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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"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,Teaching,Project Work
Linguistic Field: General Linguistics English Linguistics
Application Deadline: 31-Aug-2013
Supporting Institution: University of Leuven
Linguistics - QLVL research unit
LL Issue: 24.2136
Posted: 21-May-2013
Support Description: The research group Quantitative Lexicology and Variational Linguistics (QLVL) of the Department of Linguistics of the University of Leuven is looking for applicants for two fully-funded PhD-fellowships in Linguistics. The PhD fellowships will be integrated in a project entitled “Exploring probabilistic grammar(s) in varieties of English around the world”, funded by the Odysseus program of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and supervised by prof. dr. Benedikt Szmrecsanyi (University of Leuven). The project is situated at the crossroads of research on English as a World Language, usage-based theoretical linguistics, variationist linguistics, and cognitive sociolinguistics. It specifically marries the spirit of the Probabilistic Grammar Framework (which posits that grammatical knowledge is experience-based and partially probabilistic) to research along the lines of the English World-Wide paradigm (which is concerned with the dialectology and sociolinguistics of post-colonial English-speaking communities around the world). The overarching objective is to understand the lectal plasticity of probabilistic knowledge of English grammar, on the part of language users with diverse regional and cultural backgrounds. Empirically, the project will tap into corpus material (as sampled e.g. in the International Corpus of English) to probe factors constraining a number of syntactic alternations in the grammar of English, supplementing this type of evidence with rating experiments as necessary. Each of the PhD projects will be concerned with one of the following syntactic alternations in the grammar of English: the genitive alternation (the president's speech versus the speech of the president), the dative alternation (we sent him a letter versus we sent a letter to him), and particle placement (he looked the word up versus he looked up the word). The project infrastructure includes a postdoctoral researcher, who will coordinate research on the above phenomena. Profile: You have … - strong analytical skills and a background in quantitative linguistic analysis; previous exposure to regression modeling (R, SPSS, Rbrul, Varbrul) would be a plus - an MA (or equivalent) in Linguistics or Philology and academic distinction; students who will only obtain their degree in the fall of 2013 are encouraged to apply as well - an excellent command of English - good communication skills (both written and oral) and strong interpersonal skills. The positions start January 1st 2014 or earlier. The scholarships are initially granted for one year, but are renewable for up to a total of four years, pending positive evaluation. The positions are expected to result in the completion of a PhD. You will receive a net salary of approximately 1700 EUR/month and all regular provisions for KU Leuven research fellows. In addition, you will be allocated office space and a laptop, and receive funding for research activities such as attending conferences abroad. You will join a dynamic and internationally highly visible research team, which includes 3 full-time faculty members, 2 postdoctoral fellows and 10 PhD students. You will be asked to … - play an active role in the research group and the KU Leuven community - support the research group by taking up administrative, logistic or teaching-related tasks - present research results at conferences, and publish in peer-reviewed journals. Please send a cover letter, a CV, the names of two referees whom we might approach prior to appointment, and a sample piece of scientific writing (e.g. master thesis or article) to benszm Linguist List gmail.com.
Application Mailing Address: prof. dr. Benedikt Szmrecsanyi Department of Linguistics Blijde-Inkomststraat 21, PO Box 03308 Leuven B-3000 Belgium
Contact Information: Benedikt Szmrecsanyi benszm@gmail.com