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).
I study the structural organization and function of language in the human mind/brain. The research largely focuses on how disorders of language and cognition illuminate the relation between these two. The theoretical basis of this research is laid down in a series of monographs (Mind Design, 2006), An Essay on Names and Truth, 2007), and The Philosophy of Universal Grammar, 2013), all from Oxford University Press. My experimental research focused on language in schizophrenia, after which my group expanded to language profiles in autism and dementia. I have directed three international projects (NWO, 2006-2011; AHRC/DFG, 2009-2012; AHRC, 2014-2017), the last of these dedicated to the comparative study of language disorder in schizophrenia and aphasia. In Barcelona I have founded the Grammar & Cognition lab (www.grammar.cat), which pursues the project of a typology of linguistic diversity across clinical populations.