LINGUIST List 31.1879

Mon Jun 08 2020

Support: Morphology; Syntax: PhD, KU Leuven

Editor for this issue: Becca Morris <>

Date: 05-Jun-2020
From: Jeroen van Craenenbroeck <>
Subject: Morphology; Syntax: PhD, KU Leuven, Belgium
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Department: CRISSP
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: KU Leuven

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Morphology; Syntax


The research group Formal and Computational Linguistics (ComForT) and the Center for Research in Syntax, Semantics, and Phonology (CRISSP) at KU Leuven invites submissions for two PhD‐positions in formal linguistics.

Project Summary:
The COMIC‐project will investigate the morphology, syntax, and semantics of adjectival comparative constructions of the type illustrated in (1).

(1) Jill is taller than Fred.

Compared to the positive degree (Jill is tall), the comparative construction adds two pieces of material. First, the comparative morpheme –er is added to the adjective tall, and second, the comparative adjective taller introduces the phrase than Fred, which contains the comparative standard Fred, to which Jill is compared. The comparative standard is introduced by the standard marker than. Comparative constructions thus combine morphological marking (the –er‐morpheme), syntactic structure (the than‐phrase), and a semantic interpretation, in which two entities are compared with respect to a certain property (in this example Jill and Fred with respect to their height).

Existing approaches typically study the morphology or the syntax or the semantics of comparativeadjectives. Thishasledtoasituationwheretheoutcomesofthedifferentperspectives do not properly link up with one another: semantic analyses do not take into account—and are sometimes incompatible with—typological observations and generalisations, and syntactic and morphological approaches are insufficiently informed by the insights of compositional semantics. The COMIC‐project aims to fill this gap by developing a fully integrated analysis of these three aspects of comparative constructions.

Full project description:

Your Profile:
- An MA degree in Linguistics, or Language(s) with a specialisation in linguistics.
- A curious, enterprising, and creative mind; excellent analytical skills.
- Fluency in both written and spoken English. Knowledge of Dutch is an asset but not required at the time of application.
- An interest in relating intricate language data to advanced linguistic theorizing.
- An outstanding record of undergraduate and Master’s level work.
- An ability to work both independently and to function in a group.

Our offer:
ComForT and CRISSP offer an environment where intellectual creativity and independence are encouraged to thrive. They foster the lively exchange of ideas, and provide strong intellectual, moral, and logistical support to its PhD students, postdocs, and other collaborators.

The positions start in October 2020. One PhD‐student will be mainly located in Brussels and the other in Leuven, but geographical flexibility will be expected from both.

Remuneration is in accordance with the official Belgian scales for academic personnel and bursaries, which offer internationally highly competitive pay (see the KU Leuven jobsite for more information:

Instructions for Application:
If you are interested, please apply via the KU Leuven online application tool at the application link provided below no later than July 3, 2020.

Include with your application:
- A letter of motivation,
- A CV,
- A copy of your MA thesis (or a draft thereof),
- A copy of relevant publications (if any), and
- The contact details of one or more referents (name, affiliation, email, telephone number).

Applications Deadline: 03-Jul-2020

Web Address for Applications:

Contact Information:
        Prof. Dr. Guido Vanden Wyngaerd +32 2 609 88 83
        Prof. Dr. Dany Jaspers +32 2 447 18 92
        Prof. Dr. Jeroen van Craenenbroeck +32 16 37 79 36

Page Updated: 08-Jun-2020