LINGUIST List 31.3911

Thu Dec 17 2020

Jobs: General Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Syntax: Post Doc, Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft

Editor for this issue: Becca Morris <>

Date: 16-Dec-2020
From: Thomas McFadden <>
Subject: General Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Syntax: Post Doc, Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin, Germany
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University or Organization: Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Job Location: Berlin, Germany
Web Address:
Job Title: Post-Doctoral Researcher

Job Rank: Post Doc

Specialty Areas: General Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Syntax


The Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS, Berlin) invites applications from creative and resourceful researchers specializing in syntax, for a full-time, fixed-term 2-year Post-Doctoral Researcher position in the project “Locality and the Argument-Adjunct Distinction: Structure-building vs. Structure-enrichment” (LASER).

LASER is jointly funded by the German DFG and the AHRC of the UK and comprises 3 closely collaborating sub-projects:
- Edinburgh (UK PI Dr. Rob Truswell + 1 Postdoctoral Researcher),
- Berlin (German PI Dr. Thomas McFadden + 1 Postdoctoral Researcher),
- Göttingen (German Co-Investigator Prof. Hedde Zeijlstra + Postdoctoral Researcher Dr. Sandhya Sundaresan).

A PhD in Linguistics or related discipline with a specialization in syntax is required (completed, or submitted and awaiting examination by job starting-date).

The following skills will be looked on favorably in considering applications:
- Track-record of high-profile research outputs, e.g. peer-reviewed journal publications or presentations at international conferences in project-relevant areas;
- Prior work on A-dependencies, the A/A’-distinction, and/or the complement/adjunct distinction;
- Experience in investigating research questions at the interfaces between syntax and related areas like semantics and morphology;
- Experience with comparative, crosslinguistic syntactic research, including on understudied and/or non-Indo-European languages;
- Demonstrable ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

The aim of LASER is to build a theory of selective opacity, i.e. systematic variation in locality constraints on different types of syntactic dependency, such as movement, control, and agreement, particularly as they interact with the adjunct-complement distinction. The project is composed of five work packages.

The post-doc and the Germany PI will pursue Work Package 2 “A-dependencies and the complement/adjunct distinction”. They will also liaise with researchers on Work Packages 1 (“A’-dependencies and the complement/adjunct distinction”, Edinburgh), 3 (“A novel theoretical approach to the complement/adjunct distinction”, Göttingen), and 4 (“Interactions between A and A’-dependencies”, Edinburgh). All researchers will work together on Work Package 5 (“Towards an integrated theory of locality”).

The post-doc will work with other team members to identify target languages and empirical phenomena for investigation; gather and analyze data from the literature and in consultation with native-speaker informants; meet regularly with the German PI, contributing to project updates and making colleagues aware of key developments; take part in and co-organize periodic plenary meetings with the full project team in Germany or Edinburgh; keep abreast of relevant new research in syntactic theory; contribute to dissemination of project results through talks and publications.

The post-doc will be part of Research Area 3 “Syntax & Lexicon” and the Research Theme “Domains across linguistic modules” at ZAS, and will have opportunities to interact with an excellent international group of researchers active across several areas of linguistics.

Applications should be a single PDF file containing:
- Cover letter describing your interest in the project and expertise you would contribute
- CV with list of publications
- Contact details for two referees
- 1 writing-sample, e.g. a journal article, thesis chapter or proceedings paper

Please send the single PDF file to the application email provided below.

ZAS is an equal opportunity employer. We particularly welcome applications from candidates from the various groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in the field.

Application Deadline: 15-Jan-2021

Email Address for Applications:
Contact Information:
Dr. Thomas McFadden

Page Updated: 18-Dec-2020