I obtained a Magister (Freiburg, 1993), an MA (King's College London, 1994), and a PhD (philosophy, Bern, 1996), prior to becoming a Swiss government funded postdoctoral researcher in Stuttgart (1996-7) and New York (1997-9). I was first employed in an academic position as Assistant Professor in Regensburg (1999), then at the Universitat van Amsterdam (2003-2006), before becoming a full professor in Durham (2006-) and an ICREA Research Professor in Barcelona in April 2013. I also was a guest professor at Hong Kong University (2010) and at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (2011).
Language is specific to our species, as is our mind. How do the two relate? I pursue this question philosophically, linguistically, and experimentally, by studying disorders of language in the context of mental disorders. I have inaugurated the `Un-Cartesian hypothesis', which is that the evolution of language is also the evolution of a particular cognitive type. This research program is documented in 'Mind Design' (2006), `Essay on Names and Truth' (2007), and 'The Philosophy of Universal Grammar' (2013, with M. Sheehan), all from Oxford UP. I have directed three international projects (NWO, 2006-2011; AHRC/DFG, 2009-2012) and currently 'Language and Mental Health' (AHRC, 2014-2017), dedicated to the comparative study of language disorder in schizophrenia and aphasia. Locally in Barcelona, I have founded the Grammar & Cognition group (www.grammar.cat), which pursues the project of a typology of linguistic diversity across clinical populations.