Wolfram Hinzen

Universitat Pompeu Fabra & FIDMAG Hermanas Hospitalarias


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).

Research interests

I study the role of language in 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. This research program is documented 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. I have directed three international projects (NWO, 2006-2011; AHRC/DFG, 2009-2012; AHRC, 2014-2017), 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.

Selected publications

– Durrleman S, Hinzen W  & Franck J 2018. ‘False belief and relative clauses in Autism Spectrum Disorders’, Journal of Communication Disorders 74, 35-44.

– Sevilla G, Rossello J, Salvador R, Sarro S, Lopez-Araquistain L, Pomarol-Clotet E & Hinzen W 2018. ‘Deficits in nominal reference identify thought disordered speech in a narrative production task’, Plos One, 13, 8, e0201545.

– Cokal D, Sevilla G, Jones WS, Zimmerer V, Deamer F, Douglas M, Spencer H, Turkington D, Ferrier N, Varley R,  Watson S & Hinzen W 2018. ‘The language profile of formal thought disorder‘. npj schizophrenia (4), 18.

Hinzen W 2018. ‘On the rationality of grammar’, In Language, Syntax and the Natural Sciences, eds. Á. Gallego and R. Martin, Cambridge University Press, pp. 164-181.

Hinzen W, Rossello J, Morey C, García-Gorro C, Camara E & de Diego-Balaguer R 2018, ‘A systematic linguistic profile of spontaneous narrative speech in pre-symptomatic and early stage Huntington’s disease‘. Cortex 100:71-83.

– Zimmerer V, Deamer F, Varley R & Hinzen W 2018, ‘Comprehension of factive and non-factive embedding in aphasia and its relationship with lexical, syntactic and conceptual capacities’, Journal of Neurolinguistics 49: 29–44.

Selected research activities

Chair, international conference Semantics and Philosophy in Europe, 10, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 17-19 December 2018.

Keynote speaker:

-Sinn & Bedeutung 23, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

-Transdisciplinary Approaches to Language Variation, Tromsoe, Norway

Invited panel: Oasis 1 conference, Paris.