LINGUIST List 31.1136

Wed Mar 25 2020

Support: Historical Ling; Lang Acquisition; Socioling; Syntax; Text/Corpus Ling: PhD Student, University of Konstanz

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 24-Mar-2020
From: George Walkden <>
Subject: Historical Ling; Lang Acquisition; Socioling; Syntax; Text/Corpus Ling: PhD Student, University of Konstanz, Germany
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Department: Linguistics
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: University of Konstanz

Duties: Research,Project Work

Specialty Areas: Historical Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Sociolinguistics; Syntax; Text/Corpus Linguistics


Three PhD positions are available on the ERC-funded project “Sociolinguistic typology and responsive features in syntactic history” (STARFISH), led by Prof. George Walkden in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Konstanz.

The aim of the project is to find out whether adult second-language acquisition can lead to changes in the syntax of a language in historical time. In particular, we're interested in whether there are syntactic features that are particularly favoured or disfavoured in languages historically characterized by a high proportion of adult second-language acquirers independently of what their first language is, and – if so – what these “responsive” features are. The project takes as a starting point Peter Trudgill's theory of sociolinguistic typology, in particular the idea that different language contact scenarios favour different types of change. The role of the project’s doctoral researchers is to investigate these ideas in the domain of diachronic syntax using evidence from historical corpora. You can read more about the project, its aims and its hypotheses at
PhD candidates will use historical data to investigate the impact of adult second language acquisition on syntactic change in one of the following areas: case, grammatical gender, negation, or (null) subjects and agreement.

Applications Deadline: 01-Jun-2020

Web Address for Applications:

Contact Information:
        George Walkden

Page Updated: 25-Mar-2020