Universidade de Vigo
+34 986 813 772
+34 986 812 380

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Elena's website:

Short Bio




short bio

1990: MA degree in English Language and Literature at the University of Santiago de Compostela

1992: FPU research grant from the Spanish Ministry for Education and Science

1993-1994: Assistant lecturer at the University of A Coruña

1994-1999: Assistant lecturer at the University of Santiago de Compostela

1996: PhD supervised by Teresa Fanego on the passive voice in Early Modern English.

1999-2010: Permanent position as Senior Lecturer at the University of Santiago de Compostela

2006: Visiting Professor at the University of Ösnabruck (winter semester)

2011: Permanent position as Senior Lecturer at the University of Vigo. 

2013: I passed the ‘habilitation’ exam qualifying me for promotion to a chair in English Linguistics.

2015-2016: Head of the Department of English, French and German, University of Vigo

2015 onwards: I serve as Review Editor of English Language and Linguistics (CUP)




My main research interests are:

  • Morphosyntactic variation in World Englishes
  • Grammaticalization processes in the history of English
  • Active-passive variation in early Modern, late Modern and Present-Day English
  • Word order changes in early English
  • The development of scientific discourse.



                  iceban.jpg                   aka_en_pysty_mv.jpg


1. ViEW Variation in English World-Wide.                            

Funded by

Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (grant FFI2011-26693-C02-02-C). Name of project "Morphosyntactic variation in New Englishes" PI: Cristina Suárez-Gómez (University of the Balearic Islands)

-  Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (grant FFI2014-53930-P). Name of project "Morphosyntactic variation in World Englishes and compilation of resources for its study (the Gibraltar component of the International Corpus of English, ICE-GBR)"; PI: Elena Seoane (University of Vigo)


2. Gibraltar English: Compilation of the Gibraltar English subcomponent of the International Corpus of English (ICE-GBR).

Funded by

- Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (grant FFI2014-53930-P). PI: Elena Seoane


3. Democratization, Mediatization and Language Practices in Britain, 1700–1950 (DEMLANG). 01/09/2016 - 31/08/2020.

Funded by

- The Academy of Finland (Research grant 285381). International Partnership with the Tampere-Helsinki consortium. PI: Paivi Pähta. 



Back in 1993 I won the annual Atlantis research prize to the best paper in English Linguistics, awarded by the Spanish Association of Anglo-American Studies.

I served on the editorial board of Atlantis, the official journal of the Spanish Association for English and American Studies (AEDEAN) between 2005 and 2014, and between 2008 and 2012 I convened the Historical Linguistics section at its annual conferences.

Since 2015 I serve as Review Editor of English Language and Linguistics (CUP)

Since 2017 I serve in the Editorial Board of John Benjamins' journal Register Studies

Since 2017 I am in the Executive Board of ICAME, the international organization of linguists and information scientists working with English machine-readable texts.

I also have experience in the organization of research meetings, such as the 26th International Conference of AEDEAN (Santiago de Compostela, December 2002), as Secretary, the Third International Conference 'New Reflections on Grammaticalization' (NRG3, Santiago de Compostela, July 2005), as co-chair, and the international conference Englishes Today: Theoretical and Methodological Issues (University of Vigo, October 2013), as chair. Together with Javier Pérez Guerra I will co-chair BICLCE7 (7th Biennial International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English) to be held in Vigo 28-30 September 2017.

I have given invited talks and plenary lectures in Aachen, Bamberg, Freiburg (FRIAS), Helsinki, Northwestern University, Osnabrück, Paderborn, Palma de Mallorca (University of the Balearic Islands), Tampere and Oviedo (3rd Asyras Conference, June 2013).



I supervised the PhD dissertation of Lucía Loureiro-Porto (2005) and Eduardo Coto-Villalibre (2014, the latter jointly with Teresa Fanego and Paloma Núñez-Pertejo, from the University of Santiago de Compostela) and am supervising the PhDs of Héctor Agrafojo (jointly with Lucía Loureiro-Porto, University of the Balearic Islands), Laura García-Castro (with Cristina Suárez-Gómez, University of the Balearic Islands), Xoana Costa Rivas (with Sara Pons-Sanz, University of Cardiff, and Nieves Rodríguez Ledesma, University of Sevilla), Noemí Antelo Calvete and Raquel Pereira Romasanta.




  • (2000). Aprendiendo y enseñando a traducir / Learning and teaching to translate / Aprendendo e ensinando a traducir. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela: Servicio de Publicacións. [Second author, with Ignacio Palacios].
  • (1997). The Passive voice in Early Modern English: A corpus-based study. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela: Servicio de Publicacións. ISBN 848121596.


  • (2016). Werner, Valentin, Elena Seoane and Cristina Suárez-Gómez (eds.). Reassessing the Present Perfect: Corpus Studies and Beyond. (Topics in English Linguistics-TiEL91). Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN: 978-3-11-044311-0
  • (2016). Seoane, Elena and Cristina Suárez-Gómez (eds.). World Englishes: New Theoretical and Methodological Considerations (Varieties of English around the World G57). Amsterdam and Philadelphia: Benjamins. ISBN: 978-90-272-49173. Reviewed by Pam Peters in English World-Wide 38:2 (2017).
  • (2015) Suárez-Gómez, Cristina and Elena Seoane (eds.). Englishes Today: Multiple Varieties, Multiple PerspectivesNewcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN (13): 978-1-4438-8386-3. Reviewed by Ana Lúcia Simões Borges Fonseca, Linguist List, Vol-28-99  ISSN: 1069 - 4875 (Jan 05 2017).
  • (2008), ed. Rethinking grammaticalization: New perspectives. (Typological Studies in Language 76). Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. [Second editor, with María José López-Couso]. Reviewed in the Linguist List, issue 20.2282 (2009); Studies in Language 34.1 (2010): 195-204; Folia Linguistica 44.2 (2010): 555-568; eLanguage, issue December 2010.
  • (2008), ed. Theoretical and empirical issues in grammaticalization. (Typological Studies in Language 77). Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. [First editor, with María José López-Couso]. Reviewed in the Linguist List, issue 20.2282 (2009); Folia Linguistica 44.2 (2010): 555-568; Studies in Language 35.1 (2011): 228-237.
  • (2003), ed. Fifty years of English Studies in Spain 1952-2002: A commemorative volume. Universidad de Santiago: Servicio de Publicaciones. [Fourth editor, with Ignacio Palacios, María José López-Couso & Patricia Fra López].
  • (2002), ed. Sounds, words, texts and change. (Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 224). Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins [third editor, with Teresa Fanego & Belén Méndez-Naya]. Reviewed in English Language and Linguistics 8/2 (2004): 355-360; Language 80/1 (2004): 173-174; The Linguist List January 27 2004 (Issue 15.300); The Year's Work in English Studies 83 (2002): 7ff.


  • (In preparation) Hundt, Marianne and Elena Seoane. "Predicting the use of passive voice across different academic Englishes: a multi-factorial analysis."
  • (Forthcoming) Seoane, Elena. 'Modelling morphosyntactic variation in World Englishes from a register perspective' Miscelánea.
  • (Forthcoming) Seoane, Elena and Marianne Hundt. "Styling academic Englishes: authorial presence across disciplines." Journal of English Linguistics.
  • (Forthcoming) Seoane, Elena. 'A Gibraltar in the making: Interview with Dr. Jennifer Ballantine Perera.' Canarian Journal of English Studies 74
  • (2016). Hundt, Marianne, Gerold Schneider and Elena Seoane "The use of the be-passive in academic Englishes: Local vs global usage in an international language." Corpora 11.1: 29-61.
  • (2016). Seoane, Elena. "Telling the true Gibraltarian story: Interview with Gibraltarian writer M.G. Sanchez". Alicante Journal of English Studies 29: 251-258.
  • (2013). "The expression of the perfect in East and South-East Asian Englishes". English World-Wide 34.1: 1-25. [First author, with Cristina Suárez-Gómez].
  • (2013). "On the conventionalisation of the passive voice in Late Modern English scientific discourse".Journal of Historical Pragmatics 14.1: 70-99.
  • (2011). Review of English Historical Linguistics 2006. Volume I: Syntax and morphology, Volume II: Lexical and semantic change, Volume III: Geo-historical variation in English, ed. by Maurizio Gotti, Marina Dossena & Richard Dury. (Amsterdam: John Benjamins 2008). Journal of Historical Pragmatics 12/1-2: 283-293.
  • (2010). "The effect of prominence hierarchies on Modern English long passives: Pragmatic vs. syntactic factors". Miscelánea. A Journal of English and American Studies 41: 93-106.
  • (2009). "Syntactic complexity, discourse status and animacy as determinants of grammatical variation in English". English Language and Linguistics 13.3: 365-384.
  • (2006). "Questions of style: Legal drafting manuals and scientific style manuals in contemporary English."Linguistica e Filologia 22:115-137. [First author, with Christopher Williams].
  • (2005). "On the colloquialization of scientific British and American English". ESP Across Cultures 2: 106-118. [First author, with Lucía Loureiro-Porto].
  • (2000). "The passive as an information-rearranging device in Early Modern English". Studia Neophilologica72: 24-33.
  • (2000). "Impersonalising strategies in Early Modern English". English Studies 81.2: 102-116.
  • (1999). "The consolidation of the indirect and prepositional passive in Early Modern English: Evidence from the Helsinki Corpus". Estudios Ingleses de la Universidad Complutense 7: 119-139.
  • (1999). "Inherent topicality and object foregrounding in Early Modern English". ICAME Journal 23: 117-140.
  • (1999). Review of Félix Rodríguez González & Antonio Lillo Buades (eds.) Nuevo Diccionario de Anglicismos. (Madrid: Gredos, 1997). Revista Galega do Ensino 22: 203-205
  • (1998). “The passive as a style marker in Early Modern English: Evidence from the Helsinki Corpus”.Miscelánea. A Journal of English and American Studies 19: 155-172.
  • (1995). "The lexical Scandinavian element in Early Modern English". Neuphilologische Mitteilungen XCVI: 399-415. [Second author, with Isabel Moskowich-Spiegel].
  • (1994). "Apposition in The Great Gatsby". Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses 7: 171-184.
  • (1993). "The passive in Early Modern English". Atlantis 15.2: 191-213.
  • (In preparation) Seoane, Elena. 'The role of cotext and context in the entrenchment of new grammatical markers in World Englishes.'

  • (Submitted) Seoane, Elena, Cristian Suárez-Gómez and Lucía Loureiro-Porto. " The ICE project looks at Iberia: The International Corpus of Gibraltar English"

  • (2017). López-Couso, MJ and Elena Seoane. "Grammaticalization." In: Anne Barron, Gerard Steen and Gu Yueguo (eds.). Routledge Handbook of Pragmatics. London: Routledge, 277-292.

  • (2016) Seoane, Elena. "The perfect in creole-related varieties of English: the case of Jamaican English." In V. Werner, E. Seoane & C. Suárez-Gómez (eds.), Reassessing the Present Perfect. Corpus Studies and Beyond. (Topics in English Linguistics-TiEL91). Mouton de Gruyter, 195-221.
  • (2016). Werner, Valentin, Elena Seoane & Cristina Suárez-Gómez. "Introduction: The present perfect - a re-assessment." In  In V. Werner, E. Seoane & C. Suárez-Gómez (eds.), Reassessing the Present Perfect. Corpus Studies and Beyond. (Topics in English Linguistics-TiEL91). Mouton de Gruyter, 1-20.
  • (2016).  Seoane, Elena. World Englishes Today. In E. Seoane and C. Suárez-Gómez (eds.). World Englishes: New Theoretical and Methodological Considerations (Varieties of English around the World G57). Amsterdam and Philadelphia: Benjamins, 1-16.
  • (2016). Seoane, Elena. "Authorial presence in Late Modern English philosophical writing: Evidence from CEPhiT." In 'The Conditioned and the Unconditioned': Late Modern English Texts on Philosophy, ed. by Isabel Moskowich-Spiegel. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: Benjamins, pp. 123-144. 
  • (2014). Seoane, Elena. "Exploring variation and change in New Englishes: Diachronic answers to synchronic questions." In Interdisciplinary Approaches to English Studies, ed. by A. Moreno-Álvarez & I. Pérez-Fernández. Palma de Mallorca: Edicions UIB, 209-240.
  • (2014). “Factors Determining Language Variation in New Englishes: Vernacular Universals versus Contact- induced Change”. In Hopes and Fears: English and American Studies in Spain, ed. by Rosario Arias, Miriam López Rodríguez, Antonio Moreno Ortiz & Chantal Pérez Hernández. Málaga: Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Málaga. ISBN: 978-84-616-6917-2. [Second author, with Cristina Suárez-Gómez].
  • (2013). "They have published a new cultural policy that just come out: Competing forms in spoken and written New Englishes". In English corpus linguistics: Variation in time, space and genre, ed. by Kristin Bech & Gisle Andersen. Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, pp. 163-182. [Second author, with Cristina Suárez-Gómez].
  • (2013). "Categorizing syntactic constructions in a corpus". In Research methods in language variation and change, ed. by Manfred Krug & Julia Schlüter. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN: 9781107004900, pp. 212-227. [Second author, with Nicholas Smith].
  • (2012). "Democratisation". In The Oxford Handbook of the History of English, ed. by Terttu Nevalainen & Elizabeth Closs Traugott. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 392-401. [Second author, with Michael Farrelly].
  • (2012). "Givenness and word order: A study of long passives in Modern and Present-Day English". In Information structure and syntactic change in the history of English, ed. by Anneli Meurman-Solin, María José López-Couso & Bettelou Los. (Oxford Studies in the History of English 1). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 139-163.
  • (2012). “Early Modern English syntax”. In Historical Linguistics of English: An international handbook. Volume I, ed. by Alexander Bergs & Laurel J. Brinton. (Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science [HSK] 34.1). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 621-637.
  • (2012). "The impact of mode on morphosyntactic variation in Asian New Englishes". In  Sara Martín Alegre, Melissa Moyer, Elisabet Pladevall & Susagna Tubau, eds. At a time of crisis: English and American studies in Spain. Works from the 35th AEDEAN Conference. Barcelona: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 391-398. ISBN-10: 84-695-4273-7. [First author, with Cristina Suárez-Gómez].
  • (2011). "A transnational approach to south-east Asian Englishes: The case of Singapore and Hong Kong". In A view from the South: Contemporary English and American studies, ed. by José R. Ibáñez Ibáñez & José Francisco Fernández Sánchez. Almería: Editorial Universidad de Almería, 404-411. [Second author, with Cristina Suárez-Gómez].
  • (2010). "I just come in Hong-Kong by myself: Tense in spoken Hong-Kong English". In Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Corpus Linguistics (CILC10), ed. by Isabel Moskowich-Spiegel et al. A Coruña: Servizo de Publicacións da Universidade de A Coruña, pp. 817-828. [Second author, with Cristina Suárez-Gómez].
  • (2010). "El proyecto 'Variación, cambio lingüístico y gramaticalización': objetivos y líneas metodológicas". In Actas del XXXIX Simposio Internacional de la Sociedad Española de Lingüística (SEL), 1-4 Febrero, 2010 , ed. by Pablo Cano López, Soraya Cortiñas Ansoar, Beatriz Dieste Quiroga, Isabel Fernández López & Luz Zas Varela. Santiago de Compostela: Servizo de Publicacións da Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. [Fifth author, with Teresa Fanego, María José López-Couso, Belén Méndez-Naya, Paloma Núñez-Pertejo & Carlos Prado-Alonso].
  • (2008). "Introduction: New perspectives on grammaticalization." In Rethinking grammaticalization: New perspectives, ed. by María José López-Couso & Elena Seoane. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: Benjamins, pp. 1-13. [First author, with María José López-Couso].
  • (2008). "Introduction: Further reflections on grammaticalization." In Theoretical and empirical issues in grammaticalization, ed. by Elena Seoane & María José López-Couso. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins, pp. 1-14. [Second author, with María José López-Couso].
  • (2008). "The conventionalization of the passive in Late Modern scientific English." In Proceedings of the 31st AEDEAN International Conference, ed. by María Jesús Lorenzo Modia. La Coruña: Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de La Coruña, pp. 291-301.
  • (2006). “Information structure and word order change: The passive as an information rearranging strategy in the history of English”. In The handbook of the history of English, ed. by Ans van Kemenade & Bettelou Los. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 360-391.
  • (2006). "Changing the rules: A comparison of recent trends in English scientific discourse and prescriptive legal discourse." In Diachronic perspectives on domain-specific English, ed. by Marina Dossena & Irma Taavitsainen. Bern: Peter Lang, pp. 255-276. [First author, with Christopher Williams].
  • (2006). “Changing styles: On the recent evolution of scientific British and American English.” In Syntax, style and grammatical norms: English from 1500-2000, ed. by Christiane Dalton-Puffer, Dieter Kastovsky, Nikolaus Ritt & Herbert Schendl. Bern: Peter Lang, pp. 191-211.
  • (2006). “The decay of passives in scientific British and American English: Is scientific discourse becoming more personal?". In 'These things write I vnto thee': Essays in honour of Bjorg Baekken, ed. by Leiv Egil Breivik, Sandra Halverson & Kari Haugland. Oslo: Novus Press, pp. 241-254.
  • (2004). "Los estudios de gramaticalización: pasado, presente y futuro" [Grammaticalization studies: past, present and future]. In Proceedings of the 27th International AEDEAN Conference, ed. by Antonio R. Celada, Daniel Pastor García & Pedro Javier Pardo García. Salamanca: Universidad de Salamanca. [Fourth author, with María José López-Couso, Belén Méndez-Naya & Paloma Núñez-Pertejo]. CD-ROM.
  • (2003). “The codification of indefinite agents in Early and Late Modern English”. In Insights into Late Modern English, ed. by Marina Dossena & Charles Jones. Bern: Peter Lang, pp. 221-237.
  • (2002). “Multiple negation in Modern English”. In Proceedings of the 25th International Conference of the Spanish Association for Anglo-American Studies (AEDEAN), Granada, 13-15 December 2001, ed. by Marta Falces Sierra, Mercedes Díaz Dueñas & José María Pérez Fernández. Granada: Universidad de Granada. [First author, with Ignacio Palacios].
  • (2000). "The passive as an object foregrounding device in Early Modern English". In Generative theory and corpus studies: A dialogue from 10 ICEHL (Topics in English Linguiostics TiEL 31), ed. by Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero, Richard Hogg, David Denison & Chris B. McCully. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 211-232.
  • (2000). "The passive in Early Modern English: A preliminary approach". In AEDEAN: Select papers in language, literature and culture. Proceedings of the 17th International Conference (Córdoba, December 1993), ed. by Javier Pérez-Guerra. Vigo: AEDEAN, pp. 363-367.
  • (1997). “English corpus linguistics and historical research”. In Some sundry wits gathered together, ed. by Santiago González Fernández-Corugedo. A Coruña: Universidade de A Coruña, pp. 73-98. [Second author, with Emma Lezcano González & Javier Pérez Guerra].
  • (1996).  “Los estudios y la enseñanza de la historia de la lengua inglesa en España” ['The history of the English language in Spanish universities: Teaching and research']. In Proceedings of the 19th International AEDEAN Conference, Vigo, December 1995, ed. by Javier Pérez-Guerra. Vigo: Universidade de Vigo, pp. 635-637. [Fourth author, with Luis Iglesias-Rábade, María José López-Couso & Belén Méndez-Naya].
  • (1996). “Scandinavian loans and processes of word-formation in ME: Some preliminary considerations”. In English Historical Linguistics 1994 (Current Issues in Linguistic Theory CiLT 135) ed. by Derek Britton. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp.185-197. [Second author, with Isabel Moskowich-Spiegel].





At the University of Santiago de Compostela (1994-2010) I taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses on different aspects of the history of English, both from a synchronic perspective (Old English, Middle English, Early modern English) and from a diachronic one (History of English Syntax, Diachronic Inflectional Morphology, Lexical and Semantic Change, Historical Linguistics). I also taught Contemporary Morphosyntax and English Language.

In the autumn of 2006 (1 October-31 December) I held a visiting professorship at the University of Osnabrück, to lecture on English historical linguistics, and in 2013 I taught a Master Class on Early Modern English at the same university .

I have also taught for briefer periods, or carried out research, at the Universities of Aachen, Helsinki, Manchester, Oulu, Tampere, Leuven, Vienna, Cambridge and Zurich.

This year I teach English Morphosyntax (undergraduate, 2nd year), Sociolinguistics (undergraduate, 4th year) and English for Specific Purposes (Master Class).



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