LINGUIST List 14.3269

Wed Nov 26 2003

Jobs: Akyab: Freelance Consultant, De Taalstudio

Editor for this issue: Sarah Murray <>


  1. taalstudio, Akyab & Chittagonian Bengali: Freelance Consultant, De Taalstudio

Message 1: Akyab & Chittagonian Bengali: Freelance Consultant, De Taalstudio

Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 07:54:34 -0500 (EST)
From: taalstudio <>
Subject: Akyab & Chittagonian Bengali: Freelance Consultant, De Taalstudio

University or Organization: De Taalstudio
Rank of Job: Freelance Consultant
Required Language(s): Chittagonian (Code = CIT)


De Taalstudio - a Dutch organisation specialised in linguistic
projects and products - is urgently looking for a linguistic
consultant on Chittagonian Bengali, in particular the Rohinga dialect
'Akyab'. The consultant is asked to provide commentaries on language
analyses produced by the Dutch Immigration Service (IND) about the
language of applicants for asylum who claim to be from Myanmar. The
work can be carried out anywhere in the world. Some payment is
available for the consultant.

Linguists who have published about the Akyab language or the
sociolinguistic situation in Myanmar, and who are interested to bring
their knowledge to bear in such cases, are urgently requested to
contact Maaike Verrips of de Taalstudio BY EMAIL. Please provide your
name, title and affiliation as well as the bibliographical details of
(at least) one relevant publication when responding to this call. A CV
is wellcome as well.

De Taalstudio aims to advance professional standards in language
analysis and to contribute to fair trials. Linguists with expertise in
other languages, who are interested to act as consultant in
asylum-cases, are also invited to contact de Taalstudio.

Background information 

Many governments, including the Dutch government, use 'language
analysis' as a tool to establish the country of origin of foreigners
without passport who apply for political asylum. A language analysis
is a written report about the language that the applicant uses during
a taperecorded interview. On the basis of the language (variety) used
in this interview, the analist tries to determine where the
asylum-seeker has come from. Language analyses are commonly made by
native speakers with little training in linguistics. The linguistic
reasoning is often poor. As a result, it is hard or even impossible
for the asylum-seeker to argue against the conclusions in such
reports. In some cases courts have ruled that language analysis should
be carried out by professional linguists.

De Taalstudio connects people who need language analysis or
contra-expertise to linguists with the relevant background. In some
cases the linguist is asked to produce a language analysis from
scratch, including an interview with the applicant. In most cases,
the linguist writes a report with a 'second opinion' or provides a
'contra-expertise'. By 'second opinion' we mean a commentary by the
linguist on the validity of the linguistic arguments provided in a
particular language analysis. A second opinion involves an analysis of
the report, not of the data that the report is based on (i.e. the
taperecorded interview). In the case of a 'contra-expertise', the
linguist analyses the original tape-recorded interview with the asylum
seeker. On the basis of this analysis, the linguist produces a short
report, stating whether the language variety of the asylum seeker
provides evidence for or against this person's claim that he is from a
particular region.

Address for Applications:

	Attn: dr. Maaike Verrips
	Postbus 12
	Monnickendam, 1140 AA
	Position is open until filled

Contact Information:
	dr. Maaike Verrips
	Tel: +31 6 27 38 56 72

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