LINGUIST List 26.3315

Thu Jul 16 2015

Support: English; French; Language Acquisition; Pragmatics; Semantics; Syntax / Belgium

Editor for this issue: Erin Arnold <>

Date: 16-Jul-2015
From: Karen Lahousse <>
Subject: English; French; Language Acquisition; Pragmatics; Semantics; Syntax, PhD, University of Leuven, Belgium
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Department: Department of Linguistics
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: University of Leuven

Duties: Research,Teaching

Specialty Areas: Language Acquisition; Pragmatics; Semantics; Syntax

Required Language(s): English (eng)
                            French (fra)


The Department of Linguistics of the University of Leuven (Belgium) is looking for applicants for a fully funded four-year PhD fellowship in French Linguistics.

The PhD project is part of the project (C1 3H150300) ''FLaCIS - First Language Acquisition of Information Structure: the acquisition of topic and focus in French", which is funded by the Research Council of the University of Leuven. The team of this project is composed of the supervisor Karen Lahousse (KU Leuven) and co-supervisors Emmanuelle Canut (University of Lille-III, France) and Cécile De Cat (University of Leeds, U.K.).

The goal of this research project is to investigate the development, in French first language acquisition, of the relationship between the information-structural functions of 'topic' and 'focus' and the corresponding formal devices. We will examine the acquisition by French children of the IS-notions of topic and focus and the corresponding syntactic devices of dislocation (1) and clefting (2). [All examples from the De Cat corpus]

a. Lui, ça va là. (Max 2;0.14)
b. Maman, [elle] fait xx # moi, [je] fais [le]
drapeau (Anne 2;2.00)

a. Il y a maman qui arrive!
b. C'est lui qui fait dodo sur lui. Anne 2;4.20)


- You have an MA (or are currently finishing one) in Linguistics, Linguistics and Literature or Philology (or equivalent), with excellent study results;
- an excellent command of French (native or near-native) and a good command of (spoken and written) English;
- strong analytical skills to pursue creative work in French linguistics;
- a passion for linguistics and an international orientation (a.o. for research stays abroad during the doctoral period);
- an interest in authentic (acquisition) corpus data of French;
- the ability to present research results at international conferences, and to publish in English in peer-reviewed journals.
- the willingness and ability to assist in the teaching of French at BA-level, by giving exercise sessions, assist in the supervision of BA-papers, correcting tasks, etc.

Candidates preferably have knowledge of language acquisition and/or statistics and/or information structure (and semantic-pragmatic analysis in general) and/or (quantitative and/or qualitative) corpus analysis.


- The candidate will have the opportunity to do doctoral research in the context of the above-mentioned project, during 4 years.
- The candidate will have 80% of his/her time available for his/her doctoral research activities, 20% will be dedicated to other (teaching and administrative) services.
- The fellow will receive a salary of approximately 1700 EUR/month (after taxes, depending on family composition etc.). In addition, s/he will be allocated office space and a laptop, and receive funding for research activities like attending conferences abroad.
- The successful candidate will collaborate with and be supported by the three supervisors of the research project and will benefit from the stimulating environment of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Leuven.
Please include during the on-line submission: (i) a cover letter describing your motivation (in French); (ii) a detailed CV (in English or French); (iii) the names of up to three referees we may contact prior to appointment, and (iv) a sample piece of writing (in English or French, such as a BA- or an MA-paper).

Interviews will be held with shortlisted candidates in Leuven on September 7 (online for overseas applicants). A decision will be made by September 20.

Applications Deadline: 31-Aug-2015

Web Address for Applications:

Contact Information:
        Prof Karen Lahousse

Page Updated: 16-Jul-2015