LINGUIST List 28.255

Thu Jan 12 2017

Support: Computational Linguistics / Germany

Editor for this issue: Amanda Foster <>

Date: 10-Jan-2017
From: Manfred Stede <>
Subject: Computational Linguistics, PhD, University of Potsdam, Germany
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Department: Dept. Linguistics, Discourse Research Lab
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: University of Potsdam

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Computational Linguistics


The Applied Computational Linguistics group (Discourse Research Lab) invites applications for a PhD student position on PDTB-style discourse parsing. In contrast to previous efforts using relatively shallow features, this project emphasizes the role of deeper knowledge on the syntax, semantics, and pragmatics of connectives for improved discourse parsing. The primary target language is German. The project (''Anaphoricity in Connectives'') is funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for 3 years. Payment for this position is in line with the German TVL-13 payscale (65%).

Your Profile:

Applicants should hold a Master's degree in Computational Linguistics, Computer Science or Linguistics. The project involves both computational implementation and linguistic investigation, especially into the syntactic and semantic behaviour of discourse connectives. Thus, solid knowledge on the relevant computational techniques is required, and a background in models of discourse structure is very helpful. Knowledge of German is a plus.

Research Environment:

Situated in the vicinity of Berlin and its research scene, the University of Potsdam is a medium-sized institution that educates some 20.000 students. The Department of Linguistics is one of the largest in Germany and offers a vibrant research environment. In Computational Linguistics, we also collaborate closely with the Dept. of Computer Science, especially by offering a joint MSc degree program in Cognitive Systems.

The Applied Computational Linguistics group has done research in a variety of discourse-related fields, both theory- and application-oriented. For details, see

Regarding discourse parsing, the group has experience in PDTB-style parsing for English (CONNLL 2016 shared task). In addition, there has been a lot of work on diverse tasks of discourse annotation and parsing (including RST-oriented parsing) for German. A current focus area is argumentation mining, which is also closely related to discourse parsing.


The project is designed to lead to a PhD thesis on connective-informed discourse parsing. Applications can be sent immediately, the position is open until filled, ideally within the next three months. If you prefer a starting date somewhat later this year, please contact us.

Applications including a letter of motivation (1 page) explaining why you are interested and how your profile fits the project; CV; and the names and e-mail addresses of two referees should preferably be sent as a PDF file to

Applications Deadline: 10-Jun-2017

Mailing Address for Applications:
        Attn: Prof. Manfred Stede
        Dept. of Linguistics
        University of Potsdam
        Potsdam 14471

Contact Information:
        Manfred Stede

Page Updated: 12-Jan-2017