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 role of language in human cognition by studying disorders of language in the context of cognitive disorders. I have inaugurated the 'Un-Cartesian hypothesis', which suggests that the evolution of language is also the evolution of a particular cognitive type. The theoretical basis of this research program is set out in my monographs 'Mind Design' (2006), 'An Essay on Names and Truth' (2007), and 'The Philosophy of Universal Grammar' (2013, with M. Sheehan), all from Oxford UP, but my group now pursues it largely empirically. 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.