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LINGUIST List 24.4204

Thu Oct 24 2013

Support: General Linguistics, Language Documentation/South Africa

Editor for this issue: Uliana Kazagasheva <ulianalinguistlist.org>

Date: 24-Oct-2013
From: Mark De Vos <m.devosru.ac.za>
Subject: PhD/MA/MSc Student, Rhodes University, South Africa
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Department: English Language and Linguistics
Web Address: http://www.ru.ac.za/englishlanguageandlinguistics/research/sandisaimbewu/callforapplications/

Level: Open

Institution/Organization: Rhodes University

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: General Linguistics; Language Documentation


The Department of English Language and Linguistics at Rhodes University invites applications from excellent prospective postgraduate students for full-time study of the linguistics of literacy in the foundation phase.

The following scholarships are available for 2014:
1. One PhD scholarship (R100 000 for 2 years).
2. Three Masters Scholarships (R70 000 for 2 years).

South African foundation-phase literacy is in a deep crisis – especially literacy in languages of the Bantu language family (http://www.ru.ac.za/englishlanguageandlinguistics/research/sandisaimbewu/). Although this is a multifaceted problem, this project focusses on the specific contributions that can be made by linguists including but not limited to:
- Sociolinguistic-dialectological dimension: the interaction of standardization, L1 and languages of teaching and learning.
- Morpho-syntactic dimension: mapping between psycholinguistic and orthographic representations of words and morphemes with the attendant need for thorough linguistic analysis of African languages within descriptive and theoretical frameworks.
- Extending phonological, morphological, syntactic awarenesses to Bantu languages in ways that take the linguistic structures of these languages into consideration e.g. is morphological awareness necessarily the same thing in English vs. isiZulu given the different morphological structures and how these are mapped orthographically.
- Semantics: the development of productive and receptive capacities for entailed and presupposed meaning in children and how these interact with text.

This funded, three-year, multi-disciplinary research project welcomes applications from anybody who has an interest in the specific contributions that Linguistics can make to early literacy, especially, but not exclusively as they relate to African languages. Suitable background includes any type of linguistics (including descriptive linguistics, formal/theoretical/generative linguistics, cognitive linguistics, psycholinguistics, applied linguistics etc.) or cognate field. Competence in or willingness to study a language of the Bantu language family would be an advantage but is not a requirement. Preference will also be given to students who provide a coherent proposal and/or intend to stay in town for at least the first academic year.

Postgraduate degrees usually consist of a combination of thesis and coursework modules. There are also opportunities for fieldwork, community engagement, conference attendance, as well as teaching and tutoring to develop your academic profile. Although all students must be registered full-time, it is possible to study from off-campus and travel to Grahamstown for specific coursework modules and supervision.

To apply, please send an email to Mark de Vos (m.devos ru.ac.za) containing your name and contact details, an initial title of your research project/dissertation and a short outline or proposal of what you envisage your research to be. The proposal/outline should be one page of text (A4 or Letter, 12-point, single spaced, Times New Roman with normal margins) and, if necessary, a further page for references, data, notes etc. Note that this is simply an initial outline and that your research topic may change substantially over time as you develop as a postgraduate student.

Applications Deadline: 25-Nov-2013

Mailing Address for Applications:
        Attn: Dr Mark De Vos PO Box 94 Department of English Language and Linguistics, Rhodes University Grahamstown Eastern Cape 6140 South Africa

Web Address for Applications: http://www.ru.ac.za/englishlanguageandlinguistics/research/sandisaimbewu/callforapplications/

Contact Information:
        Dr Mark De Vos m.devosru.ac.za

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