The Linguistics Research Centre of NOVA University Lisbon (CLUNL) was founded in 2000.

The planning of the early research work in Linguistics at School of Social Sciences and Humanities of NOVA University Lisbon (NOVA FCSH) began in 1975, in the area of Modern Languages and Literatures, thanks to the interest of Professors Maria de Lourdes Belchior and Maria Emília Marques. The theoretical approaches of the team members (comprising the domains of Sociology, Computer Sciences, Sociolinguistics, Psycholinguistics, and Language Teaching, within a contrastive and interdisciplinary approach) were presented at the Primeiro Encontro Nacional para a Investigação e Ensino do Português, in 1976. This first research group would form NELC – Núcleo de Estudos de Linguística Contrastiva (Centre of Studies on Contrastive Linguistics), integrated in the Centro de Estudos Comparados de Línguas e Literaturas Modernas (Comparative Studies on Modern Languages and Literatures). In 1979, NELC published, in the first issue of Letras Soltas, a number of articles integrating some domains that would later be developed in CLUNL: Lexicology, Text Theory, Theoretical Issues and Pedagogical Praxis, branching into Sociology of Education and Bilinguism. The second issue of Letras Soltas was edited by Professor Maria Henriqueta Costa Campos, who pioneered publishing in the domains of Enunciative Semantics and Relational Grammar.

CLUNL was created in 2000, under the direction of Professor Teresa Lino. Since its creation, the work developed at CLUNL has made an important contribution to linguistic studies in Portugal in the areas of Acquisition (L1 and L2), Discourse Analysis, Text Theory, Lexicography and Terminology, Syntax, Morphology and Historical Linguistics. CLUNL’s present research is based on different conceptual and theoretical models. This characteristic is a reflection of the work developed in the Unit throughout the years and it is also what gives the Unit its identity.

Between the years 2000 and 2006, CLUNL was directed by Teresa Lino. Maria de Lourdes Crispim was director between 2006 and 2010, together with Maria Lobo, Fernanda Menéndez and Maria do Céu Caetano. From 2010 to 2016, CLUNL was directed by Maria Antónia Coutinho, with Clara Nunes Correia and Alexandra Fiéis.

Since the first moment, all directory boards and research teams of CLUNL have worked and contributed to establish it as a competitive and relevant Research Unit in Portugal and abroad, attractive to both national and foreign researchers.