Short description

Grammar and Pragmatics (GaP) (Antwerp)
Centro di Ricerca in Linguistica e Filologia (Bergamo)
Center for the Study of Language and Society (Berne)
Language Study Unit (Bolzano)
Hermann Paul Centre for Linguistics (Freiburg, Germany)
Institut für Mehrsprachigkeit der Universität Freiburg und der Pädagogischen Hochschule
Freiburg (Fribourg, Switzerland)

Center of Excellence on Intersubjectivity in Interaction (Helsinki)
HELSLANG (Helsinki)
Department of Linguistics (KU Leuven)
Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences (CRiLLS)(Newcastle upon Tyne)
Center of Excellence – The Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan (MultiLing)

Variation, Linguistic Change and Grammaticalization (Santiago de Compostela)
Grupo de investigación en Gramática do Español (Santiago de Compostela)

The research Group Grammar and Pragmatics (GaP) at the University of Antwerp (Belgium) unites researchers who share an interest for the study of (linguistic) meaning in all its forms. Starting point of the research conducted within GaP is the assumption that grammatical knowledge (and linguistic knowledge in general) is built up through experience, through contact with actual language use and exposure to interaction. Therefore, language can only be studied from a usage-based perspective, which is reflected in the importance that is ascribed to the study of situated language use in specific contexts, by means of corpus analysis and ethnographic research.

The more grammar-oriented GaP-research has an outspoken functional-cognitive orientation and focuses on uses of verbal and nominal (morpho)syntactic constructions like passive and focus constructions, modal, evidential and mirative constructions, tense, aspect and insubordination. Processes of grammaticalization and constructionalization are studied on the basis of present-day and historical corpora. The functional-cognitive orientation further implies that cognitive mechanisms (e.g. schematizing, priming, analogical relations) are considered to be important explanatory factors. Moreover, it is assumed that grammar (and language in general) is crucially imbedded in the communicative function of language, i.e. language is the product of communication between people.

The more pragmatics-oriented GaP-research studies intercultural and international communication, language and ideology, language and institutions and discursive practices in multilingual environments. Theory building within the broadly conceived field of linguistic pragmatics is also aimed at in order to provide a consistent framework integrating the different perspectives from which linguistic knowledge and language use can be approached. Interdisciplinarity is key in this respect.

GaP – Grammar & Pragmatics
Prinsstraat 13, D.128
B-2000 Antwerp (Belgium)


The Centro di Ricerca in Linguistica e Filologia (CRiLeF) was founded in December 2012, as research centre of the Department of Foreign Languages, Literature and Communication at the University of Bergamo. Its aim is to investigate natural-historical languages, especially the European ones, according to theoretical, applied, and socio-historical perspectives.

The members of CRiLeF work and promote research activity in cooperation with the philologists of the different linguistic areas taught in Bergamo. Some of the Centre activities are also devoted to theory and methods employed in foreign language teaching.

All the activities, i.e. investigations and classes, are consistently planned according to the qualifying aims of the Centre. The members of the Centre are requested to make new and original research; to supervise and tutor PhD students in Linguistic Sciences in developing and elaborating their PhD dissertations; to organise workshops and lectures that complete and integrate the normal curricular programs.

University of Bergamo
Piazza Verzeri
I-24129 Bergamo


The Center for the Study of Language and Society (CSLS) at the University of Berne (Switzerland) focuses on scientifically researching the relationship between language and society and their mutual interconnectivity in the widest sense.

The CSLS assumes in principal that language is to be seen as a fait social; every language is learnt, constructed, and constituted by and through individuals in interaction with other individuals. Similarly, society cannot be seen as simply given but rather as being created through the interactions of individuals and social actors. This interactionist and constructivist view of language and society is in stark contrast to the main-stream linguistics of generative grammar informed by Chomsky’s ideal speaker-listener. Rather, language is seen as the symbolic capital (Bourdieu) in the societal negotiation of power and in the valuation of languages and societal variety. Thus, language is an essential instrument in the constitution and organization of societies and identities.

University of Berne
Länggassstrasse 49
CH-3000 Bern 9


The Language Study Unit of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano is devoted to the analysis of how linguistic systems, languages and language varieties coexist and are related to one another within society, groups and individuals. It emphasizes research in the field of language contact and face-to- face interaction in multilingual contexts, as well as language acquisition and learning, as they are exemplified in the area of South Tyrol.

Data-driven research is based both on qualitative and quantitative approaches, which range  from ethnographic fieldwork to statistical analysis; examined phenomena, including code-choice and code-switching, learner and ethnic varieties, institutional and informal communication, are analyzed from a systemic perspective, so as to provide explanations for the complexity and regularities of language use.
The Centre also cooperates with local institutions providing its expertise in language matters and monitors the multilingual orientation of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano.

Free University of Bozen – Bolzano
via Dante, 9
I-39100 Bozen/Bolzano


The Hermann Paul Centre for Linguistics (HPCL) at the University of Freiburg (Germany) is an interdisciplinary research institute dedicated to the study of language. Our goal is to gain new insights into current linguistic issues through cooperation and collaboration with other academic disciplines. This entails providing a framework for the consolidation of all linguistically related research currently conducted at the University of Freiburg, thereby facilitating the exchange of ideas necessary for further progress in the field. We are specifically interested in the following research topics:

  • Language as a means of communication
  • Language: emergence, development and variability
  • Language as it relates to the processing and production of speech
  • Language interdependencies
  • Language spread and acquisition

The Hermann Paul School of Linguistics (HPSL) Basel-Freiburg  provides an international and interdisciplinary program in state-of-the-art research in language sciences. The concept of the school was developed in close collaboration between the participating institutions and researchers, and builds on our experience with different formats of PhD programs that have received support from various funding agencies (e.g. DFG research training groups, SNF ProDoc).

The HPSL promotes research in a variety of disciplines, and builds on the expertise of well-established researchers from both universities and their international networks. We acknowledge the different hiring and qualification policies in the fields involved and aim to teach to the best research, presentation and publication standards, ensuring that our PhD candidates and Postdocs have the qualifications they need for the job market. At the same time, we bridge the boundaries between subjects, methods, and traditions to create a vibrant atmosphere of true interdisciplinary exchange and inspiration.

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Platz der Universität 3
D-79098 Freiburg


The Institut für Mehrsprachigkeit der Universität Freiburg und der Pädagogischen Hochschule Freiburg  at Fribourg (Switzerland) is a joint institute of the University of Fribourg and the University of Teacher Education, Fribourg. It is committed to researching multilingualism and its linguistic, social, political, economic and educational aspects. It is comprised of three areas, each of which is headed by one of its affiliated professors. Its activities are financed in large by the Adolphe Merkle Foundation and the Foundation for Research and Development of Multilingualism of the Canton of Fribourg.

Institute of Multilingualism
Rue de Morat 24
CH-1700 Fribourg


The Finnish Centre of Excellence in Research on Intersubjectivity in Interaction at the University of Helsinki (Finland) is a cross-disciplinary and cross-linguistic research unit that includes both linguists and social scientists. It is funded by the Academy of Finland for the years 2012–2017, and housed in the Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugric and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Helsinki. The Centre is organized in three interlocking teams:

  1. Verbal and non-verbal resources,
  2. Actions and sequences of action, and
  3. Emotion in interaction.

A core theoretical and methodological framework is Conversation Analysis, combined with methods of interactional linguistics, cognitive grammar, construction grammar, and sociolinguistics, as well as the study of multimodality and psychophysiology. The teams study the achievement and maintenance of intersubjectivity – mutual understanding and experience – in human interaction, based on audio and video recordings of naturally occurring spoken interactions in different settings. Languages studied include Finnish, Finland Swedish, Estonian, Danish and Italian, and in its subprojects a wide range of different types of languages are examined. In addition to scientific results, the findings of the Centre of Excellence will have the potential of applicability to the development of central interactive processes in modern society.

Finnish Centre of Excellence in Intersubjectivity in Interaction
Vuorikatu 3 A, 5th floor
FI-00100 Helsinki


The Doctoral Programme for Language Studies (HELSLANG) at the University of Helsinki is one of eleven doctoral programmes in the Humanities and Social Sciences Doctoral School and primarily works within the Faculty of Arts. HELSLANG is hosted by the Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Helsinki. The primary aim of HELSLANG is to assist PhD students in their work to finish their PhD dissertations, and to prepare them for life after the dissertation. In addition, HELSLANG works as a platform for all scholars doing research on languages and linguistics at the University of Helsinki; language scholars also cooperate within smaller Researcher Communities (RCs) at the university.

HELSLANG covers a wide range of linguistic fields, including various synchronic and diachronic approaches to language, translation studies and language technology. The focal areas are

(1) Language and interaction;
(2) Linguistic structures and context;
(3) Language contacts, change, variation and multilingualism;
(4) Meaning, texts and society;
(5) Turning points in translation and interpretation theory and practices; and
(6) Language technology and corpus linguistics.

These are the areas where groups of PIs have recognized international expertise; in principle, however, HELSLANG caters for all linguistic research at the University of Helsinki.

HELSLANG has over 200 PhD students and over 100 PIs as supervisors. In addition to the teaching done by its PIs, HELSLANG organizes monthly colloquia and crash courses, and invites international scholars to give guest lectures and courses.

Doctoral Programme for Language Studies
P.O. Box 24 (Unioninkatu 40)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki


The Department of Linguistics of KU Leuven (Belgium) is subdivided into currently six Research Groups:

    • Functional and Cognitive Linguistics: Grammar and Typology
    • Quantitative Lexicology and Variational Linguistics
    • French, Italian and comparative linguistics
    • Formal and Computational Linguistics
    • Multimodality, Interaction and Discourse
    • Language and Education

All Research Groups bring together a group of senior research staff (tenured and tenure-track; 36 in all) and junior research staff (PhD students, 40; postdocs, 17) as well as associated researchers. The Research Groups form the dynamic locus of a wide range of research-related activities (submission of applications for various types of research funding; supervision of research projects, PhD and postdoc research; regular organization of talks, workshops, conferences). At the level of the Department, the different research groups are represented in a Departmental steering committee.

KU Leuven
Blijde Inkomststraat 21
B-3000 Leuven


The Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences (CRiLLS) at the University of Newcastle (GB) is with over 40 academic staff in linguistics and language sciences across the campus, one of the largest teams of linguists in Europe. The strengths of the Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Sciences (CRiLLS) are both its breadth of expertise, ranging from the highly theoretical to the very applied, and its pool of interdisciplinary research activities, bridging theory and application. There are significant research synergies, with leading international figures in the areas of:

  • Applied Linguistics and Language Acquisition
  • Theoretical and Descriptive Linguistics
  • Clinical Linguistics
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Corpus Linguistics and Phonetics

CRiLLS also provides a range of state-of-the-art resources for researchers and research students, including access to linguistics software and databases as well as space for meetings, seminars and social activities. Student members run the annual postgraduate conference in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, which takes place during the Easter vacation.

Newcastle University
Claremont Bridge
Old Library Building
UK-Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU


The  Center for Multilingualism in Society Across the Lifespan (MultiLing)  at the University of Oslo (Norway) is a research center financed by the Research Council of Norway as a Center of Excellence. MultiLing is located at the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies.

The Center’s vision is to contribute to how society can deal with the opportunities and challenges of multilingualism through increased knowledge, promoting agency for individuals in society, and a better quality of life, no matter what linguistic and social background.

The Center is organized around three mutually dependent and interrelated themes:

  1. Multilingual competence across the lifespan, i.e. how multilingual children, youth and adults acquire the languages they know, with a particular focus on how multilingual competence changes throughout the lifespan.
  2. Multilingual language choice and practices across the lifespan, i.e. how multilingual children, youth and adults use the languages they know, with a particular focus on how multilingual language use changes throughout the lifespan.
  3. Management of multilingualism across the lifespan, both at an individual and at a group level, i.e. how social and political power relations influence multilingual acquisition and use.

MultiLing brings together disciplines that have hitherto often been fragmented within linguistics, namely psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic approaches to language and multilingualism. The Center also unites different fields of research such as linguistics, sociology, psychology, education, anthropology and brain research.

Henrik Wergelands hus
Niels Henrik Abels vei 36


The research unit Variation, Linguistic Change and Grammaticalization (VLCG) led by Professor Teresa Fanego, was established in the 1990s at the Department of English and German of the University of Santiago de Compostela. It carries out corpus-based research on grammatical change in the history of English, on changes going on in Present-day English, and on varieties of English generally. On a broader level, the unit is interested in typological issues in the field of cognitive-functional linguistics, with a focus on grammaticalization processes and Construction Grammar.

Since its creation, VLCG has received funding from both the Spanish National Research Plan and the Regional Government of Galicia, and has become one of the leading teams in the discipline of English historical linguistics, having been in charge of the organization of some of the major international conferences in the field. The unit is a member of the ARCHER international consortium for corpus linguistics and of the Galician-based research network English Linguistics Circle (ELC).

Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
E-15782 Santiago de Compostela


The Grupo de investigación en Gramática do Español / Spanish Grammar Research Group at the Department of Spanish, University of Santiago de Compostela, focuses on the study of grammatical theory, Spanish grammar and its applications. After an initial period in the 1980s devoted to establishing a Functionalist syntactic framework and gaining understanding of phrase and clause structure, the group evolved to integrate any framework related to Corpus Linguistics. Such integration has given rise to the development of resources such as the Present-Day Spanish Syntactic Database (BDS). At present, the unit carries out research on

  • constructions of the clause from a discourse-functional perspective,
  • Spanish morphology, with a Morphogenetic study of Spanish lexicon,
  • construction of spoken corpora (ESLORA) and corpora of learners of Spanish as a second language, and
  • development of tools for syntactic parsing, POS tagging, and information extraction and data mining.

The group is a member of the Galician Network for Natural Language Processing and Information Retrieval, which is a network of research groups from the universities of Vigo, A Coruña and Santiago de Compostela.

Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
E-15782 Santiago de Compostela