LINGUIST List 29.2185

Fri May 18 2018

Jobs: Anthropological Linguistics; Clinical Linguistics; Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics: Post Doc, Ecole Normale Supérieure

Editor for this issue: Becca Morris <>

Date: 18-May-2018
From: Alejandrina Cristia <>
Subject: Anthropological Linguistics; Clinical Linguistics; Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics: Post Doc, Ecole Normale Supérieure, France
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University or Organization: Ecole Normale Supérieure
Department: Département d’Etudes Cognitives
Job Location: Paris, France
Web Address:
Job Title: Quantifying parental investment from big data
Job Rank: Post Doc

Specialty Areas: Anthropological Linguistics; Clinical Linguistics; Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics; Neurolinguistics; Speech technology, data analysis


The two-years post-doctoral fellowship will take place at the Département
d’Etudes Cognitives (DEC) of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, under the
joint supervision of Coralie Chevallier (Laboratoire de Neurosciences
Cognitives) and Alex Cristia (the Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et

The project aims to quantify parental investment, and to test the impact of
this investment on cognitive and biological development. The candidate will
(contribute to develop and) apply a host of analysis routines to measure
children’s language production, parental language production and child-other
conversational dynamics from audiorecordings.

Project details:
In human populations, variation in parental investment is associated with a
host of detrimental outcomes: lower cognitive abilities (Nettle, 2008), lower
educational attainment (Flouri & Buchanan, 2004), lower human capital
(Heckman, 2007) or more externalizing behavioral problems (Sarkadi,
Kristiansson, Oberklaid, & Bremberg, 2008). Despite the centrality of parental
investment in human life history (Kaplan, Hill, Lancaster, & Hurtado, 2000),
it remains difficult to measure, which interferes with attempts to accurately
understand its impact. The aim of this project is to use daylong recorders to
quantify and test the impact of parental investment on cognitive and
biological development. Two specific questions will be addressed: Do
automatized measures of parental behaviors extracted from daylong recordings
vary with known/suspected determinants of parental investment? What factors
modulate the association between parental linguistic investment and children’s
language skills?

- Solid programming and statistics skills are required.
- The candidate should have a PhD.
- Experience managing large datasets is required along with strong programming
and statistical skills (e.g., matlab, python, r).
- Strong English language and writing skills are required (note: speaking
French is not required).
- Candidates with a strong technical track record (including experience with
multiple data analysis techniques) will be favoured. Specifically, the
candidate should be able to apply advanced statistical methodology for time
series data including incomplete data. Experience with multivariate
data-mining and machine-learning is welcome.
- A research background in evolutionary theory and linguistics is appreciated
but not required.

More details about the application can be found at this link:

Application Deadline: 15-Jun-2018

Email Address for Applications:
Contact Information:
Researcher Alejandrina Cristia
Phone: +33144322623

Page Updated: 18-May-2018