Universidade de Vigo

Short Biography

I completed a degree in English Philology at the University of Vigo, followed by an MA and PhD in English historial linguistics at the Universities of Vigo and Manchester. In September 2003 I moved to the University of Liverpool (U.K.), where I currently hold a senior lectureship in English Language.


My main area of research is English historical syntax and semantics. I have published on the history of English adjective comparison (2003, 2004, 2007, 2008a), the pathways of development of degree intensifiers (2008b, 2010) and, together with Sylvia Adamson (Sheffield), I have worked on the diachrony of the English Noun Phrase (2009, 2010). I am also interested in the English normative grammar tradition (2005, 2008a) and (socio) historical stylistics, especially the language of Jane Austen and her 'predecessor' Frances Burney (2012, in prep. a). Another 'strand' of my research focuses on the recent history of English language teaching (1979-1988) and the development of an awareness of key language concepts and methodologies in the school domain (with Sarah Turner, Bristol).

In recent years I have been involved in a number of projects working at the interface of literature and psycholinguistics. With colleagues at Liverpool CRILS and at the department of psychology at Bangor, I have explored the effects of processes of functional shift on the brain (2008c, 2013)


(2003) “Adjective comparison in Renaissance English”, in Bueno Alonso, J. L., J. Figueroa Dorrego, D. González Álvarez, J. Pérez Guerra, M. Urdiales Shaw, ‘Nothing but papers, my lord’. Studies in Early Modern English language and literature, Vigo: Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Vigo (included in the World Shakespeare Database).

(2004) “Adjectival double periphrastic comparatives in EModE: a socio-stylistic analysis” in Folia Linguistica Historica 25, pp. 177-210.

(2005) (with Anita Auer) “Eighteenth-century prescriptivism in English: a re-evaluation of its effects on actual language usage”, in Multilin​gua 24, pp. 317-341

(2006) “The origin of English periphrastic comparison”, in English Studies 87, pp. 707-740.

(2007a) “On the nature and distribution of English double periphrastic comparison” in The Review of English Studies 57, pp. 623-664.

(2007b) “Worser and lesser in Modern English” in  Pérez-Guerra, J., González-Alvarez, D., Bueno-Alonso, J. L. and Rama-Martínez, E. (eds.) Of varying language and opposing creed. New insights into Late Modern English, Linguistic Insights 28, Bern: Peter Lang, pp. 237-278.

(2008a) “On normative grammarians and the double marking of degree”, in Tieken-Boon van Ostade, I. (ed.) Grammars, grammarians and grammar-writing in eighteenth-century England, Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 289-310.

(2008b) “Recent developments in English intensifiers: the case of very much”, in English Language and Linguistics, 12/2, pp. 221-243.

(2008c) (with Guillaume Thierry, Philip Davis, Clara Molina et al.) “Event-related potential  characterisation  of the Shakespearean  functional shift  in  narrative  sentence  structure”, in Neuroimage 40, pp. 923-931.             

(2008d) English adjective comparison: A historical perspective, Current issues in linguistic theory (vol. 299), Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

(2009) “Little old problems: Adjectives and subjectivity in the English NP” in Adamson, S. and González-Díaz, V. (eds). The history and structure of the English NP (Special Issue of The Transactions of the Philological Society), 107 (3), pp. 376-402.

(2010) “Iconicity and subjectivisation in the NP: the case of little”, in Conradie, J. et al. (ed) Signergy. Iconicity in language and literature 9, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 319-345.

(2012) “Round Brackets in Jane Austen”, in English Text Construction 5:2, pp. 455-495.

(forthc. 2013)  (with J. L. Keidel, Philip M. Davis, V. Gonzalez-Diaz, Clara D. Martin and Guillaume Thierry) “How Shakespeare tempests the brain: Neuroimaging insights”, in Co​rtex 49.

(forthc. 2013) (with Tina Davidson) The Language of Women’s Fiction, Special issue of Women’s Writing.

(in prep.) “‘Worth a moment’s notice’: Austen and conversational parentheticals”

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