LINGUIST List 25.5165

Thu Dec 18 2014

Support: English; Dialectology, Sociolinguistics / Switzerland

Editor for this issue: Danuta Allen <>

Date: 18-Dec-2014
From: David Britain <>
Subject: English; Dialectology, Sociolinguistics: PhD Student, University of Bern, Switzerland
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Department: English
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: University of Bern

Duties: Research,Project Work

Specialty Areas: Sociolinguistics
Required Language(s): English (eng)


The Department of English at the University of Bern in Switzerland is offering a three-year PhD scholarship, supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, to work with two other PhD students on a project entitled "English in paradise?: emergent varieties in Micronesia", directed by Prof David Britain.

The aim of the project is to investigate the sociolinguistic history and contemporary linguistic structure of a number of Englishes of Micronesia in the Northern Pacific Ocean. The funding offered here is for the investigation of the development and structure of the English dialect of one of the main islands of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)(e.g. Chuuk, Yap, Pohnpei, Kosrae). The other PhD students will be examining Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands as well as the Republic of Kiribati.
The community-wide use of English in Micronesia is, except in the case of Guam, relatively recent and the project as a whole aims to investigate the nativisation of English in Micronesia and conduct a comparative analysis of the Englishes of Kiribati, Saipan, the FSM, and the Republic of Palau. The project will involve a three month fieldwork trip to the FSM in 2015.

The annual salary for this position is around CHF 47040 (gross) (= roughly £31,000, €39,000, A$55500, NZ$61,000, US$48500, C$54500) in Year 1, rising to CHF 50040 (£32500, €41500, A$59500, NZ$65000, US$51500, C$58000) in Year 3.
The salary does not include:
- tuition fees of CHF300 per semester (same for all students regardless of citizenship);
- personal health insurance (roughly CHF 200 to 300 per month depending on age, etc.); health insurance is compulsory in Switzerland and is not organized by your employer.

- You must already hold an MA (or equivalent) in sociolinguistics, dialectology, (English) linguistics, or a closely related discipline.
- You will need to demonstrate a track record of successful academic study and a commitment to the investigation of Dialectology and/or Sociolinguistics.
- You must be versatile and adaptable, sociable (in order to collect good data!), and, of course, committed to the completion of the project and the PhD within three years.
- You should have an outstanding command of written and spoken English; your PhD thesis will be written in English;
-To be eligible for these doctoral assistantships, you must meet the University of Bern's basic admission criteria for doctoral study:

While the administrative (and teaching) language of the Department of English is English, the administrative language of the Faculty and the rest of the University is German, and Bern is a (Swiss)German-speaking city.

How to Apply:
Send by Noon on 29th January 2015 (Central European Time), the following materials as a single PDF:
- a cover letter, motivating your application (addressed to Prof. Britain);
- a full Curriculum Vitae (CV) / Résumé;
- the names and email addresses of two academic referees (no letters needed at this point).
In addition, please send a representative sample of your academic writing in English (e.g. your MA thesis). Please indicate clearly your citizenship and the soonest point at which you would be able to begin the studentship.
Your materials should be emailed to Prof. Britain at

Applications Deadline: 29-Jan-2015

Mailing Address for Applications:
        Attn: Prof David Britain
        Department of English, Universitaet Bern
        Laenggassstrasse 49
        Bern 3009

Contact Information:
        Prof David Britain

Page Updated: 18-Dec-2014