LINGUIST List 25.5233

Tue Dec 30 2014

Jobs: Computational Linguistics; Language Documentation: Post Doc, University of Alberta

Editor for this issue: Andrew Lamont <>

Date: 22-Dec-2014
From: Antti Arppe <>
Subject: Computational Linguistics; Language Documentation: Post Doc, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Cananda
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University or Organization: University of Alberta
Department: Linguistics
Job Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Web Address:
Job Title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Job Rank: Post Doc

Specialty Areas: Computational Linguistics; Language Documentation


The Department of Linguistics, University of Alberta, invites applications for a full-time Postdoctoral Fellowship, beginning in early 2015, in the research project '21st Century Tools for Indigenous Languages' funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. The start date is negotiable, and the appointment is tenable for 2 years, subject to review after the 1st year.

This project is associated with several laboratories in our Department and is led by Drs. Antti Arppe, Jordan Lachler, Juhani Järvikivi, and Timothy Mills. In addition, we collaborate with the Cree Literacy Network, and the Giellatekno and Divvun groups in University of Tromsø, Norway.

Currently, we are developing computational models of the phonetics, morphology and lexis of Plains Cree, to create software applications that support its continued use in daily life by both speakers and learners. These include an intelligent electronic dictionary, a spell-checker, computer-aided language learning tools, as well as a text-to-speech synthesizer. Further details of our project can be found at

The tasks of the Postdoc will include the following, allowing for variation based on the successful applicant's competences and interests:

1. participation in/responsibility for the continued development of Plains Cree computational morphological and phonetic models and applications;
2. participation in/responsibility for the development of computational morphological and phonetic models and applications for an Indigenous language other than Plains Cree, ideally one spoken in Canada;
3. partial training and supervision of undergraduate and graduate students (M.A/Ph.D level) in developing models and applications for an Indigenous language other than Plains Cree;
4. engagement with Indigenous community consultants on collecting primary linguistic data and gathering feedback from field-testers;
5. other administrative responsibilities

By the end of the Postdoc appointment, the successful applicant will have a set of skills allowing them to partner with Indigenous communities and field linguists to develop a range of sophisticated tools in support of language maintenance and revitalization.

Successful applicants may have specialized either (a) in the documentation and study of Indigenous American languages, with a willingness to learn computational modeling, or (b) in the computational modelling (text and/or speech) of morphologically rich languages, with a willingness to learn the essential morphological and phonetic characteristics of the languages we are working with.

The fellowship comes with an annual salary of $34,500-$38,000 (CAD) plus benefits.

The applicants should have recently completed, or be about to finish, a Ph.D degree.

The application should include (1) a research statement (ca. 2 pages) outlining past experience and current research interests and, in particular, how these align with and contribute towards the goals of our project, (2) a Curriculum Vitae (with a List of Publications), and (3) 1-3 relevant academic writing samples. Moreover, (4) Letters of Recommendation should be sent directly to Dr. Arppe by 3 referees. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Dr. Arppe to discuss their research plan.

Applications and any inquiries should be sent by electronic mail to Dr. Antti Arppe (application email below). Further information on the position can be found at

Review of applications will begin on January 26, 2015, and will continue until the position is filled.

Application Deadline: 26-Jan-2015 (Open until filled)

Email Address for Applications:
Contact Information:
Dr. Antti Arppe

Page Updated: 30-Dec-2014