006, 2008, 2011, 2013), based on the belief that “usage events create linguistic structure” (Bybee 2013: 68). This dynamic view of the emergence of grammar provides a useful means of encompassing the very wide array of variables at work in morphosyntactic variation in World Englishes: grammatical, sociolinguistic and cognitive, the latter including variation and change derived from second (or third)-language acquisition processes and language contact situations. Our methodology is corpus-based and mainly uses corpora from the ICE (International Corpus of English) project.

In 2014 we joined the ICE, a project initiated in 1988 by the late Professor Sidney Greenbaum, the then Director of the Survey of English Usage, University College London. It is now coordinated by Professor Gerald Nelson at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, in collaboration with twenty-six research teams around the world. Our team is in charge of the compilation of the Gibraltar component of ICE (ICE-GBR).

We organized the conference Englishes Today: Theoretical and Methodological Issues (University of Vigo) in 2013. From this event we have edited two collective volumes, published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2015) and John Benjamins (2016). We have also organised several workshops: (i) at the ICAME 35 conference (Nottingham 2014) Elena Seoane and Cristina Suárez convened “Perfect and perfectivity re-assessed through corpus studies” with Valentin Werner (University of Bamberg); derived from this workshop is the 2016 collective volume published by De Gruyter. (ii) Cristina Suárez-Gómez and Lucía Loureiro-Porto, together with Robert Fuchs (Hong Kong Baptist University) organised the workshop "Morphosyntactic Variation in World Englishes:  Apparent-time and diachronic studies" within the International Conference 7BICLCE (Vigo, 28-30 September); a Special Issue in World Englishes  (iii) the workshop entitled "Democratization in English(es): Synchronic and diachronic perspectives" took place at ICAME 39 (Tampere, 30 May-3 June), organised by Lucía Loureiro-Porto and Turo Hiltunen (University of Helsinki). One or two Special Issues are expected from this event. 

On this page you will find detailed information relating to our publications, conference presentations, research interests, affiliated members from other Universities and Institutions from around the world, and about our PhD students and their research.


  • 01/08/2011 - 31/07/2014: Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, grant FFI2011-26693-C02-02. Title: “Morphosyntactic variation in New Englishes” PI: Cristina Suárez-Gómez (University of the Balearic Islands).
  • 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2017: Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (National Programme for Excellence in Scientific and Technical Research; grant FFI2014-53930-P), €45.000, plus one four-year PhD research position. Title: "Morphosyntactic variation in World Englishes and compilation of resources for its study (the Gibraltar component of the International Corpus of English, ICE-GBR)", to be carried out in collaboration with researchers from the Universities of Zurich and Konstanz, and from the Garrison Library of Gibraltar. PI: Elena Seoane (University of Vigo).

  • 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2020: Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (National Programme for Excellence in Scientific and Technical Research; grant FFI2017-82162-P),  €60.500, plus one four-year PhD research position.Title: "Re-ViEW: A register approach to morphosyntactic variation in World Englishes and compilation of resources for its study (The International Corpus of English - Gibraltar)", in collaboration with researchers from the Universities of Zurich, Northern Arizona and Gibraltar. PI: Elena Seoane (University of Vigo).

  • 01/09/2016 - 31/08/2020: Academy of Finland. Research grant 285381. Title: Democratization, Mediatization and Language Practices in Britain, 1700–1950 (DEMLANG). International Partnership with the Tampere-Helsinki consortium. PI: Paivi Pähta.