LINGUIST List 6.284

Thu 23 Feb 1995

Jobs: Linguists in Bolivia, Natural Language Engineering

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  1. Javier Martin-Gonzalez, ***SEARCH FOR LINGUISTS FOR SHORT TERM CONTRACT WORK IN BOLIVIA***
  2. , 4 LECTURESHIPS IN NATURAL LANGUAGE ENGINEERING AT DURHAM UNIVERSITY

Message 1: ***SEARCH FOR LINGUISTS FOR SHORT TERM CONTRACT WORK IN BOLIVIA***

Date: Wed, 22 Feb 1995 00:26:38 ***SEARCH FOR LINGUISTS FOR SHORT TERM CONTRACT WORK IN BOLIVIA***
From: Javier Martin-Gonzalez <jmartinhusc.harvard.edu>
Subject: ***SEARCH FOR LINGUISTS FOR SHORT TERM CONTRACT WORK IN BOLIVIA***


 ---------- Forwarded message ----------
 Date: Tue, 21 Feb 1995 17:55:05 -0500
 From: Bret Gustafson (bretISR)
 To: Multiple recipients of list LATAMLIN
 (LATAMLIN%MITVMA.BITNETBROWNVM.brown.edu)
 Subject: ***SEARCH FOR LINGUISTS FOR SHORT TERM CONTRACT WORK IN BOLIVIA***

 The Subsecretaria de Asuntos Etnicos of Bolivia (hereafter SAE)
is in the process of expanding that country's Proyecto de Educacion
Intercultural Bilingue (PEIB) into various ethnolinguistic communities of
the Amazon region. Currently the country has existing projects in the
Aymara, Quechua, and Guarani regions of the Altiplano and Chaco. The
current project takes place in the context of a history of various
experiments in bilingual education (state, private, church, etc.) which
will now ideally be synthesized, "officialized", and standardized in
state schools in indigenous areas. The project also occurs as part of
new policies of multicultural educational reform of the presidency of
Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (MNR). The vice-president, Victor Hugo
Cardenas, is an Aymara 'pedagogo', who made acceptance of the vice-presidency
contingent on official support of multicultural and multilingual
educational reform. The educational reform currently underway in Bolivia
is being funded by the World Bank.

 Currently, the native peoples of the Amazonian region face the
problems and obstacles similar to indigenous peoples of other parts of
the hemisphere. These are principally economic and political, but also
include the histories of neo-colonialism, missionization, and past
efforts at assimilation through education, colonization, and so forth.
In this difficult context, native organizations have arisen, with varying
sources of external assistance, and have unified in the Confederacion
Indigena del Oriente Boliviano (CIDOB). CIDOB is currently working
directly with the SAE in issues of bilingual education, teacher training,
and resource production (written materials, texts, etc.).

The state has appropriated (expropriated?) the former 'compound' of the ILV,
 located in
the Riberalta area of northeastern Bolivia. This compound, of houses,
classrooms, lodgings, etc. had already been serving as a teacher training
school (for Indians and non-Indians in the 'traditional' educational
system). It will now function solely as an 'Instituto Indigena' for
training native teachers in linguistics, bilingual education, etc.
Funding for these projects comes from various external sources, including
the EEC, and some European NGO's, as well as UNICEF, which has been a
traditional adamant supporter (and funder) of bilingual education in
Bolivia.

 Currently, the SAE has received funding to support the work of
professional linguists in the country. This funding has the specific
goal of providing technical assistance for the reassessment, and
readjustment of alphabets which are currently in use among various
language groups. These alphabets are the legacy of mainly ILV work in
the past, and are characterized by the traditional trends of that
organization. Nonetheless, these are among the only scarce resources
available as a base for future work in these languages. The SAE is
looking for a number of linguists, professional, or of graduate level,
who could spend several months (depends), working directly with native
teachers and speakers in reaching technical decisions about certain
alphabets for the next step of elaborating primers. Obviously, skills in
phonetics, phonology, and the technical, educational, and political
aspects of orthographic standardization are necessary.
 Some indigenous teachers who
will be participating have had linguistic training, while others have
previously worked only as "translators" for missionaries. In any case, the
institutional and financial support available, as well as the apparently
positive political environment have created an auspicious moment for
possibilities in native autonomy in decision making, obviously
historically rare in the country.

 As a former employee of UNICEF in Bolivia, and a collaborator of
the Educational Reform and the Secretaria de Asuntos Etnicos, I have been
asked to serve solely as a communication link in this search for
linguists. I have already communicated with several people, but I would
like to stress that the opportunity is open to all who may be interested,
and qualified.

 As I mentioned, skills in the appropriate areas are necessary.
One should also have experience in political questions of language
maintenance, education and survival. Knowledge (fluency) in Spanish is
of utmost importance, as would be experience with language families
native to Bolivia. I have been informed that funding is quite generous,
on a per diem basis, with gradations according to experience (i.e. grad
student, ABD, PhD, etc.) Funding is quite competitive and should not
dissuade professional linguists from applying. As of now, I have been
informed that work in the summer months has been planned, with funding
for up to six month stays.

 I am not entirely sure of all of the details. Although I am not
related to the decision making or the
administration of the funding, this particular project is being carried
out under a joint agreement between Harvard University and the Bolivian
Government. Nonetheless, decision making and planning are completely
under control of the Secretario de Asuntos Etnicos.

 I am available for specific questions, which I may or may not be
able to answer (by e-mail, phone, or by mail to address below). However,
interested persons should prepare:

1) A letter stating related experience and reasons for interest in the
project.

2) A C.V. detailing educational and professional experience.

3) A list of two or three possible references (actual reference letters not
necessary at the moment)

 (***THESE DOCUMENTS SHOULD ALL BE DONE IN SPANISH***)

This information should be sent, as soon as possible, to:

Lic. Monica Sahonero
Sub-Secretaria de Asuntos Etnicos
Casilla 1663
La Paz
BOLIVIA

If anyone has other questions, or doubts, or concerns, please contact me
in some form at:

Bret Gustafson
Dept of Anthropology
William James Hall, 3rd floor
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-493-7910

e-mail: bretisr.harvard.edu

Thank you for spreading the word among colleagues who may be interested.

Bret Gustafson
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Message 2: 4 LECTURESHIPS IN NATURAL LANGUAGE ENGINEERING AT DURHAM UNIVERSITY

Date: Thu, 23 Feb 95 09:11:26 GM4 LECTURESHIPS IN NATURAL LANGUAGE ENGINEERING AT DURHAM UNIVERSITY
From: <R.J.Collinghamdurham.ac.uk>
Subject: 4 LECTURESHIPS IN NATURAL LANGUAGE ENGINEERING AT DURHAM UNIVERSITY

*******************************************************************************

 4 LECTURESHIPS IN NATURAL LANGUAGE ENGINEERING AT DURHAM UNIVERSITY

*******************************************************************************

The Department of Computer Science at Durham University is looking to recruit 4
new lecturers in the field of Natural Language Engineering. The 4 lecturers
will join the Laboratory for Natural Language Engineering, one of the foremost
centres in this subject, and actively collaborate on the LOLITA (Large-scale,
Object-based, Linguistic Interactor, Translator and Analyser) project.

We expect to recruit 2 experienced lecturers on the B scale, and 2 junior ones
on the A scale.

The experienced lecturers will have an excellent research track-record in the
field, with substantial publications, a good PhD supervision success rate and a
healthy fund-raising portfolio.

The junior lecturers will be researchers of clear potential and dedication.

All the lecturers must have a PhD in Computer Science or related areas, be very
highly motivated, ready to work in a tightly knit group on a long term project,
and able to teach at the required 'excellent' level. They would be expected to
take up their posts as soon as possible, but not later than October 1995.

We are looking in particular for the following areas of NLE: planning
(discourse and dialogue), learning (grammatical and semantical rules, new
concepts, optimisations), applications (large scale systems, front-end,
user-defined modes), knowledge representation and elicitation (concept mapping
across languages and domains, supervised and automatic analysis of corpora,
encyclopedic knowledge); however, specialists in other areas of NLE are very
welcome to apply.

The LNLE is a thriving group of 22 researchers (reader, lecturers, RA's and
postgrads). Our central piece of work is the LOLITA system (see below for
details). The LNLE is part of the Department of Computer Science, a rapidly
expanding and very successful department, whose other main wing is the
internationally renown Centre for Software Maintenance. At the last Research
Assessment exercise we have been awarded a grade 4. We have excellent computing
facilities, and we are soon to move into a substantial newly-refurbished
location.

Formal advertisments will shortly appear in the Guardian and the Times HES.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to:

Dr. Roberto Garigliano,
Laboratory for Natural Language Engineering,
Computer Science Department,
University of Durham, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LE.
tel: (091) 374 2639 fax: (091) 374 2560
e_mail: Roberto.Gariglianodurham.ac.uk


*******************************************************************************
 THE LOLITA PROJECT

Here are a few facts about LOLITA:

- based on a conceptual graph of more than 100k nodes, compatible with WordNet;

- able to perform the fundamental morphological, grammatical, semantical,
pragmatical, discourse analysis and generation functions;

- under development for more than 8 years, at present a team of more than 20
researchers working on it;

- mainly written in Haskell, a pure lazy functional language, with high order
functions, polymorphic types and type classes (more than 45k lines of code,
corresponding to approx 450k lines in an imperative language);

- can handle analysis of real text samples; prototype applications include
query, dialogue, template extraction, translation and language tutoring;

- advanced inference capabilities, including multiple inheritance, relevant
implication, epistemic reasoning and plausible reasoning (analogy, closed
personal world assumption and plausible epistemic);

- processes English and Chinese; Italian and Spanish under development;

- very fast execution times (a parallel version under development);

- applications with Siemens Plessey, Rolls-Royce and other major companies and
governmental organisations;

- chosen by the Royal Society for its prestigious 1993 Soiree Exhibition;

- registered for the 1995 MUC-6 competition (sponsored by ARPA, the Advanced
Research Projects Agency of the USA).

*******************************************************************************
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