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Job Announcement: University of Helsinki

Lang Documentation; Ling Theories; Morphology; Semantics; Ndebele, South: Post Doc, U of Helsinki, Finland

Employer: University of Helsinki
Department of World Cultures
Job Location: Helsinki, Finland (Telecommute)
Title: Postdoctoral Researcher
Rank: Post Doc
Linguistic Field(s): Language Documentation
Linguistic Theories
Language Contact
Language Specialty: Ndebele, South
Narrow Bantu
Nguni (S.40)
LL Issue: 25.3280
Date Submitted: 16-Aug-2014
Job Description: The project "Stability and Change in Language Contact: The Case of Southern
Ndebele (South Africa)", funded by the Academy of Finland until 2018,
investigates how language contact affects a speaker community and their
language. Scholars working on language contact are currently facing three
crucial challenges. First, individual languages are much more fluid systems
than commonly recognized. Secondly, contact linguistic models often reduce
real-life complexity to “language A meets language B” and are biased toward
European language scenarios. Thirdly, for two important areas of language
structure – tone and semantics – it is simply not known how they behave in
language contact scenarios. This project aims to find solutions to these
challenges – better explanatory models which we develop in our project – in
order to improve our capacity to describe complex language settings.

The Department of World Cultures, University of Helsinki invites
applications for a position as a

Postdoctoral Researcher

for the period 1.11.2014–30.4.2018 (100%).

The postdoctoral researcher is responsible for the data collection and
analysis in particular with regard to the morphology, syntax and semantics
of South African isiNdebele, involving fieldwork and research with our
partners in South Africa of up to 15 months. A key task is the preparation
of publications, both individual and joint publications with other members
of our team. In addition to this, the postdoctoral researcher will carry
out other tasks within narrow limits (teaching, administration/project
coordination, preparation and organization of conferences/workshops).

The applicant must have completed a PhD degree in African linguistics or a
similar field (e.g. documentary linguistics, general linguistics with
emphasis on field methods/descriptive linguistics) with experience in the
field of Bantu languages. Familiarity with research on microvariation,
dialectology, linguistic anthropology and/or contact linguistics is an
additional asset. Excellent research collaboration and very good English
language and organizational skills are required.

The University of Helsinki offers a salary dependent on qualifications and
work experience. At the beginning of the employment period, the
postdoctoral researcher’s salary is €3105,52 gross per month, for full-time
employment. The appointment starts with a probationary period of four months.

To apply for the postdoctoral researcher position in the Stability and
Change in Language Contact: The Case of Southern Ndebele (South Africa)
project, send an application letter, CV, and list of publications as a
single PDF file, to Prof. Axel Fleisch (, by 8
September 2014 at 15:45 (Finnish local time).
Application Deadline: 08-Sep-2014
Application Email: click here to access email
Contact Information: Professor Axel  Fleisch
click here to access email