My research focuses on the cognitive and genetic underpinnings of language, speech, musicality, and related traits.

I'm a linguist with an interdisciplinary research background in linguistics, cognitive neuroscience and genetics.

I am currently Associate Professor in Linguistics at the University of Iceland and a Research Scientist at deCODE Genetics.

I chair the Linguistics Program and the Linguistics Institute at the University of Iceland. Since 2022 I also chair the International Vigdís Prize, an award conferred for outstanding contributions to world languages and cultures. 


  • PhD Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and Radboud University, Netherlands (advisor Stephen Levinson)
  • MSc Computational Linguistics and Formal Grammar, King's College London, UK (advisor Ruth Kempson)
  • BA Linguistics, Macalester College, USA (advisor John Haiman)