LINGUIST List 29.634

Wed Feb 07 2018

Support: General Linguistics: PhD, Goethe University

Editor for this issue: Clare Harshey <>

Date: 06-Feb-2018
From: Birgit Nutz <>
Subject: General Linguistics: PhD, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany
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Department: Faculty of Modern Languages, Linguistics
Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: Goethe University, Frankfurt

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: General Linguistics
Nominal Modification


The Institute for Linguistics of the Goethe University Frankfurt offers funding for 3 graduate students (E13 TV-G-U, 65%-part-time).

The candidates aim for a doctoral degree in linguistics. These 3 positions will be part of the graduate school 'Nominal Modification', funded by the German Science Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG), pending financing from the DFG. The starting date is October 1, 2018 and each position will be funded for 3 years including social benefits.

The students are expected to write a dissertation based on independent research and to actively participate in the advanced courses offered. They will be encouraged and receive financial support to participate in conferences and summer schools and to conduct empirical research. Internationally renowned scholars will be invited for talks and seminars relevant to the research topics of the graduate students.

The research programme of the school covers three major aspects of nominal modification: First, the internal syntactic structure of nominal phrases with regard to synchronic and diachronic diversity including typological aspects, as well as processing and acquisition will be studied, particularly addressing the problem of functional layers within the DP and the elements hosted there. Second, the external structural properties of modified nominal phrases are investigated with an emphasis on the phenomena extraposition, discontinuity and non-locality. Here, the main aim is to explore the factors influencing the choice of alternative constructions by conducting interdisciplinary research in relevant fields including syntax, prosody and pragmatics. The third main research question deals with the semantics of modification; here the focus is on the challenges for compositionality presented by non-locally interpreted modifiers.

Furthermore, differences between various kinds of local modification are investigated; in particular, cognitive explanations for the overall preference of modification by intersection and subsective modification in general will be sought.

Detailed information about the research programme, including a list of the faculty involved in the programme, and a list of potential dissertation topics, can be found at

Application Requirements:
Applicants should have an M.A. in linguistics, or equivalent, with the degree completed by October 1, 2018.
Required documents:
- proposal (1-3 pages) in English that describes the research topic the candidate plans to work on in his/her
doctoral thesis and the candidate’s research interests; the research topic has to be related to nominal
- representative sample of research work (e.g. an advanced seminar paper or M.A. thesis);
- two names of references who may be contacted by the search committee;
- Curriculum Vitae (CV);
- transcripts (German or English version) of their BA and MA courses
- BA degree
- (to be handed in the latest by October 1, 2018, if not already available by April 16, 2018).

All required documents for the application should be emailed as pdf attachments (no paper) to Prof. Dr. Caroline Féry at (subject line: nominal modification). Application deadline: April 16, 2018.

Applications Deadline: 16-Apr-2018

Web Address for Applications:

Contact Information:
        Dr. Zheng Shen

Page Updated: 07-Feb-2018