• Hispanic Linguistics
  • Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis
  • Second Language Acquisition (interlanguage pragmatics)
  • Pragmatic Variation in First and Second Language Contexts
  • Cross-Cultural and Intercultural Communication
  • Instruction and Assessment
  • Pragmatic Development in Study Abroad Contexts

His research areas are Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis, two disciplines of linguistics that examine pragmatic meaning at the utterance level and beyond the sentence.

Professor Félix-Brasdefer current research focuses on topics related to pragmatics and discourse, pragmatic variation, second language pragmatics, intercultural communication, service encounters, (im)politeness, and the effects of instruction on pragmatic development.

My research looks at issues of pragmatics and discourse analysis in first and second language contexts. I adopt a pragmatic-discursive perspective to analyze language use in social interaction. I have conducted research on various aspects of second language pragmatics such as pragmatic development, pragmatic transfer, language proficiency, assessment, and instruction. I am interested in pragmatic development in study abroad contexts as well as in immigrant contexts, such as heritage language learning. I also examine intercultural communicative competence in foreign language classrooms and study abroad programs. From a pragmatic variation perspective, I examine intra-lingual variation in different regions of the United States, Mexico, Spain, and Central America. In particular, I investigate the language of service encounters in cross-cultural and intercultural settings. I employ different research methodologies, such as the ethnographic method and a variety of experimental methods, to examine pragmatic phenomena in formal and non-formal contexts.

Current research projects

  • The pragmatics of service encounters
  • Pragmatic variation across varieties of Spanish and English
  • Pragmatics and prosody
  • (Im)polite Behavior, Facework, and Power

Research Interests

  • pragmatics; discourse analysis; pragmatic variation; speech act theory; (im)politeness; interlanguage pragmatics; instruction of pragmatics

Subject Area: Spanish & Portuguese


  • Culture
  • Spain


  • Cuba Initiative
  • Minority Languages and Cultures Project


Past Affiliations
European Studies, Language Studies, Portuguese, Chicano/a Studies, Spanish
PhD, University of Minnesota, Hispanic Linguistics, 2002
MS, Georgetown University, Spanish Linguistics, 1998
MA, University of Illinois at Chicago, Hispanic Studies, 1996
BA, Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala, México, 1992