LINGUIST List 8.1787

Tue Dec 16 1997

FYI: NLP Studentship, Fellowships, LSU URL, SLA

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <>


  1. effie, STUDENTSHIP--NLP
  2. Suzanne E Kemmer, Fellowships for doctoral study
  3. Hugh Buckingham, LSU Interdepartmental Programs
  4. Lynn Alan Eubank, What SLA is(n't)


Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 16:03:04 +0900 (JST)
From: effie <>

Faculty of Science and Engineering
Department of Computing


Applications are invited for a three (3) year studentship in NLP, in
the Department of Computing & Mathematics. Applicants should already
hold an MSc or equivalent degree in relevant areas of Computer
Science. The areas of research which are of interest to the
Department are: knowledge / lexical acquisition from corpora
statistics, corpus based NLP, cross-language Information Retrieval.

More detailed information about research in Natural Language
Processing is available from:

Dr Sophia Ananiadou 
tel: 0161-247-1542

Closing date: 30 January 1998.
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Message 2: Fellowships for doctoral study

Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 14:55:14 -0600 (CST)
From: Suzanne E Kemmer <>
Subject: Fellowships for doctoral study



The Department of Linguistics at Rice University announces its Ph.D.
program in Linguistics (est. 1982), a Faculty Update, and the opening
of competition for its graduate fellowships for 1998-99.

The doctoral program at Rice emphasizes the study of language use, the
the interplay of grammatical form and context, and an empirical,
data-rich approach to linguistic investigation. The basic theoretical
orientation is functional and cognitive.

The department offers excellent training in field studies,
particularly of undocumented languages; the study of language change,
including grammaticalization; and cognitive linguistics, or the study
of language as embedded in cognition. Other faculty research
specialties include phonological theory, corpus linguistics, language
universals and typology, neurolinguistics, second language
acquisition, and applied linguistics.

The department hosts an annual distinguished speakers series; recent
speakers include: Michael Halliday (Univ. of Sydney), Willem Levelt
(Max Planck Institute), Ricardo Maldonado (Autonomous University of
Mexico), Michel Paradis (McGill), Elizabeth Traugott (Stanford), and
Arie Verhagen (Utrecht Institute of Linguistics).

The Biennial Symposium on Language also brings distinguished
researchers for close interaction with faculty and graduate students.
The Spring 1997 topic was: The Interface between Comparative
Linguistics and Grammaticalization Theory: Languages of the
Americas. Invited participants included Wallace Chafe, Tom Givon,
Bernd Heine, Terence Kaufman, Marianne Mithun, Aryon Rodriguez, and
Alexandra Aikhenvald.


Michel Achard (Ph.D. Linguistics, UC San Diego) Cognitive linguistics,
 French syntax, second language acquisition.

Michael Barlow (Ph.D. Linguistics, Stanford) Associate Director,
 Center for the Study of Languages. Grammatical theory, corpus
 linguistics, second language acquisition, language and cognition.

James Copeland, Chair (Ph.D. Linguistics, Cornell) Functional
 linguistics, phonology, Germanic linguistics, grammaticalization,
 Uto-Aztecan (Tarahumara).

Philip W. Davis (Ph.D. Linguistics, Cornell). Semantics and
 syntax, language and intelligence, language description, Amerindian
 (Bella Coola; Alabama), Austronesian (Atayal, Ilokano, Yogad).

Spike Gildea (Ph.D. Linguistics, University of Oregon) Diachronic
 syntax, field methods and ethics, phonology, typological/functional
 linguistics, Amazonian languages.

Suzanne Kemmer (Ph.D. Linguistics, Stanford) Language universals
 and typology, semantics, syntactic and semantic change, cognitive
 linguistics, Germanic, Nilo-Saharan.

Sydney Lamb (Ph.D. Linguistics, UC Berkeley) Director, Cognitive
 Sciences Interdisciplinary Program. Cognitive linguistics,
 neurolinguistics, language and thought, Amerindian (Monachi).

Douglas Mitchell (Ph.D. Linguistics, UT Austin) Comparative
 Indo-European linguistics, historical linguistics, early
 Germanic dialects, history of linguistics, Sanskrit.

Stephen A. Tyler, (Ph.D. Anthropology, Stanford) Cognitive
 studies, philosophy of language, anthropological linguistics,
 languages of India.

 **Note: The Department has plans to advertise for an
 additional faculty position in 1998-99.**

Graduate fellowships include tuition, and typically, a cash
stipend. Graduate stipends are normally renewable for four years upon
satisfactory performance, and candidates can apply for a fifth year of
supqport. (The department is fortunate to have been able so far to
support all students it has admitted, through University Fellowships,
Presidential Fellowships, Dean's Fellowships, other competitive
university-wide Fellowships, and National Science Foundation

APPLICATION DEADLINE: February 1, 1998 (January 15 for those applying
for Dean's Fellowships.)

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: Graduate Record Examination and TOEFL (for
non-native speakers of English) should be taken in time for scores to
be reported by mid-February. See website below for additional
application information.

WEB SITE: See the departmental web site at 
for more information on the program, applications, support, etc.

Department of Linguistics
Rice University
P.O. Box 1892
Houston TX 77251-1892

(713) 527-6010
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Message 3: LSU Interdepartmental Programs

Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 14:26:20 -0600 (CST)
From: Hugh Buckingham <>
Subject: LSU Interdepartmental Programs

The LSU Interdepartmental Program in Linguistics can be accessed on
the LSU College of Arts and Sciences Web Page. Enjoy.

Hugh Buckingham
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Message 4: What SLA is(n't)

Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 23:21:31 -0600 (CST)
From: Lynn Alan Eubank <>
Subject: What SLA is(n't)

 From time to time, one sees job ads for persons with expertise in
second language acquisition (SLA). Not unsurprisingly, sometimes it's
not clear that the folks who place those ads know for sure what SLA
is. I've written to individual ad-placers about it, but it dawned on
me that an individual, post-hoc message isn't the most efficent of
means; a posting over LINGUIST would beat it hands-down.

Below is an extract from the web site of the International Commission
on Second Language Acquisition ( It
summarizes what SLA research is (and isn't).

Lynn Eubank

- --------------

What is SLA? 

Briefly, SLA ("second language acquisition") is a theoretical and
experimental field of study which, like first language acquisition
studies, looks at the phenomenon of language development. The term,
"second" includes "foreign" and "third", "fourth".(etc.). Since the
early nineteen seventies, SLA researchers have been attempting to
describe and explain non-native language behaviour with a view to
extending our understanding of the processes and mechanisms of
language acquisition.

SLA and other disciplines 

Investigators in this field are trying to unravel the mysteries of
language acquisition, in this case, the acquisition of non-native
languages. SLA investigators, like their colleagues in first language
acquisition research, base their investigations on previous
theoretical and experimental studies done within their own field as
well as on research carried out in various branches of theoretical and
experimental psychology, theoretical linguistics and sociolinguistics.
SLA is a broadly-based field and research includes, for instance,
studying the complex pragmatic interactions between learners, and
between learners native speakers, examining how non-native language
ability develops, stabilizes and undergoes attrition, and carrying out
a highly technical analysis and interpretation of all aspects
oflearner language with the help of, amongst other things, current
linguistic theory.

SLA is not about language teaching. Although it is focussed on
examining acquisition as a phenomenon in its own right and not on how
acquisition is facilitated, the hope is often voiced that SLA
research, will, together with other relevant disciplines, provide a
firmer scientific basis for language instruction. Applied linguists
whose particular interest is in facilitating the language learning
process should find ways of interpreting relevant SLA research in ways
that will benefit the language teacher.

 Mike Sharwood Smith, ICoSLA Convener
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