LINGUIST List 32.1494

Thu Apr 29 2021

Support: Linguistic Theories; Morphology: PhD, Universitaet Leipzig

Editor for this issue: Becca Morris <>

Date: 29-Apr-2021
From: Gereon Mueller <>
Subject: Linguistic Theories; Morphology: PhD, Universitaet Leipzig, Germany
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Department: Linguistics
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: Universitaet Leipzig

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Linguistic Theories; Morphology


The project ''Prospects of Inflectional Morphology in Harmonic Serialism'' (PI Gereon Mueller) invites applications for a four-year PhD position in Linguistics/Morphology (federal German pay scale TV-L E13, 65%). The project is part of the research unit (RU) ''Cyclic Optimization'', which is funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG); see for further information about the project and the RU.

The position starts on October 1, 2021.

The central research focus of the RU is on grammatical models that combine aspects of optimization and cyclicity in the areas of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and computation. The present project pursues a strictly derivational, cyclic, optimization-based approach to inflectional morphology that qualifies as lexical-realizational and postulates an autonomous morphological component in the grammar (like Distributed Morphology), but derives morphological exponence from basic Merge operations (rather than designated rules of exponence like vocabulary insertion), and crucially relies on optimization procedures at every derivational step (harmonic serialism).

The empirical phenomena to be addressed by the project team (which will also include a postdoc and a student research assistant) comprise topics like affix order, extended exponence, disjunctive blocking, apparently non-local stem allomorphy, and *ABA patterns (where initial analyses based on harmonic serialism exist but need to be further substantiated by empirical case studies); and, in particular, topics like impoverishment effects, exponent drop, deponency, paradigm gaps, morphological movement, and discontinuous bleeding.

The PhD student is expected to participate in the rotation program of the RU, which involves two 2-month internships in other projects of the RU, and the courses offered in the RU training program. Travel money for conferences is available.

Application Requirements:
Candidates should have a strong background in morphological theories of inflection (e.g., Distributed Morphology or Paradigm Function Morphology), and they should ideally have some expertise in both optimality theory and minimalist syntax. Researchers from international backgrounds are encouraged to apply; prior knowledge of German is not required. Candidates should have an M.A. (or comparable) in linguistics (or a related field), with degree in hand latest by October 1, 2021.

Supporting Documents:
- Statement of purpose (1-2 pages) that clarifies the research interests of the applicant, elaborating on how these would fit in with the research goals of the project; this can be in English or German.
- Representative sample of research work (e.g. an advanced seminar paper or M.A. thesis): in English or German
- Two letters of recommendation
- Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- Copy of degree (to be handed in latest by October 1, 2021, if not already available by June 30, 2021)

All supporting documents for the application should be emailed electronically as a single pdf file (the M.A. degree to be scanned in) to Gereon Mueller (subject line: cyclop pimhs; email address given below). The recommendation letters should be emailed directly to this address by the referees.

Applications Deadline: 30-Jun-2021

Mailing Address for Applications:
        Attn: Prof. Dr. Gereon Mueller
        Beethovenstr. 15
        Leipzig D-04107

Web Address for Applications:

Contact Information:
        Prof. Dr. Gereon Mueller

Page Updated: 29-Apr-2021