Cedric Boeckx

Universitat de Barcelona


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

- Martins PT, Mari M & Boeckx C 2018, 'SRGAP2 and the gradual evolution of the modern human language faculty', Journal of Language Evolution. 3, 1, 67 - 78.

- Boeckx C & Theofanopoulou C 2018. '(Neural) syntax'. In Language, syntax, and the natural sciences, ed. A. Gallego and R. Martin, 295-315. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

- Benitez-Burraco C, Theofanopoulou C & Boeckx C 2018, 'Globularization and domestication', Topoi. 37, 2, 265 - 278.

- Duguine M, Irurtzun A & Boeckx C 2018. Linguistic diversity and granularity: two case-studies against parametric approaches. Linguistic Analysis41, 445-458.