LINGUIST List 23.5244

Thu Dec 13 2012

Jobs: Historical Linguistics; Syntax: Post Doc, University of York

Editor for this issue: Sarah Fox <>

Date: 13-Dec-2012
From: Giuseppe Longobardi <>
Subject: Historical Linguistics; Syntax: Post Doc, University of York, York, United Kingdom
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University or Organization: University of York Job Location: York, United Kingdom Web Address:
Job Rank: Post Doc

Specialty Areas: Historical Linguistics; Syntax


Applications are invited for 2 two-year (renewable) postdoctoral research positions based in the Centre for Comparative and Historical Syntax, part of the Department of Language and Linguistic Science at the University of York. The positions form part of the ERC-funded project “Meeting Darwin’s last challenge: toward a global tree of human languages and genes”, supervised by Professor Giuseppe Longobardi. The project plans to build the first phylogenetic trees of languages based on syntactic evidence and potentially aiming to global scope, and to compare them to the molecular-genetic representation of corresponding populations.

The project will apply a new comparative method, based entirely on grammatical evidence and on recent parametric theories of syntactic diversity, to ensure higher standards of testability/replicability and measure linguistic distances between even remote populations. A team of linguists at York and one of biologists in Italy will for the first time jointly select the populations most significant from either perspective for language/gene sampling.

The post-doctoral research assistants will have good up-to-date knowledge of formal syntactic theory, some basic understanding of the principles of historical linguistic comparison, and strong interest for wide-range data collection. A crucial aspect of the roles will be significant collaborative work with the project PI and other team members. The appointees will have the PhD in hand by March 2013 and will devote most of their working time to the project, which at this stage will focus mainly on the nominal syntax of languages from the five continents. Previous experience in data collection and analysis, especially from non-European languages, is desirable though not required. Some travel to meet with language consultants may be required.

Informal enquiries regarding the posts can be addressed to Prof. Giuseppe Longobardi at the contact email address below.

Salary will be £29,541 per annum on grade 6 of the University’s salary scales. The posts are full-time (37 hours per week) and are available from 1 March 2013, or as soon as possible thereafter, for a fixed term period of two years. This will be renewable for another two years, subject to review during the initial period of appointment.

Closing date: Tuesday, 15 January 2013.

Interview date: Tuesday, 5 February 2013.

Application Deadline: 15-Jan-2013 Web Address for Applications:
Contact Information:
Professor Giuseppe Longobardi Email:

Page Updated: 13-Dec-2012