LINGUIST List 13.2690

Fri Oct 18 2002

Jobs: Semantics: Assoc Prof, South Africa

Editor for this issue: Heather Taylor <>


  1. donnelly, Semantics: Assoc Prof, U/Witwatersrand, Gauteng, South Africa

Message 1: Semantics: Assoc Prof, U/Witwatersrand, Gauteng, South Africa

Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 19:11:48 +0000
From: donnelly <>
Subject: Semantics: Assoc Prof, U/Witwatersrand, Gauteng, South Africa

University or Organization: University of the Witwatersrand
Department: Linguistics
Rank of Job: Associate Professor
Specialty Areas: Computational Linguistics, Semantics, Syntax, 

Linguistics at Wits seeks to appoint a full-time, tenure-track
candidate at the level of Senior Lecturer (or Lecturer), in the
following area(s):

 semantics / syntax / computational linguistics. 

The candidate should have completed the PhD degree, and should exhibit
evidence of active linguistic research (optimally, related to Africa).

Linguistics at Wits turns 40 years old in 2002. In four decades of
apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa, the Wits research group in
Linguistics has established itself internationally through
ground-breaking data-intensive fieldwork from three language phyla:
KhoeSan, Southern Bantu, Indo-European (including South African
English varieties). The fieldwork pursued by a dozen researchers in
this time has ranged widely over all major languages spoken in the
southern African subcontinent.

For this open post we are looking for a formally trained linguist
whose skills cover one or more of the following areas: formal
semantics, syntax and computational linguistics. The appointee will
continue to develop research interests at the interface of the named
theoretical fields, and impelled by complex (sometimes mystifying)
data from Southeastern Bantu, Khoesan and Indo-European languages
spoken in and around Johannesburg, the Gauteng Province and South
Africa in its broadest linguistic profile.

The Linguistics and African Languages departments have been centres of
excellence for work on the phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics
of !X��; other southern San, Zulu and other larger and smaller Nguni
languages, including Xhosa and Phuthi; also Tswana, Lozi, Venda,
Tsonga, South African English, until recently Afrikaans, and other
south-eastern Bantu languages.

Linguistics and African Languages were separate departments until
2001, but are now joined (with other language disciplines) in a School
of Literature and Language Studies. As such, there are close and
overlapping research interests. Students pursue studies in General
Linguistics, or in African Linguistics.

The Linguistics research programme that has emerged refines the
longterm vision in a crucial way: the linguistic interconnectedness of
the city precincts, townships and suburbs are to be surveyed in a
wide-ranging, longterm dialectology research programme that will
investigate all the arenas of linguistic territory unexplored by the
national census. Wits linguists have faced up to the fact that very
little of the linguistic diversity in the city and region is properly
documented. We have committed ourselves to close this gap.

The Linguistics Department at Wits University is uniquely positioned
in the economic, geographic and linguistic heartland of South Africa,
in the midst of communities speaking twenty or more regional
languages, and dozens of others among immigrant populations from
further afield in the continent. Yet the university is also within
striking distance of monolingual African and English and Afrikaans
rural speech communities radically different in social and linguistic
composition from each other, and from the urban centre. Thus, the
prospective candidate in the department will have at hand a wide range
of accessible language consultants and research sites.

Johannesburg is fortunate to be able to offer the comforts of a large,
modern city, while retaining a distinctly African profile within the
wider South African context. The Wits Linguistics teaching faculty is
actively furthering its research and teaching mission in this African

We seek a highly trained, motivated individual who will contribute
significantly to the building of a robust South African Linguistics
programme in Johannesburg at the start of the new century.

(For a more elaborated version of this document, visit
Address for Applications:

	Attn: Mrs Pumla Ngcobo
	Human Resources
	University of the Witwatersrand
	Johannesburg, Gauteng 2050
	South Africa 
	Applications are due by 15-Nov-2002

Contact Information:
	Dr Simon Donnelly.
	Tel: +27 - 11 - 717-4186
	Fax: +27 - 11 - 717-4199
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