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LINGUIST List 24.1880

Wed May 01 2013

Support: Psycholinguistics, Speech Comprehension: PhD Student, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands

Editor for this issue: Brent Miller <brentlinguistlist.org>

Date: 30-Apr-2013
From: Mirjam Ernestus <m.ernestuslet.ru.nl>
Subject: Psycholinguistics, Speech Comprehension: PhD Student, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
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Department: Faculty of Arts
Web Address: http://www.ru.nl/facultyofarts/

Level: PhD

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Psycholinguistics
Speech Comprehension


PhD student Learning Pronunciation Variants in a Foreign Language

As a PhD student in this project you will investigate the interplay between exemplars and abstract representations, which is expected to vary with processing speed and experimental task, and to evolve during learning. The student will investigate these issues with behavioural experiments investigating how native speakers of Dutch learn pronunciation variants of French words with schwa deletion.

Learning a foreign language implies learning pronunciation variants of words in that language. This includes the words' reduced pronunciation variants, which contain fewer and weaker sounds than the words' canonical variants (e.g. 'cpute' for English 'computer'), and which are highly frequent in casual conversations. The learner has to build mental representations (exemplars and possibly also abstract lexical representations) for these variants. Importantly, late learners will build representations that differ significantly from native listeners' representations, since reduction patterns in their native language will shape their interpretation of reduction patterns in the foreign language. The goal of this Vici project is to develop the first, fully specified, theory of how late learners of a foreign language build mental representations for pronunciation variants in that language.

The dissertation will consist of an introduction, at least three experimental chapters that have been submitted to high impact international journals, and a General Discussion.

What we expect from you
• You have or shortly expect to obtain a Master's degree in a field related to speech processing, such as phonetics, linguistics, psychology-, or cognitive neuroscience;
• you have an excellent written and spoken command of English;
• you have demonstrable knowledge of data analysis;
• you preferably have knowledge of the phonetics / phonology of French;
• you preferably have knowledge of the phonetics / phonology of Dutch.

Further information
- On the research group Speech Comprehension: http://www.ru.nl/speechcomprehension
- On the project leader: http://mirjamernestus.nl
- Or contact Prof. dr. Mirjam Ernestus, leader of the Vici project, telephone: +31 24 3612970, E-mail: m.ernestuslet.ru.nl

Please send your application, including your letter of motivation, curriculum and transcripts of your university grades and stating vacancy number 23.12.13, to vacatureslet.ru.nl, for the attention of Mr drs. M.J.M. van Nijnatten, before 24 May 2013.

Applications Deadline: 24-May-2013

Mailing Address for Applications:
        Attn: Prof. dr. Mirjam Ernestus Wundtlaan 1 Nijmegen 6525XD Netherlands

Web Address for Applications: http://www.ru.nl/vacatures/details/details_vacature_0?recid=527516

Contact Information:
        Prof. dr. Mirjam Ernestus m.ernestuslet.ru.nl Phone:+31243612970

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