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LINGUIST List 18.1384

Tue May 08 2007

Support: Dutch; English; Lang Acq: PhD Student, Utrecht University

Editor for this issue: Catherine Adams <catherinlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    uil ots, Dutch; English; Language Acquisition: PhD Student, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Message 1: Dutch; English; Language Acquisition: PhD Student, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Date: 08-May-2007
From: uil ots <uilotslet.uu.nl>
Subject: Dutch; English; Language Acquisition: PhD Student, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Institution/Organization: Utrecht University
Department: Utrecht Institute of Linguistics
Web Address: http://www-uilots.let.uu.nl

Level: PhD

Duties: Research,Teaching

Specialty Areas: Language Acquisition

Required Language(s): Dutch (nld)
English (eng)


1 PhD position in language development (1,0 FTE)

This PhD position is part of a four-year research program concerning
first-language acquisition, funded by The Netherlands Organization for
Scientific Research NWO (project number PR-06-99). The goal of the program is to
explain the succession of the child's acquisition steps that we have observed in
empirical studies. The program will develop a theory of first language
acquisition and implement it as a data-driven computational model to be tested
on Dutch child language. As training and test data, it will use the
child-directed speech and the child language in corpora such as CHILDES,
enriched with semantic/pragmatic annotations. The program involves collaboration
between UiL OTS (Dr J. van Kampen, Prof Dr M. Moortgat) and the Institute for
Logic Language and Computation (ILLC) in Amsterdam (Prof Dr R. Scha).

The program comprises a post doctoral project and two PhD projects. Their
relation can be described as linguistic descriptive (post doctoral project),
formal theoretical (PhD Project 1) (both employed by Utrecht University) and
computational (PhD Project 2, employed by the University of Amsterdam).

The current opening is for PhD Project 1 (starting date 1-9-2007):
a PhD project investigating the successive acquisition steps by means of a
structured lexicon and grammars using the framework of generative grammar. Child
utterances in the CHILDES corpora will be annotated in terms of these grammars,
thus testing and demonstrating their adequacy. Child directed speech will be
annotated with utterance situations, represented as 'semantic frames.' The
outcome of this project is a description of the language development process as
the growth of a system for lexical categories and their context conditions.

The PhD project involves training in research and completion of a PhD
dissertation. As part of her/his training, the AiO student will take courses
offered by the National Graduate School in Linguistics (LOT).

We are looking for an ambitious student holding an MA degree in formal
generative syntax (Categorical Grammar, Minimalism), Cognitive Science or
Artificial Intelligence, with proven skills in computer modeling. The candidate
must have an MA degree in hand by 1 September 2007. The ideal candidate has some
experience with child language analysis. He/she must be prepared to collaborate
with researchers with widely varying backgrounds. He/she is a native speaker of

Work conditions
The successful candidate is offered a one-year contract as AiO with the
possibility of renewal with three years maximum, after evaluation. The AiO will
work on the basis of 1,0 FTE and receive a gross monthly salary of
EUR 1956,- during the first year. For more information about secondary work
conditions see our website.

The full program description is available at:

How to apply
Applications should include a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae including
contact and personal details transcripts of academic results and the contact
details of two referees (names, affiliations, and phone numbers or email
addresses). Preferably, reference letters are included. Please also send an MA
thesis or (if the thesis is not available yet) some alternative piece of written
work. See our website for more information.

Application Deadline: 30-May-2007

Mailing Address for Applications:
Attn: Ms I. Wagenaar
Personnel Department, Faculty of Humanities
Korte Nieuwegracht 46
Utrecht 3512 HJ

Web Address for Applications: http://www-uilots.let.uu.nl

Contact Information:
Dr J. van Kampen

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