LINGUIST List 30.2827

Fri Jul 19 2019

Support: Anthropological Linguistics; Computational Linguistics; Linguistic Theories: PhD, Utrecht University

Editor for this issue: Becca Morris <>

Date: 19-Jul-2019
From: Yoad Winter <>
Subject: Anthropological Linguistics; Computational Linguistics; Linguistic Theories: PhD, Utrecht University, Netherlands
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Department: Utrecht Institute of Linguistics
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: Utrecht University

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Anthropological Linguistics; Computational Linguistics; Linguistic Theories


We are looking for an excellent candidate for a PhD position in a research project on drum languages. Candidates should be able to carry out outstanding academic work in one of the following areas: linguistic fieldwork and theorizing, computational linguistics or cognitive musicology.

Deadline for applications: August 22, 2019

The project is funded by NWO by way of a Free Competition project awarded to the principal investigator Prof. Y. Winter. It is the first extensive linguistic and experimental study of the drum languages, specifically as used by Senegalese musicians.

This PhD project aims to study drum language from one of the following perspectives: empirical, computational or musicological. It follows previous work done by the PI (Winter, Y., Language 90, 2014). Candidates are expected to have an excellent background in linguistics (theoretical, computational or descriptive) or in cognitive musicology. Ideally, candidates should be able and prepared to carry out fieldwork for a period of six months.

The tasks for the PhD candidate will include:
- Analyzing existing data, and/or carrying out fieldwork among Wolof speaking musicians in Senegal, and/or with other communities using drum language;
- Organizing and documenting the data collected during fieldwork in a reusable format;
- Embedding the results within a coherent theory of drum languages, informed by recent advances in theoretical linguistics and cognitive science;
- Presenting results at workshops and conferences, and publishing them as peer-reviewed articles in international journals;
- Participation in selected training programme scheduled for the research Institute, graduate School and the National research School;
- Teaching undergraduate courses;
- Completing and defending a PhD thesis within four years.

- A (soon to be completed) research Master’s degree in (theoretical, computational or descriptive) linguistics or cognitive musicology
- Excellent proficiency in spoken and written English;
- An outstanding record of work in the Master's degree;
- Excellent communicational skills and ability to work in a heterogeneous team;
- Proven experience in fieldwork and/or analysis of raw data collected from speakers of understudied languages and/or cognitive musicology is a strong advantage;
- Proven musical experience is a strong advantage;
- Fluency in Wolof or French, or a proven ability to quickly master foreign languages is a strong advantage.

In order to apply, please use the link in the official ad of this position, at the application link provided below.

Your application should include digital copies of:
- application form - to be downloaded from
- CV including full personal and academic details;
- Certified copies of relevant diplomas and grade transcripts;
- Master’s thesis (or a draft thereof), and any other publication you can provide;
- Names and full contact details of two academic referees.

Applications Deadline: 22-Aug-2019

Web Address for Applications:

Contact Information:
        Prof. Yoad Winter

Page Updated: 19-Jul-2019