Miriam Taverniers’s work initially focused on (lexical/conceptual) metaphor and grammatical metaphor. Her research into the nature of grammatical metaphor in Systemic Functional Linguistics (PhD 2002) led to a deep interest in fundamentally theoretical concepts, especially the design and theorization of differentiating dimensions and theoretical categories in structural-functional and semiotically oriented linguistic frameworks (such as the relation between lexis and grammar; stratification, esp. the syntax-semantics interface; the relation between instance, norm/register and system; syntagmatic layering and functional diversity). This is reflected in several articles, two edited volumes and two books (one in press, Equinox; and one in prep., Palgrave Macmillan). She has also worked on more descriptive topics, but always with a special dedication to what a scrutiny of those topics can contribute to our understanding of the theoretical issues mentioned above. These topics include (secondary) predication and labile verbs/ergativity/unaccusativity in English and in a contrastive perspective.
She co-organized several international conferences and has been active in the organization of specialist courses for PhD students in linguistics. She has been (co-)supervisor of three finished PhDs and currently coaches five PhD projects.