As a Hispanic linguist, with specialization in Latin American Studies, my interest is the study of discourse as a tool to understand our history, cultural diversity and social characteristics. One of my passions in this regard is to explore the meaning, pragmatic functions and evolution of Spanish Proverbs (refranes), as a window to ideological positions and transformations. You can find some of my papers related to this topic under Paremiology. My current interest concerns the representation and construction of different social groups in mass media discourse. In relation to this topic, I have studied how the varieties of Spanish used by the anchors of Noticiero Univisión on the U.S. reflect the tension between a Pan-Hispanic and  a national identity.

The analysis of discourse in mass media outlets is the general topic of my dissertation. I examined 396 news reports published by the main newspaper in Colombia, El Tiempo, that depict events related to the armed conflict during the decade of 1998-2008. I argue that El Tiempo did not report impartial information about the events of war and its actors during this period of time. Evidence of this is found in the levels of transitivity of the verbal constructions that describe actions of violence. Usising cuantitative content analysis, I demonstrate that these levels vary according to the actor that performs an action of violence and the actor that suffers from it. The results of my study reveal that the news reported by El Tiempo have more than simply informed about war events, rather they have systematically constructed a biased image of the actors and their actions, legitimizing government violence and favoring the social perception of its armed institutions. A segment of this investigation (the different representations of violence against the civilian population) can be seen in this video.

You can download my research papers in the following links.  


“Me iba a suicidar y casi me mato”: Sobre la evolución de matarse con sentido accidental

Co-construcciones en español: cooperación por medio de una interrupción?

Formalismo y funcionalismo: concepciones teóricas y metodológicas divergentes en Lingüística

¿Y usted por qué le dice negrito?: funciones de los vocativos de cariño en conversaciones de pareja

Revisión bibliográfica sobre las funciones y evolución del clítico se


Dichos in Latin America: a window to ideologies

“La mujer calladita se ve más bonita”: ideología y género en los refranes

Analyzability and Compositionality: The effects of frequency of usage in Spanish proverbs

Del Quijote a UNM: una historia de diez refranes

Los dichos “más...que...”: composición, metáfora y carnaval


Brevisima relación de la destrucción de indias (capítulo Colombia, siglo XXI)

The Witotos and the rubber boom: the silent genocide

La fatalidad de la escritura obligatoria (BBC abstract) 

The main article can be found at:

Burgos, Félix Manuel. 2005. La fatalidad de la lectura obligatoria. En Capítulo aparte: revista de la campaña nacional Eugenio Espejo por el libro y la lectura. No. 5. 123-131.

Félix Manuel Burgos

University of New Mexico

Linguistics. Spanish. Latin American Studies

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