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Support Announcement:

Level: PhD
Duty: Research
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics
Language Acquisition
Specific Language: Basque
Application Deadline: 10-Sep-2013
Supporting Institution: University of the Basque Country
LL Issue: 24.3592
Posted: 13-Sep-2013
Support Description: 4-year Predoctoral Grant on syntactic processing

We are happy to announce a Predoctoral fellowship financed by the Ministerio deCiencia e Innovación (Spain) to work on a PhD project in the area of language/syntactic processing and bilingualism. The grant lasts for four years, working at the University of the Basque Country in the 'Bilingual Mind' research group, within a research project that intends to bridge theoretical linguistics and experimental approaches to the study of language.

The fundamental question we aim to address is how languages that differ in their syntactic specifications are computed by the brain of bilinguals and second language learners. We will test the hypothesis that diverging parametric specifications yield native/non-native age related differences in the neural representation of grammar, and the related hypothesis that different typological/parametric traits correlate with distinct processing strategies and mechanisms. To this end, we will employ both conductual techniques and electrophysiological measures by means of Event-related brain potentials (ERPs), which reveal millisecond-by millisecond changes in neural activity during language processing, and provide a very precise time-locked signal of grammatical computation in the brain. Specifically, we want to explore the impact of language variation (syntactic parameters) in language representation and processing. We intend to study how specific aspects of Basque syntax (particularly those that are parametrically different from Spanish syntax) are processed by native versus nonnative bilingual speakers. Our working hypothesis is (a) that the structural-computational component of grammar can reveal age effects, provided the parametric settings of the native and nonnative language vary; and (b) that different grammatical properties correlate with distinct processing strategies, in order to optimally satisfy processing demands
Application Web Address:
Contact Information: Itziar Laka