LINGUIST List 31.759

Sat Feb 22 2020

Support: Language Documentation, Fieldwork Linguistics, Australian Languages: PhD Student, University of Paris

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 20-Feb-2020
From: Patrick CAUDAL <>
Subject: Language Documentation, Fieldwork Linguistics, Australian Languages: PhD Student, University of Paris, France
E-mail this message to a friend

Department: UFR de Linguistique
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: University of Paris

Duties: Research,Project Work

Specialty Areas: Language Documentation
Fieldwork Linguistics, Australian Languages


PhD position in linguistics (36 months) – University of Paris

The TAME verbal system of a Maningrida Australian language: formal and experimental approaches

The Indigenous Australian languages of Maningrida (Northern Australia), although still being acquired by children and being spoken in a vibrant multilingual speech community, are in great danger of extinction, mainly due to their low number of speakers. All have at least been the subject of a grammatical sketch (some unpublished) and have a basic dictionary, as well as corpus materials in the form of recordings and transcriptions. Despite this, they remain largely under-described, which gives their study a particularly urgent character. This urgency is compounded by the fact that Maningrida languages are of obvious interest to theoretical linguistics and language typology alike, as they are not only quite distinct from other Australian languages in many respects, but also have typologically very infrequent characteristics in general. Their verbal and nominal morphology is of great complexity (highly polysynthetic), and their inventory of tense, aspect, modality and evidentiality (TAME) categories is notoriously rich. Some of these TAME categories are even extremely rare in the world’s languages – this is particularly true of so-called scalar tenses (Botne 2012), especially known from Bantu languages. Finally, they possess elaborate serial verb systems, notably used to express aspectual differences, and constitute (or nearly constitute) periphrastic tense-aspect markers involving posture verbs and other lexemes tending to grammaticalize in the Australian context. The thesis project here outlined will jointly involve the University of Paris and the University of Melbourne, in the form of a joint thesis supervision/dual award Ph.D. (‘cotutelle de thèse’), with Patrick Caudal (a recognized specialist in the formal semantics of TAME and Australian languages) acting as supervisor at the Laboratoire de Linguistique Formelle /Université de Paris, and Brett Baker acting as supervisor at the University of Melbourne, with the assistance of Rachel Nordlinger – both being eminent specialists of formal morphological and syntactic approaches to Australian languages.

1. Selection of candidates : Candidates will be first evaluated internally using the following scoresheet :

- Academic background (50%): grades and academic background (including ranking and possible prizes);
- Research experience (20%): previous research experience, publications and/or communications;
- Non-research professional experience (20%);
- International mobility (10%): previous mobility at Bachelor or Master level.

Up to three candidates will be invited in Paris for an interview by an international panel from April 21 to 23.

Interviews will be ranked using the following scoresheet :

- Project appropriation (Capacity to integrate and appropriate the project stakes: originality, expected outcomes, implementation within 3 years): 50%
- Personal project : 25%
- Relational quality and presentation (Speaking skills, clarity of expression and thought, quality of visual support, English language and/or French language or willingness to learn) : 25%

Candidates unable to travel to Paris will be interviewed online.

2. Eligibility conditions

- Less than twelve months of residence in France during the three years preceding the selection;
- Candidates must hold a diploma that allows access to doctoral studies in France (Master's degree or other equivalent diploma) at the time of recruitment;
- No previous registration in doctoral studies;
- Required diploma must have been obtained less than 4 years before the start of the project.


Applications Deadline: 09-Mar-2020

Web Address for Applications:

Contact Information:
        Dr Patrick Caudal

Page Updated: 22-Feb-2020