LINGUIST List 15.1319

Mon Apr 26 2004

Support: Historical syntax: 2 PhD positions, U/Nijmegen

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  1. Peter Ackema, Historical syntax: 2 PhD positions, U of Nijmegen

Message 1: Historical syntax: 2 PhD positions, U of Nijmegen

Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2004 05:49:43 -0400 (EDT)
From: Peter Ackema <>
Subject: Historical syntax: 2 PhD positions, U of Nijmegen

The Centre for Language Studies at the University of Nijmegen invites
applications for two funded Ph.D. student positions whose projects
form part of a larger programme Variation and Standardisation: The
Influence of Language Contact on the Emerging Dutch Standard Language,
funded by the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research NWO. The
successful candidates will receive funding for up to four years to do
research on a subproject within the research programme briefly
described below, leading up to a Ph.D. The full version of the text of
the overall research programme can be obtained by contacting the
programme coordinators mentioned below.

The programme is on the dynamics of language change in Dutch between
1400-1650, and its impact on the emerging standard language. This
period is marked by relatively rapid change in the grammatical systems
of varieties of Dutch while at the same time the standard language is
taking shape. The emergence of a standard language, essentially a
desire for uniformity and perhaps conservatism in the written and
official spoken language, may be expected to counteract the rise of
variation. But the standard language itself is not uniform in origin:
it has so far been thought to have been influenced primarily by the
social and cultural prestige of the language of Holland as the
economic centre, and reinforced by the influx of intellectuals from
the southern Netherlands (Brabant). There are, however, indications
that language contact with socially less prestigious immigrants from
the eastern parts of the Netherlands has influenced the standard
language as well. In this project, we attempt to tease apart the
effects of language-internal development, contact with higher and
lower prestige dialects, and standardization. The methodology will
involve morphosyntactic and sociolinguistic analysis, and corpus-based
quantitative research. We take a number of grammatical features which
are known to have been subject to regional variation in Middle Dutch,
and which emerged in the standard language as different from Middle
Hollandic (features relating to word order; verb clustering; and
negation). We study the development of these features in three main
dialect areas: Holland, Brabant, and the Northeastern Netherlands, in
comparison to the emerging standard language. Tracing the time course
of the historical development in the varieties under investigation (in
various corpora, some to be created) will lead to conclusions about
the interaction between language-internal factors and types of
language contact in the various case studies.

The two PhD projects within this programme will investigate changes in
the word order in the Dutch "middle field", and changes in the syntax
of the sentence-final verb cluster, respectively.

Since the project concerns the history specifically of Dutch,
applicants must have at least a good working knowledge of modern
standard Dutch, as well as familiarity with older Dutch. Some
knowledge of modern syntactic theories and theories of language
contact is also required. Knowledge of morphological theory and
experience with corpus-based methods will be considered an asset.

More information, as well as the full text of the overall research
programme, can be obtained from:

Peter Ackema		or 	Ans van Kemenade

Dept. of Dutch	 Dept. of English
University of Nijmegen 		University of Nijmegen
P O Box 9103			P O Box 9103
6500 HD Nijmegen		6500 HD Nijmegen
The Netherlands The Netherlands

Candidates should send a letter of application, their CV, and two
recent letters of reference, to:

Afdeling PZ, t.a.v. B. Treep
Faculteit der Letteren,
Postbus 9103
6500 HD Nijmegen
The Netherlands

with reference to vacancy no. 23.34.04

Deadline for application: 10 May, 2004

Subject-Language: Dutch; Code: DUT 
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