LINGUIST List 28.4753

Thu Nov 09 2017

Internships: Anthropological Linguistics; Language Documentation; Sociolinguistics: Vanuatu Field Assistantship, Max Planck Institute For The Science Of Human History

Editor for this issue: Clare Harshey <>

Date: 09-Nov-2017
From: Mary Walworth <>
Subject: Anthropological Linguistics; Language Documentation; Sociolinguistics: Vanuatu Field Assistantship, Max Planck Institute For The Science Of Human History
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University or Organization: Max Planck Institute For The Science Of Human History
Department: Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Web Address:

Type of Work: Data Collection And Transcription

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics
                            Historical Linguistics
                            Language Documentation

Duration: 29-Jul-2018 to 15-Nov-2018
Location: ,Vanuatu
Minimum Education Level: MA
Special Qualifications: Applicants should have completed a Masters degree by July 2018, and should be pursuing or seriously considering a doctoral thesis involving linguistic fieldwork. Applicants must have undergone course training (or comparable field training) in field methods, and be motivated to carryout remote fieldwork on their own. Applicants must also have undergone course training involving phonetic transcription. Finally, applicants must be able to demonstrate an ability to work independently in cross-cultural environments. Applicants with experience conducting independent linguistic fieldwork, and applicants with evidence of interest in the languages of Vanuatu will be considered favorably.

The Vanuatu Assistantship Program is designed to provide field training and experience for postgraduate students who have completed their Masters degrees and who are considering a PhD in an area of linguistics with a major field component (such as: language documentation, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, or anthropological linguistics). We are especially interested in students who want to explore the possibility of future PhD fieldwork in Vanuatu, a “hot-spot” of linguistic diversity and endangerment.

Assistants will arrive to Port Vila, Vanuatu in late July 2018 for approximately 2 weeks of intensive Bislama language learning and language documentation training with the project’s Senior Linguist, Dr. Mary Walworth. Following the orientation period, each Assistant will be assigned a remote field-site where they will work individually for approximately 3 months, collecting targeted linguistic data. During this time, Assistants will maintain regular contact with Dr. Walworth and, in the beginning of October, all Assistants will reconvene in Port Vila for a progress update.

All data collected will be used for sociolinguistic and historical linguistic analyses by the MPI-SHH team, and assistants will be expected to enter their collected data into the following databases upon completion of their fieldwork: Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database ( and Sound Comparisons ( Assistants will be trained in how to interface with these databases.

The collected data will also be archived in the Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures (PARADISEC). Assistants will be trained in archival submission and will be expected to make archival deposits of the data that they collect upon completion of their fieldwork.

Applicants should submit the following:
- 1-page statement explaining their qualifications and how the training program fits into their long-term educational and career goals
- CV
- Copy of academic transcript (may be unofficial)

All materials should be submitted to in PDF, with the subject heading: Letter-VAP: LAST NAME OF PARTICIPANT

Applications and letters of recommendation are due by noon (local German time) on December 15, 2017. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for a Skype interview by January 15, 2018. Final decisions will be made by early March, 2018.

Application Deadline: 15-Dec-2017

Contact Information:
Dr Mary Walworth

Page Updated: 09-Nov-2017