LINGUIST List 27.4695

Wed Nov 16 2016

Support: Indo-European; Iranian; Tocharian; Indian; Historical Linguistics; Language Contact / Netherlands

Editor for this issue: Amanda Foster <>

Date: 16-Nov-2016
From: Van Wijk <>
Subject: Indo-European; Iranian; Tocharian; Indian; Historical Linguistics; Language Contact, PhD, Leiden University, Netherlands
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Department: Leiden University Centre for Linguistics
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: Leiden University

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Historical Linguistics
Language Contact, Tocharian, Indian
Required Language(s): Iranian (pes)


This PhD position is part of Michaël Peyrot’s NWO-funded VIDI project “Tracking the Tocharians” ( In this project, the migration route of the Tocharians from the Proto-Indo-European homeland in the steppes of Eastern Europe to the Tarim Basin in Northwest China is reconstructed on the basis of contacts between Tocharian and other languages.

The central topic of this PhD position is formed by the contacts between Tocharian, Middle Iranian and Middle Indian.

The objective is to investigate the history and prehistory of Tocharian and neighbouring languages on the basis of language contact. Fields that may additionally be involved include history, archaeology, art history, literature and palaeography.

Key responsibilities

- Writing a PhD thesis;
- Submitting research results for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals;
- Presenting papers at (international) conferences;
- Some teaching in the second and third year of the appointment;
- Organizing and participating in reading and discussions groups, seminars, workshops within the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL).

Selection criteria

- An MA or equivalent degree in Indo-European Linguistics, Iranian Studies, Indology, or another relevant field at the start of the contract;
- Demonstrable affinity with historical linguistics and a good working knowledge of Sanskrit, a relevant Iranian language, or Tocharian (knowledge of Tocharian is an advantage, but not a strict requirement);
- Scientific interest, excellent analytical skills, and the ability to work independently;
- Proficiency in English, spoken as well as written.

For further information on these projects please contact M. Peyrot (, or on practical matters M.S.K. van Gammeren (


Applicants are kindly requested to submit the following documents electronically in pdf format (in English):

- A letter stating your motivation for the position.
- Curriculum vitae.
- A short research proposal (max. 1000 words) for a project on the topic mentioned above, in which you describe how you would plan the project, which research questions you would formulate, which sources and methods you would use, which matters you find in need of special attention, how you would tackle any existing deficiencies in your knowledge, etc.
- References: the names and contact details (email addresses) of two persons whom we may contact for further information. One of these should be your MA thesis supervisor.
- Copies of your academic transcripts and your MA certificate (or a letter of your supervisor confirming the expected date of your MA).
- A copy of your MA thesis, and any other publication that is representative for your research qualities.

Applicants should submit their application before 10 December 2016. Applications should be sent to, clearly indicating the application number (16-370).

Please visit for additional information.

Applications Deadline: 10-Dec-2016

Mailing Address for Applications:

Contact Information:
        Michaël Peyrot
        Dept: Leiden University Centre for Linguistics

Page Updated: 16-Nov-2016