Vita

In plain prose, a very quick overview of my academic life so far. For full details, please take a look at my current CV (PDF, 56 pages: 2 September 2016). See also my entry as "Featured Linguist" on Linguist List.

Born and raised in Herford, Ostwestfalen, with Greek roots, I left for university at age 21 after the usual, school (9 years of torture) and alternative civilian service (13 months back then). I found salvation in beautiful Wales, where I enrolled for a BA (Hons) in Linguistics at the University of North Wales, Bangor (Bangor University nowadays). As it happened, of all courses listed in the catalogue, Linguistics was the only subject I didn't have an opinion about (like, "I don't want to do this, I don't want to do that") — in fact, I didn't even know what it was. Good start.

Little did I know that this process of elimination would shape my future (i.e. current) life. After getting hooked on generative grammar (with many thanks to my excellent teachers Ian Roberts, Bob Borsley, and Anna Roussou!), I concentrated on theoretical linguistics, spent an Erasmus exchange semester at the Université de Genève (taking courses with Liliane Haegeman, Luigi Rizzi, Ur Shlonsky, Adriana Belletti, and others), and graduated in July 1996 with an Honors Thesis on scrambling and weak pronouns in German.

With a BA in my pocket and a lot of hope in my heart, I enrolled for doctoral studies in the Department of Linguistics' graduate program at the University of Maryland, College Park. Studying with wonderful teachers such as Juan Uriagereka, David Lightfoot, Paul Pietroski, Stephen Crain, and many others — not to forget my supervisor Norbert Hornstein — I first achieved candidacy with my main generals papers on superiority and was then awarded a PhD in December 2000 for my thesis on anti-locality in grammar.

In the meantime, I had my first experiences at international conferences, attended the GLOW Summer School in Thermi, Lesvos (Greece), started Punks in Science (by now very dated, just as the forum) with my dear friend Jeff Parrott, and made contact with the great people at ZAS in Berlin. Thanks to Ewald Lang, I landed my first job there, in January 2001. That was short-lived, however, since, thanks to the efforts of my now good friend Joachim Sabel, I was offered the first postdoctoral position in syntax at the Graduiertenkolleg Satzarten in Frankfurt, then coordinated by Günther Grewendorf. After a good year there, a semester at the Institut für Linguistik: Anglistik in Stuttgart (thanks to Artemis Alexiadou), and two semesters at the Englisches Seminar in Cologne (thanks to Jon Erickson), I was hired by the then Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Cyprus in 2003.

In my first year, I was a Visiting Lecturer in the fall and Visiting Assistant Professor in the spring semester, subsequently hired as Assistant Professor in 2004. In this period, I brought to life and nourished the GACL workshop series, which by now is a student-oriented workshop where my under- and post-graduate students present their work in a relaxed atmosphere with some famours colleagues from abroad if I manage to attract them. I also organized the by now infamous InterPhases conference ("definitely the biggest conference on Phase Theory and Interfaces ever held, which brought together some 200 linguists in Nicosia to exchange ideas on various issues regarding these topics"; see here), with several invited speakers (Richard Kayne, Howard Lasnik, and Gereon Müller) and Noam Chomsky for the keynote address, who also received an honorary doctorate from UCY at the occasion.

During these years, I also founded the free online journal Biolinguistics with Cedric Boeckx in 2007 (now with a new Biolinguistics Blog, set up by Bridget Samuels and other Biolinguistics Task Team members), carried out my first UCY-internally funded research project on minimalism (2007–2009), for which I compiled a glossary of key concepts and definitions with the help of my research assistant Christos Vlachos, and participated in the COST Action A33 on language development in 5-year-olds coordinated by Uli Sauerland (2006–2010). Subsequently, I developed an ever-growing interest in Cypriot Greek and its development, especially first language acquisition in typically developing and language-impaired children. With the creation of the Cyprus Acquisition Team in 2009, I ventured deeper into this world and am now actively participating in COST Action IS0804 on bilingual SLI (2009–2013), coordinated by Sharon Armon-Lotem, for which I also serve as Dissemination Officer. My next grant was another UCY-funded research project, Gen-CHILD (2010–2012).

The Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation is currently funding two further projects of mine. One is a Young Researcher's project on the L1 Acquisition of Pronominal Object Clitics in Cypriot Greek which I'm in charge of (coordinating research by Theoni Neokleous from Cambridge), and a big project on SLI, on the Early Identification and Assessment of Preschool Children with Specific Language Impairment in Cyprus.

I was awarded tenure at UCY in November 2009 and am currently Associate Professor in the Department of English Studies. My UCY staff profile gets updated even less frequently than the current site… From 6 May 2010, I started serving the Department as Chair (= Head of Department), and a week later was elected into the University of Cyprus Senate.

Once I find the time to breathe again, the autobio saga will continue… Now it's two and a half years later and I'm done serving as Chair and Senate member. I'm about to complete my sabbatical (fall 2012), and thus had some time to concentrate on various research activities. Stay tuned. :-)

That does not mean that I have found time to update my web presence... In the mean time, I have been elected Vice-Dean of the School of Humanities (fall 2013) and am now waiting for other things to happen (without time to date-stamp any new entries...).

And the latest update is that my promotion to full professor is through too. As of 1 December 2015, I am Professor of Biolinguistics.