The bulk of Dr. Rivas´s research has been in the field of syntax, mainly on the study of grammatical relations, complementation, word order, and discourse markers. Most of his work focuses on syntactic variation, syntactic change, and grammaticalization. Dr, Rivas approaches language from a functionalist perspective, according to which grammar is motivated by discourse and cognitive patterns (information flow, iconicity, and economy). Grammatical patterns are the result of highly conventionalized discourse patterns that arise in local contexts of use. In this process of conventionalization, frequency plays a major role. As a result of his approach, Dr. Rivas´s studies are corpus-based and make use of both qualitative and quantitative methods.
usage-based grammar, morphosyntactic variation and change, Hispanic linguistics