LINGUIST List 32.1257

Fri Apr 09 2021

Support: Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics; Sociolinguistics: PhD, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

Editor for this issue: Becca Morris <>

Date: 09-Apr-2021
From: Angela Heuts <>
Subject: Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics; Sociolinguistics: PhD, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Netherlands
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Department: LEADS Group
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics; Sociolinguistics
Artificial Intelligence


We are looking for a full-time PhD candidate to join the newly founded Minerva Group ‘Language Evolution and Adaptation in Diverse Situations’ (LEADS), led by Dr. Limor Raviv, at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. The ‘Language Evolution and Adaptation in Diverse Situations’ (LEADS) group is embedded in the Language & Genetics department of the MPI for Psycholinguistics.

Doctoral supervisor: dr. Limor Raviv
Co-)Promotors: prof. dr. Simon Kirby & prof. dr. Simon Fisher

Job description:
The 4-year PhD project will combine experimental and computational methods to investigate the role of age and gender diversity in shaping language innovation and change. Specifically, you will investigate whether different linguistic tendencies are associated with speakers of different gender and age who are situated in diverse communities, and whether women and adolescents really lead the process of language change from the initial stages of language emergence. These questions will be addressed using two complementary methods: 1. Group communication games, in which mini-societies of interacting participants come to the lab and create new artificial languages to communicate with each other; And 2. Computational models, in which populations of simulated hierarchical Bayesian agents interact with each other over generations.

The position is available from September 2021, though later starts in 2021 are possible.

What we expect from you:
- Candidates should have, or shortly expect to obtain, a high-quality (Research) Master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant field (e.g., linguistics, sociolinguistics, cognitive science, experimental/computational psychology, artificial intelligence, computer science).
- Experience in data analysis/statistical analysis/programming in R and/or Python.
- An interest in empirical research.
- An interest in computational modeling.
- An interest in language evolution, sociolinguistics, language learning and/or communication.
Desirable (traits that would give you an advantage):
- Experience in language evolution, sociolinguistics, language learning and/or other related fields.
- Experience in empirical research (e.g., experimental design, recruitment, participant testing, quantitative data analysis, report writing).
- Experience in computational modelling (e.g., agent-based models, cognitive learning models).
- Experience in programming with the experiment software Presentation/PsychPy.
- Existing publications and conference presentation experience.

What we have to offer:
The PhD position is fully funded for 4 years (starting gross salary is € 2.673,71 per month). The institute provides fully equipped research facilities, technical support, as well as a conference and travel budget. PhD students participate in the International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, which involves core and individually chosen coursework to complement the PhD research and training in soft skills such as writing and presentation. You are entitled to 30 holiday days per year (on the basis of fulltime employment), as well as Dutch and German institute holidays.

Applications Deadline: 17-May-2021

Web Address for Applications:

Contact Information:
        Dr. Limor Raviv

Page Updated: 09-Apr-2021