Cedric Boeckx

Universitat de Barcelona (UB)


Cedric Boeckx is Research Professor at the Catalan Institute for Advanced Studies (ICREA), a member of the Universitat de Barcelona Institute for Complex Systems, and a member of the section of General Linguistics at the Universitat de Barcelona. Before joining ICREA, he was Associate Professor of Linguistics at Harvard University. He is the author of numerous books, including Islands and Chains (2003), Linguistic Minimalism (2006), Bare Syntax (2008), Language in Cognition (2009), Syntactic Islands (2012), Elementary Syntactic Structures (2014), and the editor of numerous volumes. He is also the founding co-editor of the Open Access journal Biolinguistics, and the founding editor of the Oxford University Press monograph series 'Oxford Studies in Biolinguistics'.

Research interests

My current research focuses on developing new ways of advancing the biolinguistic program, a growing interdisciplinary enterprise seeking to uncover the biological foundations of the human language faculty, a critical part of ‘human cognitive biology’. My graduate training and early career were in theoretical linguistics, but my more recent work has a more explicit biological orientation. My current projects are all intended to facilitate integration among disciplines (linguistics, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and genetics), and lead to better experimental testing of theoretical hypotheses, as well as to more solid interpretations of experimental findings. I also seek to exploit the full pluralism characteristic of the life sciences to force a rethinking of long-held assumptions in theoretical linguistics and other domains of cognitive science.

Selected publications

– Fujita K & Boeckx C (eds.) 2016, Advances in Biolinguistics: The human language faculty and its biological basis, London: Routledge.

Boeckx C & Benitez-Burraco A 2016, ‘Components of the language-ready brain’, Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 762.

– Theofanopoulou C & Boeckx C 2016, ‘The central role of the thalamus in language and cognition’, In Advances in Biolinguistics: The human language faculty and its biological basis, ed. Boeckx C & Fujita K, London: Routledge.

Boeckx C 2016, ‘Remarks on logodiversity’, In Rethinking parameters, (Ed.) Eguren L et al., 64-104, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

– Martins PT & Boeckx C 2016, ‘What we talk about when we talk about biolinguistics’, Linguistics Vanguard, vol. 2, 1.

Boeckx C 2016, ‘Evolutionary syntax’, Journal Of Linguistics, 52, 2, 476 – 480.

Boeckx C & Martins PT 2016, ‘Biolinguistics’, In Oxford research encyclopedia of linguistics, Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.

Boeckx C & Martins PT 2016, ‘Language evolution: Insisting on making it a mystery or turning it into a problem?’, In Papers dedicated to Anne Reboul, ed. Dupuy L, Grabizna A, Foudon N & Saint-Germier P, Lyon.

– Martins PT, Leivada E,  Benitez-Burraco A & Boeckx C 2016, ‘Biological pluralism in service of biolinguistics’, In Advances in Biolinguistics: The human language faculty and its biological basis, ed. Boeckx C & Fujita K, London: Routledge.