LINGUIST List 13.1033

Mon Apr 15 2002

Jobs: Psycholing: PostDoc, Cornell Univ NY USA

Editor for this issue: Heather Taylor-Loring <>


  1. Morten Christiansen, Psycholinguistics: Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University, NY USA

Message 1: Psycholinguistics: Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University, NY USA

Date: 15 Apr 2002 14:36:25 -0000
From: Morten Christiansen <>
Subject: Psycholinguistics: Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University, NY USA

Rank of Job: Postdoctoral Fellow
Areas Required: Psycholinguistics
Other Desired Areas: 
University or Organization: Cornell University
Department: Psychology
State or Province: NY
Country: USA
Final Date of Application: a.s.a.p.
Contact: Morten Christiansen

Address for Applications:
240 Uris Hall
NY 14853


A postdoctoral research opportunity at Cornell University (US) is
available immediately to investigate the role of multiple-cue
integration in language acquisition across different languages. The
project is funded by the Human Frontiers Science Program and involves
four closely interacting research teams in the US (Morten
Christiansen, Cornell University), the UK (Nick Chater, University of
Warwick), France (Peter Dominey, Institut des Sciences Cognitives,
Lyon) and Japan (Mieko Ogura, Tsurumi University).


How do children acquire the subtle and complex structure of their
native language with such remarkable speed and reliability, and with
little direct instruction? Recent computational and acoustic analyses
of language addressed to children indicate that there are rich cues
to linguistic structure available in the child's input. Moreover,
evidence from developmental psycholinguistics shows that infants are
sensitive to many sound-based (phonological) and intonational
(prosodic) cues in the input - cues that may facilitate language
acquisition. Although this research indicates that linguistic input
is rich with possible cues to linguistic structure, there is an
important caveat: the cues are only partially reliable and none
considered alone provide an infallible bootstrap into language. To
acquire language successfully, it seems that the child needs to
integrate a great diversity of multiple probabilistic cues to
linguistic structure in an effective way.

Our research program aims to provide a rigorous cross-linguistic test
of the hypothesis that multiple-cue integration is crucial for the
acquisition of syntactic structure. The research has four interrelated

 1) Computational and acoustic analyses of child-directed speech.
 2) Psycholinguistic and artificial language learning experiments.
 3) Computational modeling using neural networks and statistical
 learning methods.
 4) Event-related potential (ERP) studies.

For more information about the project please refer to our web site:

The Cornell Cognitive Neuroscience Lab headed by Morten Christiansen
is coordinating the research efforts and the work here involves all
four research strands. The postdoctoral position is primarily aimed at
the ERP work but may also include the other research strands,
depending on the interests of the candidate. Candidates should have a
PhD in cognitive science, psychology or related discipline.
Experience in working with and/or interest in high-density ERP
experimentation and computational modeling of language is highly
desirable. Salary will be based on experience in relation to the NIH
postdoctoral scale. For more information about the Cornell Cognitive
Neuroscience Lab, please visit our web site:


Candidates should email a vita and a short statement about graduate
training and research interests to Morten Christiansen

The position is initially for two years, but may be extended into a
third year. In addition to salary, funds are available for travel to
conferences and meetings between research teams. The position does not
carry any special citizen requirements.
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