He wrote his PhD thesis in 1924 at University of Zurich on the topic Studies about a dialogue in Nathan by G E Lessing (Studien zum Dialog in Lessings Nathan). After that he taught in Europe and at University of Cape Town. Later he held a position within the Department of Modern Languages at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was succeeded in his position at MIT by Noam Chomsky in 1955.
- Linguistics at MIT: a personal view on how it all began (web.mit.edu)
- Speaking Volumes: Frederick Bodmer's The Loom of Language (a detailed British review from 1997)