LINGUIST List 29.1731

Mon Apr 23 2018

Support: Language Acquisition: PhD, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Editor for this issue: Clare Harshey <>

Date: 23-Apr-2018
From: Raffaela Zaugg <>
Subject: Language Acquisition: PhD, University of Zurich, Switzerland
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Department: URPP Language and Space
Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: University of Zurich

Duties: Research,Project Work

Specialty Areas: General Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Phonetics; Psycholinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics; Typology


The University Research Priority Program (URPP) Language and Space at the University of Zurich seeks to hire a PhD researcher by September 1, 2018.

The PhD researcher will work within the research group ''Accommodation and Social Categorization''. This group investigates linguistic accommodation in different situations: contact between speakers of different dialects over a short and a longer time period, interactions between children and adults in bilingual communities, and written communication in social media. The broader aim of this research is to shed light on the mechanisms of linguistic accommodation more generally, and to better understand which factors may favor or inhibit change in a situation of language contact (more information:

The goal of this particular PhD project is to investigate the development of accommodation in speech and language in early language acquisition, ideally in typologically diverse languages for which the ACQDIV corpus ( might be used. In speech and language development, the voice of the mother plays a large role in the early acquisition. We aim at understanding which characteristics of the mother’s linguistic input influence the early structure of a child’s vocalizations most and at which point and how accommodation to other speakers (other children or adults) develops. The project will combine a large-scale cross-linguistic corpus study combined with experimental speech studies. The project will be co-supervised by Prof. Dr. Sabine Stoll and Prof. Dr. Volker Dellwo and will be in close collaboration with the Psycholinguistic Laboratory and the Phonetics Research Group.

- MA in Linguistics, Psychology, Speech Sciences or related.
- Good understanding of quantitative methods in the analysis of speech and/or languages with experience in one or more computational data processing tools or programming languages (e.g. R, Python, Matlab, Praat).
- Good understanding of the experimental analysis of speech and voice.

Desired skills and interests:
- Strong interest in language acquisition, speech and voice analysis, typology and corpus linguistics.
- Solid background in statistics is a plus.
- The successful candidate should have excellent teamwork skills and be interested to go beyond disciplinary boundaries.

We offer:
- An inspiring interdisciplinary and international team located at the University of Zurich.
- Access to a large network of international collaborators.
- Interdisciplinary supervision of the project leading to the degree of PhD.

- a motivation letter in which you describe why you are the right candidate for this position
- a comprehensive CV
- a copy of the MA thesis
- the names and contact information of at least two referees
- a code sample of your programming skills (URL or attachment)

Please send the documents combined into one PDF file (apart from MA thesis) to and, both of which may be contacted for further information.

The position will start not earlier than September 1, 2018 with an initial contract for two years and possible extension for another year.

Applications Deadline: 15-May-2018

Web Address for Applications:

Contact Information:
        Prof. Dr. Sabine Stoll and Volker Dellwo

Page Updated: 23-Apr-2018