LINGUIST List 11.999

Tue May 2 2000

Support: Sound Change - PhD at U of Sheffield/ UK

Editor for this issue: Lydia Grebenyova <>


  1. A.R.Linn, Sound Change - PhD Studentship/ Univ of Sheffield, UK

Message 1: Sound Change - PhD Studentship/ Univ of Sheffield, UK

Date: Tue, 2 May 2000 14:43:15 +0100
From: A.R.Linn <>
Subject: Sound Change - PhD Studentship/ Univ of Sheffield, UK

PhD studentship at the University of Sheffield

The Study of Sound Change 1870-1970

A university-funded PhD studentship is available at the University of 
Sheffield for a student beginning their research in the academic 
year 2000/2001. The studentship is only available to those with UK 
/ EU status for fee-paying purposes and provides an award at the 
basic research council level. More information about the terms and 
conditions of the award and how to apply is available from Fozia 
Yasmin (telephone: 0114 222 1410 or e-mail: 
< The deadline for application is 12 May 

The Project
Linguistics in the nineteenth century focused on language change 
and, as the century progressed, predominantly on sound change. 
The received view is that sound change then became marginalised 
by the twentieth-century emphasis on synchronic linguistics. This 
is partly true, and historical phonology has been much ignored by 
twentieth-century phonologists, some explicitly denying it a place 
in modern phonology. It is partly untrue as there has been a 
productive tradition of historical phonology building on the theories 
of the so-called 'Neogrammarians', and in fact the linguistic 'rules' 
formalised by the Generative phonologists of the 1960s were 
clearly analogous to the sound 'laws' stated a century before.

The objectives of the project are as follows:
* to chart the history of the study of sound change from the 
'Neogrammarians' at the outset of the 20th century up to the work 
of the 'Generativists' who dominated the century's final decades
* to assess whether the received view of the development of 
linguistic theory is a fair one, focusing on a specific linguistic topic
* to explain why and how sound change has become marginal 
when a century ago it was probably the central concern of 

Arrangements for supervision
The successful candidate will be a member of the Department of 
English Language and Linguistics which forms part of the School of 
English. The department is currently in a period of development, 
broadening from a focus primarily on earlier varieties of the English 
language to include linguistics in both teaching and research, and 
this project is designed to reflect the two sides to the department. 
The successful candidate will be well supported by academic staff 
and other postgraduate students alike. The project will be jointly 
supervised by Prof. April McMahon and Dr Andrew Linn. (Dr Linn 
will be on leave with a Leverhulme Research Fellowship in 
2000/2001, but will still be available for consultation.) More 
information about the department may be found at: .

Applications are sought from candidates with a linguistics 
background at undergraduate or master's level. Knowledge of 
historical linguistics, phonology and the history of linguistics is 
desirable, but in-depth knowledge of all three areas is not 
compulsory, and any necessary training will be provided. The 
precise period studied and the approach taken to the investigation 
is negotiable depending on the successful candidate's particular 
interests and capabilities. To discuss the project informally, please 
contact April McMahon (0114 222 0238 - or Andrew Linn (0114 222 0216 -

Dr Andrew R. Linn
Department of English Language and Linguistics
The University of Sheffield
GB-Sheffield S10 2TN, England

Tel: +44 (0)114 222 0216
Fax: +44 (0)114 276 8251
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