LINGUIST List 9.1095

Sun Aug 2 1998

Jobs: Studentships (2), Postgrad Stipend

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <>


  1. Gary, Studentships in Sheffield
  2. David Messer, Ph.D. Studentship
  3. Eva Schlachter, Postgrad Stipend

Message 1: Studentships in Sheffield

Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 10:43:04 +0100
From: Gary <>
Subject: Studentships in Sheffield

 The University of Sheffield
Department of Human Communication Sciences	
18/20/31/ Claremont Crescent
Head of Department: Professor John Locke 
Tel: 0114-222-2400/2402	
Fax: 0114-273-0547	
International: +44 114-222-2404 

Professor Jill Boucher 
Tel: 0114-222-2404/2450


Details are given below of two fully funded postgraduate research
Studentships to be held in the Department of Human Communication
Sciences in the University of Sheffield, one funded by the University
of Sheffield and one funded by the Williams Syndrome Foundation. The
Studentships are closely linked in that the research areas identified
as the focus of the two Studentships are complementary, and both
relate to ongoing research being carried out by the proposed

The Projects for which the Studentships are Offered

The overall aim of projects is to assess the hypotheses (1) that the
specific speech, language and discourse impairments which occur in
children with specific language impairments and in children with high
functioning autism are caused at least in part by deficits in those
biopsychological time processing abilities which subserve the normal
acquisition and function of spoken language; and (2) that the
relatively spared speech, language, and discourse abilities of
children with Williams syndrome are related to a sparing of these
biopsychological time processing abilities.

The student who is awarded the Williams Syndrome Foundation (WSF)
Studentship will have a degree which includes Psychology, and will
test these hypotheses by investigating the role of time processing
mechanisms in speech and language perception, and also in memory and
planning. The student who is awarded the Sheffield University
studentship will have a degree which includes Linguistics, and will
test the hypotheses by investigating the role of time processing
mechanisms in the production of spoken language and conversational
interaction. The person awarded the WSF Studentship should also have
an interest in investigating the causes of hyperacusis and of the
emotional 'charge' which certain auditory stimuli have for children
with Williams syndrome.

The methods to be used by both students will include a mixture of
quantitative and qualitative methods, with quantitative methods
predominating in the WSF-funded study and qualitative methods using
linguistic analyses predominating in the University-funded project.
Both projects will require the use of information technology: for
example, computer-based presentation of machine-generated sound will
be used within the WSF-funded project, and speech instrumentation
including electropalatography will be used within the
University-funded project. Applicants for both Studentships should
therefore have good computer skills or at least the motivation and
aptitude to develop such skills.

The WSF-funded project will be supervised by Professor Jill Boucher, a
developmental psychologist and speech/language pathologist, with
support supervision from a senior member of the Department of
Audiology in the University Medical School. The project to be funded
by a University Studentship will be supervised by Dr Mick Perkins, a
linguist specialising in the analysis of disordered language, and by
Dr Sara Howard, a phonetician/phonologist and speech/language

The University

The University of Sheffield falls within the so-called 'Russell group'
of top research universities in the UK. It also has one of the best
outcomes on the Teaching Quality Assessment Exercise for any
university in the UK. Sheffield is predominantly a science-based
University, and includes a large Medical School. Over one and a half
million books and periodicals are held in the Main University Library,
and students also have access to specialist medical libraries.

Postgraduate students from all departments and faculties within the
university belong to the University Graduate School. The Graduate
School oversees the Research Training Programmes which are compulsory
for most postgraduate research students in their first year of study.
The Graduate School also oversees Teaching Quality Assurance, and
takes ultimate responsibility for the progress and welfare of all
postgraduate students at Sheffield. Sheffield University is one of
the most popular universities in the country, with very high
application rates for almost all departments (the Department of Human
Communication Sciences has amongst the highest). Approximately 400
postgraduate research students obtain their degrees at Sheffield every
year, completion rates being excellent.

The Department

The Department of Human Communication Sciences is a relatively new
department which specialises in the study of normal and disordered
interpersonal communication. Academic staff in the department include
neuroscientists, psychologists, linguists (including a
phonetician/phonologist and an acoustic phonetician), educationalists,
speech and language therapists, and an electronic engineer. The
department offers two undergraduate degrees, one constituting a
qualification to practise as a speech and language therapist, and one
being nonvocational. The department also offers three taught Masters
courses: one in Cognitive Neurolinguistics, one for graduates wishing
to qualify as speech and language therapists, and one for teachers
working with children with communication disorders. There are
currently 25 postgraduate research students attached to the
department, working on a wide variety of projects. Facilities in the
department include a well equipped speech and language therapy clinic
with audio and video links, and observational facilities; a phonetics
laboratory with a range of equipment for the acoustic and instrumental
analysis of speech, including spectrography, electrolaryngography,
nasometry and electropalatography; good computing facilities and
technical support services; and a block of rooms dedicated to the use
of postgraduate research students.

Contact Details

For further information about these Studentships, please contact in
the first instance:

Dr Sandra Whiteside, Postgraduate Research Tutor, address as
 Tel. no. 0114-222-2447
 < >

If Dr Whiteside is unavailable and you wish to speak to someone on the
telephone, please ask for Jill Boucher if you are interested in the
WSF Studentship, or Mick Perkins if you are particularly interested in
the University-funded Studentship.
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Message 2: Ph.D. Studentship

Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 07:32:16 +0100
From: David Messer <>
Subject: Ph.D. Studentship

Apologies for any multiple mailings, please would you draw this to the
attention of suitable applicants.


A University PhD studentship is available which is jointly funded, and
jointly supervised, by the Psychology and Computer Science
departments. Currently the studentship is 7500 p.a.

Supervisors: Neil Davey (Computing), David Messer (Psychology), and
Pam Smith (Psychology)

We have two projects which we would like to take forward (see below),
however, we are open to suggestions from applicants.

The first project would test the hypothesis that Child Directed Speech
contains sufficient information to enable the child to distinguish
fundamental grammatical categories such as noun/verb phrase, and would
be particularly suitable for someone with an interest in the
development of language.

The other project will examine sequential models of speech recognition
and some of the factors affecting their performance, drawing on what
has been learnt from investigating child directed speech.

Both projects could be carried out using Spanish language data already
collected (prior knowledge of Spanish is not essential) or data from
another language where there are longitudinal records of Child
Directed Speech.

Departmental Information : The Psychology Department (RAE 3A) has a
tradition of research in developmental psychology and applied
cognition. This has been strengthened by the close teaching and
research links with the Department of Computer Science (RAE 4) who
have a group interested in cognitive modelling and neural networks. A
programme of jointly funded and supervised PhDs was initiated in 1993
with the award of two studentships. The success of the joint
supervisory arrangements resulted in both PhDs being awarded within
3.5 years. A third and fourth joint studentship have been awarded
subsequently. Appplicants should have at least a 2(i) degree (or
equivalent) in Linguistics, Cognitive Science, Psychology or Computer
Science. Candidates are not expected to offer skills in all the areas
required since tuition will be available.

The PhD program will continue a project began in 1994, centered around
the building of neural computational models of the production of
Spanish noun phrases. Dr S Lopez Ornat, of the Universidad
Complutense de Madrid was closely involved and provided the records of
interactions between Spanish children and adults upon which the
modelling was based. We would like to continue the collaboration with
this jointly funded PhD student and Dr Lopez Ornat is keen to have a
ongoing involvement.

Enquiries about these projects should be directed to Neil Davey,
Department of Computing, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Herts
AL10 9AB. Tel: 01707 28 4310. Email: .

Applications forms and further information can be obtained by
contacting Lorraine Nicholls, Faculty of Engineering and Information
Science, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Herts AL10 9AB, UK.
Tel: (0)1707 28-6083. .

Completed applications should be returned as soon as possible and
before September 18th. It is intended that the project should begin
in October but the start date is negotiable.
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Message 3: Postgrad Stipend

Date: Thu, 30 Jul 98 10:54:17 MET
From: Eva Schlachter <>
Subject: Postgrad Stipend

The Humboldt-University in Berlin and the University of Potsdam are

	one postgraduate stipend
	(linguistics and adjacent fields), to start
	1. October 1998.

The successful applicant will join the graduate study program "Economy
and Complexity in Language" (Graduiertenkolleg "Oekonomie und
Komplexitaet in der Sprache").

The study/research program is concerned with the organization of the
human language faculty, with special emphasis on economy, optimality
and minimality in the principles and operations that make possible and
constrain the highly complex structure of language.

The program is divided into 4 project areas:

- structure of the language faculty (Bierwisch, Eisenberg, Hall,
 Fanselow, Kosta, Lang, Pompino-Marschall, Wilder)
- language change
 (Donhauser, Kosta)
- development and disruption of the language faculty
 (Bierwisch, De Bleser, Dietrich, Eisenberg, Saddy, Weissenborn)
- language processing 
 (Hassler, Saddy, Staudacher)


Information about the application procedure can be obtained from the
address below. Applicants should have a PhD in contemporary linguistic
theory, and speciality in one or more of the areas listed above. NB
proficiency in German is required! Applications containing degree/
diploma certificates, curriculum vitae, academic reference (at least
one), and an outline for a research proposal, should be sent to:

	Prof. Dr. Rainer Dietrich
	Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin
	Institut fuer deutsche Sprache und Linguistik
	Unter den Linden 6
	10099 Berlin
	e-mail inquiries: eva

Deadline for receipt of applications: 28. August 1998
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