Cedric Boeckx

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 of Complex Systems (UBICS), 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 serves as Principal Investigator of the "Cognitive Biology of Language" research group.

Research interests

My current research focuses on developing new ways to shed light on the neurobiological foundations of the human language faculty. My graduate training and early career were in theoretical linguistics, but my more recent work has a more explicit biological, and experimental 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

– O’Rourke T & Boeckx C 2020, ‘Glutamate receptors in domestication and modern human evolution‘. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 108, 341-357.

– de Boer B, Thompson B, Ravignani A & Boeckx C 2020, ‘Evolutionary Dynamics Do Not Motivate a Single-Mutant Theory of Human Language’Sci Rep 10, 451.

– Martins PT & Boeckx C 2020, ‘Vocal learning: beyond the continuum‘. Plos Biology, 18(3), e3000672.

– Moriano J &  Boeckx C 2020. ‘Modern human changes in regulatory regions implicated in cortical development’. BMC Genomics 21(1):304.