This short overview reviews, in the first part, some of the most important fields of investigation where studies on Galician have contributed to variational linguistics, including macro- and micro-sociolinguistic studies (sections 1-3). The second part (sections 4-7) postulates some possible theoretical and empirical areas which we recommend to be included in future research. We propose a critical application of new models of linguistic variation, including recent frameworks such as studies on grammaticalisation, OT, intonational phonology, etc., but also call for the inclusion of established insights into language variation common in the European tradition. The high concentration of research institutions and the strongly dynamic situation of contemporary Galician could serve as an empirical touchstone for these theoretical frameworks, and Galician linguistics should apply them in a critical, flexible and creative way. This means that research on Galician will not only learn from theory but also contribute to it. We also briefly mention some of the areas where the studies of Galician have already contributed some important results to an overall perspective on linguistic variation.