LINGUIST List 30.2323

Tue Jun 04 2019

Support: Iranian; Typology: PhD, National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)

Editor for this issue: Becca Morris <>

Date: 04-Jun-2019
From: Pollet Samvelian <>
Subject: Iranian; Typology: PhD, National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Paris, France
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Department: Mondes Iranien et Indien
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Typology



PhD thesis contract "Word order variation and change in the context of language contact"

The research unit “Mondes iranien et indien” (FRE 2018, CNRS, Sorbonne Nouvelle, EPHE, Inalco) invites applications for a fully funded three-year (36 months) PhD position in Iranian linguistics.

Topic and Methods:
The topic of the doctoral research is the study of word order variation and change in a context of language contact.

Although they are typically characterized by a basic SOV word order, Iranian languages display significant differences with respect to the possibility for constituents to occur in a non-canonical order (i.e. word order variation), before or after the verb. These differences may result from various language-specific parameters (e.g. differential object marking, case marking, alignment), but they can also result from longstanding contact with other languages. The purpose of this research is to highlight these differences and identify the parameters involved.

The research thus includes:
- Collection and description of data, especially for understudied languages spoken in Iran (including non-Iranian languages).
- Modeling word order variation in the languages studied, and identifying interactions between various parameters.

The first part of the work will be carried out as a sequence of fieldwork sessions in Iran (for a total of 9 months). Special attention will be paid to bilingual and multilingual speakers, given the importance of bilingualism in contact-induced phenomena.

The research combines field linguistics data collecting methods and experimental data elicitation methods.
Research environment

The project will be carried out within the multi-institutional research unit “Monde Iranian et indien” at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), in collaboration with the research operation “Languages and isoglosses of the Caucasus-Iran-Anatolia area” of the multi-institutional research excellence cluster Empirical Foundations of Linguistics (Labex EFL). The Ph.D. candidate will be enrolled in the “Language Sciences” Doctoral School of the Sorbonne Nouvelle University – Paris 3.

The research will be supervised by Professor Pollet Samvelian (Linguistics, Sorbonne Nouvelle University)

The research project includes mandatory mobility periods in Iran. The Ph.D. candidate will spend a total of 9 months in Iran (about 3 months per year), to carry out fieldwork. During these periods of mobility, the Ph.D. candidate will be hosted at the IFRI (French Research Institute in Iran) in Tehran. The research may require fieldwork outside Tehran.

To apply, please see the application link provided below.

Web Address for Applications:

Contact Information:
        Professor Pollet Samvelian

Page Updated: 04-Jun-2019