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John A. Hawkins

John A. Hawkins

Professor, Linguistics

UC Davis affiliations: Center for Mind and Brain, Psychology

270 Kerr Hall
Office Phone: 530-752-9933


  1. PhD (Cambridge University)


John A. (Jack) Hawkins is Professor of Linguistics at UC Davis, and a member of the Psychology graduate program and of the Center for Mind and Brain. He is also the Emeritus Professor of English and Applied Linguistics at the University of Cambridge. In addition to his previous position at Cambridge he has held permanent positions at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles), the Max-Planck-Institute for Psycholinguistics (Nijmegen), and the University of Essex (Colchester), and visiting appointments at institutions including UC Berkeley, UCLA, the Free University of Berlin, the University of Potsdam, and the Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig).

He has broad and interdisciplinary interests in the language sciences. His current research programs focus on language universals from a processing perspective, on second language acquisition using electronic learner corpora, and on English and the Germanic language family. In his 2004 book, Efficiency and Complexity in Grammars (Oxford University Press), he presented extensive empirical evidence for the view that principles of language processing derived from experimental and corpus studies on individual languages can be extended to account for grammatical universals and variation patterns across languages. An updating of this research program can be found in his forthcoming book, Cross-linguistic Variation and Efficiency (Oxford University Press). His 2012 book, Criterial Features in L2 English (with Luna Filipović, Cambridge University Press) presents his current ideas on second language learning. Numerous recent papers and talks on these and other topics can be accessed below.

He is the author or editor of 12 books and 80 articles, a member of several editorial boards for journals, an executive committee member of the international Association for Language Typology, a past Science Board member at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, and a member of the International Scientific Council of the Institute for the German Language in Mannheim.


Recent Papers
Recently published papers. 
Recent Talks
Handouts and slides from recent talks. 
Past Activities
Recent projects and presentations.  

Current CV