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TALC: Pre-conference Workshops

Phraseological and corpus-based study of scientific and technical discourse: English and Spanish

Workshop leaders

Silvia Molina Plaza. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

Silvia Molina holds a PhD in English Linguistics from the UCM (Madrid) and was granted an Extraordinary Doctorate Award. She has been a tenured Senior Lecturer at the University of Castilla-La Mancha and at the Technical University of Madrid where she is currently teaching at the Department of Applied Linguistics to Science and Technology at the Naval Engineering School. She has gained recognition for eighteen years of quality research.

María del Mar Robisco Martín. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

Dr Mª Mar Robisco-Martin has taught at the School of Aeronautical Engineering for more than 30 years. Her PhD thesis focuses on the language employed in air traffic control (ATC) communications. Her main research interests draw heavily on metaphors and metonymies found in Aeronautics and on the analysis of the Aeronautical discourse. She has been involved in several research projects with Iberia and with DISCYT and has published in international journals.

Verónica Vivancos Cervero. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

Verónica Vivanco is a senior lecturer at the Department of Applied Linguistics of the Technical University of Madrid. She has participated in national and international projects and conferences and published various articles in national and international journals. She is a member of the editorial board of several journals and works actively as a referee for contents based on lexis, semantics, discourse and methodology of the teaching of languages.

Ana Roldán-Riejos. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

Dr Ana Roldán-Riejos is an Associate Professor at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain) where she has been teaching Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) for several decades at the Civil Engineering School. She has also collaborated with Imperial College of London as an invited researcher. She leads the research group DISCYT (Socio-cognitive studies of scientific and technical discourse). Her research interests include Cognitive Linguistics, Technical Phraseology and Critical Discourse Analysis.

Paloma Úbeda Mansilla.Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

Dr Paloma Úbeda is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Applied Linguistics of the Technical University of Madrid. She has led the group for innovation in Education APLAI from its foundation in 2007, and conducted several innovations in education research projects. A multi-disciplinary teaching perspective in several socio-cultural experience backgrounds has defined her research interests, which currently focus on the design of teaching materials within a cognitive scope.


The main aim of this workshop is to showcase explorations on specialised discourse through corpus-based analysis in English and Spanish. The phraseology of scientific and technical discourse is an area that has received little attention previously, although it has been proved that, in many cases, words do not appear in isolation, on the contrary, they show a tendency to combine and team up (Aguado 2007, Pérez-Llantada 2013, Roldán-Riejos & Molina 2016). The procedure referred to source extraction will be detailed and data collected from online common written academic and professional genres will be detailed. It is assumed that lexical clusters or collocations co-occur with single lexical items in the configuration of scientific and technical discourse. Hence, we focus on how the lexical components of such clusters are arranged according to context. We will consider meaning construction and the ways in which mechanisms like metaphor and metonymy are encapsulated both conceptually and linguistically. Additionally, their function will be also analysed. Cross-linguistic Spanish-English/English-Spanish analyses of discourse are finally conducted. Possible practical applications of this model are considered from three different angles:1. To design specialised dictionaries and data banks 2. for translation and 3. for learning purposes in the classroom or online.

It is expected that the the phraseology of specialised language and its scientific compilation and analysis in two languages will be relevant for TaLC participants. Those attending this workshop will learn that phraseology has a relevant occurrence in specialised language and also how this phraseology can be compiled and analysed for research and learning purposes.

Will the workshops participants need to bring their own devices?

Yes, either a tablet or a laptop to work with practical examples. Windows software is fine.


Aguado de Cea, G. (2007) “La fraseología en las lenguas de especialidad”. En: Las lenguas profesionales y académicas. Alcaraz, E., Mateo, J., Yus, F. (eds). Pp. 53- 65, Ariel: Barcelona.

Cuadrado-Esclapez, G. Argüelles-Álvarez, I., Durán-Escribano, P., Gómez-Ortiz, M.J., Molina-Plaza,P., Pierce-McMahon,J., Robisco-Martín,M., Roldán-Riejos, A., & Úbeda-Mansilla, P. (2016). Bilingual Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Metaphors and Metonymies. Spanish-English/English-Spanish. 2016. London: Routledge.

Pérez-Llantada, C. (2013) Scientific Discourse and the Rhetoric of Globalization The Impact of Culture and Language. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Roldán-Riejos, A. and Molina Plaza, S. (2016) “Home and Clothes: A Case of Prolific Metaphor Creation in Engineering (Spanish and English)”. SYNERGY, Vol. 12, no.1:129-138.