Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

Support Announcement:

Level: PhD
Duty: Research,Project Work
Linguistic Field: Language Documentation
Anthropological Linguistics
Application Deadline: 31-Aug-2014
Supporting Institution: James Cook University Australia
Language and Culture Research Centre
LL Issue: 25.1801
Posted: 21-Apr-2014
Support Description: Applications are invited, from suitably qualified students, to enter the PhD program of the Language and Culture Research Centre at James Cook University Australia. Supervision will be provided by Professors Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, R. M. W. Dixon, Dr Valérie Guérin, Dr Elena Mihas and Dr Simon Overall.

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. Their first fieldtrip lasts for about nine months. After completing a first draft of the grammar, back in Cairns, they undertake a second fieldtrip of two to three months. 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. Our main priority areas are the languages of tropical Amazonia and the Papuan and Austronesian languages of New Guinea and surrounding areas. However, we do not exclude applicants who have an established interest in languages from other areas (which need not necessarily lie within the tropics).
Candidates must have had a thorough coursework training before embarking on this PhD program. This should have included courses on morphology, syntax, semantics, and phonology/phonetics, taught from a non-formalist perspective. 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).

Distinguished Professor Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald is Australian Laureate Fellow and Research Leader for People and Societies of the Tropics. Together with Professor R. M. W. Dixon, she heads the Language and Culture Research Centre, which includes Research Fellows and a growing number of doctoral students. In addition, senior scholars from across the world opt to spend their sabbatical at the Centre.

Further information is available at

The scholarship will be at the standard James Cook University rate, Australian $25,392 pa. Students coming from overseas are liable for a tuition fee, but this may be waived in the case of a student of high merit. A small relocation allowance may be provided on taking up the scholarship. In addition, a generous allowance will be made to cover fieldwork expenses and conference attendance.
The scholarship is for three years (with the possibility of a six month extension). The deadline for application by international students (starting in 2015) is 31 August 2014; the deadline for students with Australian and New Zealand passports is 31 October 2014.

Scholarship application form and procedures for international students can be found at:

The academic year in Australia commences about 1st March. Successful applicants would normally take up their PhD scholarships between January and June 2015. However, there will be an opportunity for a suitable applicant to start at an earlier date (with special arrangements available immediately).

Prospective applicants are invited, in the first place, to get in touch with Professor Aikhenvald at Alexandra.Aikhenvald Linguist List, providing details of their background, qualifications and interests (including a curriculum vitae and samples of their written work in linguistics, at least some of this should be in English).
Application Web Address:
Contact Information: Prof. Alexandra Aikhenvald Phone: 61 07 4232 1117 Fax: 61 07 4232 1800