LINGUIST List 21.2811

Mon Jul 05 2010

Support: Anthro Ling, Lang Documentation: PhD Student,La Trobe U,Australia

Editor for this issue: Matthew Lahrman <>

        1.    Randy LaPolla, Anthropological Linguistics, Language Documentation: PhD Student, La Trobe University, Australia

Message 1: Anthropological Linguistics, Language Documentation: PhD Student, La Trobe University, Australia
Date: 03-Jul-2010
From: Randy LaPolla <>
Subject: Anthropological Linguistics, Language Documentation: PhD Student, La Trobe University, Australia
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Institution/Organization: La Trobe University Department: Research Centre for Linguistic Typology Web Address:

Level: PhD

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Anthropological Linguistics; Language Documentation

PhD positions in Language Description and Documentation at the Research Centrefor Linguistic Typology

The Research Centre for Linguistic Typology (RCLT) at La Trobe University inMelbourne, Australia ( invites applications fromsuitably qualified students to enter its PhD program.

The RCLT is committed to comprehensively analysing the linguistic structures oflanguages that are endangered or have previously been little studied or arecompletely undescribed.

PhD candidates at the RCLT undertake extensive fieldwork on their chosenlanguage. Following a period of academic preparation at the RCLT, students willtake a fieldtrip of at least several months duration to the community where thelanguage is spoken. Fieldwork methodology centres on the collection, transcriptionand analysis of texts, together with participant observation, and judiciousgrammatical elicitation in the language under description. RCLT students also aimat language documentation: recording a range of linguistic styles, and building acorpus of linguistic data that can be archived in international digital archives whichare available to both specialist linguists and the speakers of the language.

PhD candidates aim to write a grammatical description of the language they areworking on, covering the central areas of language such as phonology,morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and sociolinguistics of that language.Candidates may find that some of these areas merit a deeper examination thanothers. Following the completion of a first draft of the thesis, the candidate wouldundertake a second field trip of a further several months, during which time thebasis and claims of the thesis can be checked.

The main priorities of the RCLT are Tibeto-Burman languages (Asia), the Papuanand Austronesian languages of New Guinea and surrounding islands, thelanguages of Amazonia and of Africa. However, we do not exclude applicants whohave an established interest in languages from other areas.

PhDs in Australian universities generally involve no coursework, just a substantialdissertation. Candidates must thus have had thorough coursework training beforeembarking on this PhD program. This should have included courses onmorphology, syntax, semantics, phonology/phonetics and comparative-historicallinguistics, preferably taught from a typological/functional perspective. We placeemphasis on work that has a sound empirical basis and also shows a firmgrounding in general typological literature and work done on related languages.

The scholarship will be at the standard La Trobe University rate, Australian$22,500 p.a. Students coming from overseas are liable for a tuition fee but thiscan usually be covered by a separate scholarship. A small relocation allowancemay be provided on taking up the scholarship. In addition, an appropriateallowance will be made to cover fieldwork expenses. The scholarship is for threeyears (with the possibility of a six month extension).

Closing date for international applicants: 30TH SEPTEMBER 2010Closing date for Australian and New Zealand applicants: 30TH OCTOBER 2010

Prospective applicants are invited, in the first place, to get in touch with theDirector, Professor Randy J. LaPolla, at, providing detailsof their background, qualifications and interests (including a curriculum vitae anddetailed project proposal).

Applications Deadline: 30-Sep-2010

Mailing Address for Applications:
        Attn: Prof Randy LaPolla        RCLT        La Trobe University VIC 3086        Australia

Web Address for Applications:

Contact Information:         Prof Randy LaPolla        Phone:+61 3 9479 6400        Fax:+61 3 9479 3053

Page Updated: 05-Jul-2010