LINGUIST List 26.2761

Thu Jun 04 2015

Support: Australian; Oceanic; Language Documentation; Typology / Australia

Editor for this issue: Erin Arnold <>

Date: 04-Jun-2015
From: Rachel Nordlinger <>
Subject: Australian and Pacific Languages; Language Documentation; Typology, PhD, University of Melbourne, Australia
E-mail this message to a friend

Department: Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language
Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: University of Melbourne

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Language Documentation; Typology
Australian languages, Pacific languages


Applications are now being sought for PhD positions in the Shape of Language program of the ARC Centre for Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL) ( The present PhD positions will be located at the University of Melbourne, and situated within the Shape program (working with Rachel Nordlinger and Nick Thieberger).

We are interested in applications from students wishing to work on topics relating to Australia's Indigenous languages or languages of Vanuatu. Potential topics include the following:

- Description and documentation of a traditional indigenous language of Australia (possibilities include, but are not limited to Djinang, Ritharrngu, Arrernte, languages of the Daly River region, languages of the Western Desert region)
- Description and documentation of new Australian varieties, including Kriol
- Multigenerational documentation of an Australian language (e.g. Murrinh-Patha, Arrernte, Yolngu), which focuses not so much on a static description of the traditional language, but aspects of language use across generations, preferably as part of a team of researchers all working within the same language community.
- Description and documentation of undescribed languages of Vanuatu
Other topics that tie in with the Shape of Language research program are also possible, through negotiation with Assoc. Prof. Rachel Nordlinger, or Dr. Nick Thieberger.

Each PhD position will undertake substantial fieldwork in the relevant speech community. A limited number of scholarships are available for particularly strong candidates, other PhD applicants will need to successfully apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award (or other suitable scholarship). All accepted students will receive generous fieldwork funding, conference travel funds, and substantial training and development opportunities within the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language.

The School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne hosts one of the leading linguistics programs in Australia and is home to the Research Unit for Indigenous Language ( which specialises in the description and documentation of languages of Australia and its region. PhD students will be supervised by Assoc. Prof. Rachel Nordlinger and/or Dr. Nick Thieberger and work closely with the team of researchers associated with the Research Unit of Indigenous language, as well as the larger team of researchers associated with ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language.

Interested applicants should contact Rachel Nordlinger ( for further details, and provide the following:

- CV with educational qualifications, any publications and other relevant experience (e.g. fieldwork, relevant internships)
- Transcript of prior undergraduate and/or postgraduate degrees (must have the equivalent of University of Melbourne 80% average to be competitive)
- A two-page statement setting out your preferred topic, potential field site, what skills and personal attributes you will bring to the project, and what you see as the most interesting and challenging issues you will address
- If available, other materials supporting your case (e.g. relevant articles or other materials)

Applications Deadline: 15-Aug-2015

Mailing Address for Applications:
        Attn: Rachel Nordlinger
        School of Languages and Linguistics
        University of Melbourne VIC 3010

Contact Information:
        Rachel Nordlinger

Page Updated: 04-Jun-2015