LINGUIST List 30.1081

Mon Mar 11 2019

Jobs: Computational Linguistics; Historical Linguistics: Post Doc, University of Zurich

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Date: 10-Mar-2019
From: Widmer <>
Subject: Computational Linguistics; Historical Linguistics: Post Doc, University of Zurich, Switzerland
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University or Organization: University of Zurich
Department: Department of Geography
Job Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Web Address:
Job Title: Linguistic Phylogeographer

Job Rank: Post Doc

Specialty Areas: Computational Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; GI Science


The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Unit at the University of Zurich (UZH) invites applications for a post-doctoral fellow position focusing on the development of methods for modeling deep time spatial diffusion of languages and populations. The position is associated with the interdisciplinary Swiss National Science Foundation project “Out of Asia: Linguistic Diversity and Population History” (OoA), a collaboration of groups in geography, historical linguistics, and population genetics. OoA aims to study the evolution of linguistic diversity over large temporal and spatial scales, linking this to the phylogenetics of humans and domesticated plants and animals. The position is housed in the UZH Department of Geography and its internationally known GIScience Center. The appointment will be made for 3 years (starting 01 September 2019), with the possibility of an extension to a total of 4 years.

The position is particularly directed to early career academics who aim to build their profile in research and benefit from an interdisciplinary environment with highly motivated researchers and a high profile research agenda. The question of how structural properties have spread over space (continental to global scales) and time (over the past millennia) lies at the heart of a fundamental understanding of the origins and diffusion of human language.

To address this question within the OoA project consortium, the postdoctoral fellow in our group is responsible for the development and adaptations of phylogeographic models, and performs the phylogeo- graphic and spatio-temporal reconstruction of demographic and linguistic diffusion processes.

Applicants must have a completed PhD degree in GIScience, spatial statistics, computer science or a related field. A strong background in quantitative analysis of (spatial) data, (spatial) statistics, including Bayesian statistics, and computational modeling and programming is a prerequisite. The successful applicant will also have a profound interest in collaborating in an interdisciplinary research team and in developing an understanding of linguistic research problems. Applications from women and under-represented groups are highly encouraged.

We offer a competitive salary and outstanding working conditions, a high quality of life in Zurich, and an excellent supporting environment, including the network of the UZH University Research Priority Program “Language and Space” (

For informal inquiries contact or Infor- mation about a related project is available at, with an example of an early result published in

To apply, send a cover letter explaining your expertise and interest in the project, your CV and publication list, a brief description of your past research, and contact details for three referees (incl. e-mail addresses) in a single PDF document, and with reference “Postdoc_OoA_GEO_2019”, to the application email provided below by 30 April 2019. The interviews for this position (via Skype) will likely be conducted in the period of 8-10 May 2019.

Application Deadline: 30-Apr-2019

Email Address for Applications:
Contact Information:
Robert Weibel

Page Updated: 11-Mar-2019