After an undergraduate degree at Cambridge (Mathematics, then Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic) I did a doctorate at Oxford. For many years I was in English at Manchester (through various departmental name changes), and was HoD 1998-2001. Since 2004 I have been in Linguistics and English Language. I held a personal chair from 1995 and was Smith Professor of English Language and Medieval Literature from 2008. In 2014 I received an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. From March 2015 I am Professor Emeritus of English Linguistics, fully involved in research but no longer on the regular teaching staff at Manchester.
- 2017 Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies, FRIAS (Visiting Researcher)
- 2016-17 Aichi Prefectural University (Visiting Professor)
- 2011-12 PhD Program in Linguistics in the University of Zurich (Kurzzeitdozent)
- 2006 Institut du Monde anglophone, Paris 3, Sorbonne Nouvelle (Visiting Professor, and associate member of Groupe de Recherches en Linguistique Anglaise SESYLIA).
- 1998 Dpto. Filoloxía Inglesa e Alemana, University of Santiago de Compostela (Visiting Professor).
- 1992 Department of English, University of British Columbia (Visiting Professor).
- 1985-86 Engels Seminarium, University of Amsterdam (Gastdocent).