LINGUIST List 28.1393

Tue Mar 21 2017

Support: Serer; Wolof; Anthropological Linguistics; Cognitive Science; Language Documentation; Linguistic Theories / Netherlands

Editor for this issue: Clare Harshey <>

Date: 21-Mar-2017
From: Yoad Winter <>
Subject: Serer; Wolof; Anthropological Linguistics; Cognitive Science; Language Documentation; Linguistic Theories: PhD, Utrecht University, Netherlands
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Department: Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: Utrecht University

Duties: Research,Teaching,Project Work

Specialty Areas: Anthropological Linguistics; Cognitive Science; Language Documentation; Linguistic Theories
African Languages; Language and Music
Required Language(s): Serer (srr)
                            Wolof (wol)


We are looking for an excellent candidate for a PhD position in a research on Senegalese drum languages. Candidates should be able to carry out outstanding fieldwork with Senegalese musicians, and do theoretical linguistic work on the relation between grammar and music in drum language.
This PhD position is part of a project led by Prof. Y. Winter. It is the first extensive linguistic and experimental study of the drum languages of Senegal. The PhD will develop a linguistic theory of Senegalese drum language, following previous work done by Winter (Language 90, 2014). Candidates should have an excellent background in theoretical linguistics and/or relevant disciplines, and should be able and prepared to carry out fieldwork in Senegal for a period of six months.

Tasks for the PhD candidate:
- Carrying out fieldwork among Wolof speaking musicians in Senegal
- Embedding the results within a coherent theory of drum languages, informed by recent advances in theoretical linguistics and cognitive science
- Presenting results at workshops and conferences; publishing peer-reviewed articles in international journals
- Taking part in documenting Senegalese drumming traditions
- Participation in training programs for the research Institute, graduate school and the Dutch national research school
- Teaching undergraduate courses as part of the PhD training
- Completing and defending a PhD thesis within four years
For more details:

- A (soon to be completed) research Master’s degree in Linguistics or another relevant discipline of Cognitive Science. Excellent candidates with a background in Computer Science or Mathematics may also be considered;
- Excellent proficiency in spoken and written English;
- Outstanding Master's degree;
- Interest in fieldwork research, and readiness to live in Senegal for over a period of six months;
- Excellent communicational skills;

Strong advantages:
- Fluency in Wolof or French, or a proven ability to quickly master foreign languages;
- Proven musical experience.

The selected candidate will be required to undergo a training of three months as an employed research assistant in the project, prior to definitive selection for the PhD position. Positive evaluation in this training, including the candidate’s ability to do successful fieldwork, will be a precondition for the selected candidate to be offered the PhD position. The research assistant position will start on October 1, 2017 at the latest.

PhD position:
The PhD position will be offered at 1,0 FTE, starting on January 1, 2018 at the latest, initially for a period of 15 months. Upon good performance and a positive evaluation, the contract will be extended for the remaining period of 33 months (4 years in total). The gross monthly salary starts at €2,191.- in the first year, and ends at €2,801.- in the fourth year, on a fulltime basis.

Additional information:
- More details on this research:
- Further information: Prof. Y. Winter ( or the research coordinator at UiL OTS (Dr. M. Schoorlemmer:

Only online applications submitted via the link below will be considered. Interviews, in person or otherwise, of selected applicants will be held during the week starting June 19, 2017.

Applications Deadline: 21-May-2017

Web Address for Applications:

Contact Information:
        Dr. Maaike Schoorlemmer

Page Updated: 21-Mar-2017