LINGUIST List 29.3337

Thu Aug 30 2018

Support: Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics; Pragmatics: PhD, University of Amsterdam

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Date: 29-Aug-2018
From: Marten Hidma <>
Subject: Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics; Pragmatics: PhD, University of Amsterdam
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Department: Humanities AIHR ACLC
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: University of Amsterdam

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics; Pragmatics


Job / Project Description:
Political irony in public discourse (e.g., in political satire) is often misunderstood, and appreciated only by recipients in agreement with the speaker. Irony may be marked in various ways, for instance through prosody and hyperbole, but the role and form of such markers is unclear. Our project comprises three stages, in which we study:
- The use of irony markers through computational analysis,
- Their functions through cognitive modeling, and
- Their communicative effects through experiments.
Together, these findings enrich theories on language, communication and cognition, and help in assessing the ways in which irony leads to misinformation and polarization. The project is highly interdisciplinary, combining elements from the linguistics literature on irony and prosody with communication-scientific insights into political satire and cognitive-scientific insights into processing.

Tasks of the PhD candidate will include:
- Conducting several studies using quantitative, computer-automated text analysis, cognitive modeling, and experimental methods
- Completion and defense of a PhD thesis within four years
- Work in an interdisciplinary research team
- Regular presentations of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences
- Publication of peer-reviewed articles
- Participation in the training program of the research school
- Performing junior teaching duties in the bachelor program on Cognition, Language and Communication (CLC)

- MSc/MA (or equivalent) in a relevant field, e.g. linguistics, communication science, psychology, or cognitive science, with excellent grades. A research master is preferred. Substantial knowledge of at least one of the fields that compose our project, as well as the ability to understand approaches/literature from other disciplines, is required.
- Excellent (interdisciplinary) research skills.
- Programming skills in R or Python
- Excellent academic writing and presentation skills.
- Excellent communication, social and organizational skills.
- Open to working in an interdisciplinary team.
- High proficiency in English.

The PhD candidate will be appointed at the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam. The appointment is for 4 years for 1 fte under the terms of employment currently valid for the Faculty. In the first instance, a contract will be given for 12 months, with an extension for the following 36 months on the basis of a positive evaluation. The intended starting date of the contract is as soon as possible after acceptance of the job offer. The gross monthly salary will be €2,266 during the first year to €2,897 during the fourth year, based on 38 hours per week, in accordance with the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch universities.

Job Application:
Applications for the PhD position should include:
- A letter of motivation, explaining what knowledge you already have to bring to the project and especially how you will deal with combining knowledge from disciplines you are less familiar with (no more than two pages).
- A CV
- Proof of Master degree
- A list of grades obtained for your Bachelor and Master (or equivalent) programs
- Names and contact details of two academic referees
- A writing sample that you have first-authored, e.g. a published paper or a chapter from your MA-thesis.

Applications may be submitted no later than 7 October 2018 electronically by sending your application via the application link provided below). The application must be collected into one single pdf file (not zipped) using the link ‘apply now’ and choose the obliged field ‘CV’.

Applications Deadline: 07-Oct-2018

Web Address for Applications:

Contact Information:
        dr. Tom Lentz

Page Updated: 30-Aug-2018