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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Level: PhD
Duty: Research
Linguistic Field: Language Documentation
Anthropological Linguistics Language Analysis
Application Deadline: 31-Aug-2012
Supporting Institution: James Cook University
Cairns Institute
LL Issue: 23.2692
Posted: 11-Jun-2012
Support Description: PhD Scholarships at the Cairns Institute, JCU, Australia

Applications are invited, from suitably qualified students, to enter the PhD program
of the Language and Culture Research Centre within the Cairns Institute of James
Cook University Australia. Supervision will be provided by Professors Alexandra Y.
Aikhenvald, R. M. W. Dixon, and Dr Elena Mihas.

Our PhD candidates generally undertake extensive fieldwork on a previously
undescribed (or scarcely described) language and write a comprehensive grammar
of it for their dissertation. They are expected to work on a language which is still
actively spoken, and to establish a field situation within a community in which it is
the first language. Fieldwork methodology centres on the collection, transcription
and analysis of texts, together with participant observation, and — at a later stage
— judicious grammatical elicitation in the language under description (not through
the lingua franca of the country). Our main priority areas are the languages of
tropical Amazonia, and the Papuan and Austronesian languages of New Guinea.
However, we do not exclude applicants who have an established interest in
languages from other areas.

PhDs in Australian universities generally involve no coursework, just a substantial
dissertation. Candidates must thus have had a thorough coursework training before
embarking on this PhD program. We place emphasis on work that has a sound
empirical basis but also shows a firm theoretical orientation (in terms of general
typological theory, or what has recently come to be called basic linguistic theory).

The Cairns Institute is a world class centre for advanced study relating to the
tropics. Distinguished Professor Alexandra Aikhenvald is Research Leader for
People and Societies of the Tropics. Together with Professor R. M. W. Dixon, she
heads the Language and Culture Research Centre within the Cairns Institute, which
includes Research Fellows and a growing number of doctoral students. In addition,
senior scholars from across the world opt to spend their sabbatical in the Cairns
Institute. The information on LCRC is available at:

https://eresearch.jcu.edu.au/spaces/TLA

The basic scholarship will be at the standard James Cook University rate,
Australian $23.728 pa. Students coming from overseas are liable for a tuition fee;
but this may be waived, In addition, an appropriate allowance will be made to cover
fieldwork expenses.

The scholarship is for three years (with the possibility of a six month extension).
The deadline for application by international students (starting in 2011) is 31
August 2012; the deadline for students with Australian and New Zealand passports
is 31 October 2012. The academic year in Australia commences about 1st March.
Successful applicants would take up their PhD scholarships between January and
June 2013.

The application procedures for students and the application forms can be found at:

http://www.jcu.edu.au/grs/scholarships/index.htm

Prospective applicants are invited, in the first place, to get in touch with Professor
Aikhenvald at Alexandra.Aikhenvald Linguist List jcu.edu.au, providing details of their
background, qualifications and interests (including a curriculum vitae). Applicants
are advised to send samples of their written work in linguistics (at least some of
this should be in English).
Application Mailing Address: Prof Alexandra Aikhenvald
Cairns Institute JCU
NcGregor Road
Cairns Qld 4870
Australia
Contact Information: Prof Alexandra Aikhenvald
Alexandra.Aikhenvald@jcu.edu.au
Phone:61 7 4042 1117