LINGUIST List 32.1254

Fri Apr 09 2021

Jobs: Algonquian; Dene; North American Unclassified; Computational Linguistics; Language Documentation: Post Doc, University of Alberta

Editor for this issue: Becca Morris <>

Date: 06-Apr-2021
From: Antti Arppe <>
Subject: Algonquian; Dene; North American Unclassified; Computational Linguistics; Language Documentation: Post Doc, University of Alberta, Canada
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University or Organization: University of Alberta
Department: Department of Linguistics
Job Location: Alberta, Canada
Web Address:
Job Title: Computational Linguist

Job Rank: Post Doc

Specialty Areas: Computational Linguistics; Language Documentation; Indigenous Language Documentation

Required Language(s): Algonquian
                                 North American Unclassified


The SSHRC-funded (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada), university-community Partnership “21st Century Tools for Indigenous Languages” invites applications for a full-time Postdoctoral Fellowship, beginning in Fall 2021 (start date negotiable). Position is tenable for 2 years, subject to review after the 1st year.

This 7-year Partnership is led by the Alberta Language Technology Lab (ALTLab) in the Department of Linguistics, University of Alberta. Its partners include 13 institutions and Indigenous language communities and 31 individual researchers and educators in Canada, the United States, and Norway. Further details of our Partnership can be found at:

Our Partnership has been developing computational models of the phonetics, morphology, lexis, and syntax of Indigenous languages in Canada and North America, starting with the Algonquian and the Dene language families, to create software applications that support their continued use in daily life by both speakers and learners. These include intelligent electronic dictionaries, spell-checkers, linguistically analyzed text collections, computer-aided language learning tools, as well as text-to-speech synthesizers and optical character recognition. The languages we have gotten the furthest with are Plains Cree (Algonquian) and Tsuut’ina (Dene).

The tasks of the Postdoc will include the following, allowing for variation based on the successful applicant's competences and interests:
- Participation in/responsibility for the continued development of our existing computational morphological and phonetic models (primarily using finite-state technology) and end-user applications for the Indigenous languages we are working with;
- Participation in/responsibility for the application of new computational methods (e.g. machine learning techniques such as neural networks) in the morphological and phonological modeling of these languages;
- Participation in/responsibility for the development of new computational morphological and phonetic models and applications for Indigenous languages other than the ones we are working on, preferably spoken in Canada;
- Partial training and supervision of undergraduate and graduate students (MA/PhD level) in developing models, applications and resources for Indigenous languages;
- Engagement with Indigenous community consultants on collecting primary linguistic data and gathering feedback from field-testers;
- Participating in the dissemination of the results as publications in scientific journals; and
- Other administrative responsibilities.

The successful applicant will have specialized in the computational modelling (text and/or speech) of morphologically rich languages, with a willingness to learn the essential morphological and phonetic characteristics of the languages we are working with.

The applicant should have recently completed, or be about to finish, a PhD degree in linguistics or an associated relevant discipline. The postdoc is expected to work with and support the activities of multiple partners in the Partnership, and may be co-located with other Partners for part of their tenure.

Review of applications will begin May 5, 2021, and continue until the position is filled.

Detailed and up-to-date information about the position and how to apply can be found at:

Application Deadline: 05-May-2021 (Open until filled)

Email Address for Applications:
Web Address for Applications:
Contact Information:
Dr. Antti Arppe

Page Updated: 09-Apr-2021