He studied Mathematics and Philosophy as an undergraduate, and Experimental Psychology and Linguistics at graduate level. His doctoral thesis was on language acquisition in small children. Before coming to Essex in 1974, he held research posts in the University of Edinburgh. His main interests are language acquisition, psycholinguistics, syntax, semantics and formal models of language structure. He is joint author (with Iggy Roca and the late David Kilby) of Foundations of General Linguistics, join author (with Andrew Radford, David Britain and Harald Clahsen) of Linguistics: An introduction and author of Explanations in the Study of Child Language Development, and Children's Syntax.
University of Sussex,
University of Edinburgh,