LINGUIST List 28.72

Wed Jan 04 2017

Support: French; Spanish; Syntax; Text/Corpus Linguistics / Germany

Editor for this issue: Clare Harshey <>

Date: 02-Jan-2017
From: Aria Adli <>
Subject: French; Spanish; Syntax; Text/Corpus Linguistics: PhD, University of Cologne, Germany
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Department: Collaborative Research Center 1252
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln)

Duties: Project Work

Specialty Areas: Syntax; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Information Structure, Quantitative Linguistics
Required Language(s): French (fra)
                            Spanish (spa)


The Institute of Romance Studies at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Cologne is looking to fill a position as Ph.D. candidate in the Collaborative Research Centre 1252 ''Prominence in Language''.
Commencement of employment is scheduled for 1st of March 2017. The position offered is part time with weekly working time of 25,89 hours (65%) and is a fixed-term work contract ending on 31st of December 2020. If pay scale requirements are met the position will be remunerated in accordance with pay grade 13 TV-L.

Area of responsibility:

The focus of this research project is the relation between prominence and information structure through examining the following: 1) The role of prominent syntactic positions as attractors for information-structural units in non-canonical word order. 2) The competition between various prominent candidates in canonical word order. The Ph.D. student will focus on the second aspect and will examine this primarily based upon the Spanish and French language corpus data. Responsibilities include:

- She/he will independently conduct an explorative corpus study of the spoken language corpus in order to identify semantic properties which occur frequently with topic expressions.

- Working independently and employing a corpus-based approach she/he will examine constructions that exhibit ambiguity with regard to the topical argument.

- She/he will independently conduct an annotation experiment of Spanish and French identifying in a bottom-up manner the respective weight of those semantic properties relevant to topicality.

- She/he will independently perform an elicitation experiment of spoken Spanish or French (in Spain or France) to examine the discourse continuity mainly in constructions with suboptimal topic candidates.

- She/he will develop an algorithmic model of the relation between syntactic prominence and information structure based on the preliminary studies of the principle investigator and the work of the postdoc. 


- team player and capable of working independently

- A flawless command of spoken and written English as well as an elevated level of proficiency in French or Spanish (with sufficient structural knowledge of the other language to perform analytical corpus-based work) are required. Knowledge of German is a plus.

Job prerequisites:

- Master in linguistics (Spanish or French linguistics preferred)

- Knowledge of corpus linguistics (annotation, corpus querying) and statistical analysis is desirable.

The University of Cologne welcomes diversity, is an equal opportunity employer and supports positive action in cases of candidates with equivalent qualifications. Applications by women and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged.

Applications should include a statement of interest (letter of motivation, addressed to Professor Aria Adli), a CV including a list of publications, a copy of the most important publications if available, a copy of the relevant degrees/certificates, the names and addresses of two referees.

Applications should be sent as a single PDF file to the application email listed below with the subject “PhD C01”.

Applications Deadline: 15-Jan-2017

Mailing Address for Applications:
        Attn: Professor Aria Adli
        University of Cologne, Romanisches Seminar
        Cologne Germany 50923

Contact Information:
        Professor Aria Adli

Page Updated: 04-Jan-2017