LINGUIST List 32.1522

Mon May 03 2021

Support: Historical Linguistics: PhD, University of Zurich

Editor for this issue: Becca Morris <>

Date: 02-May-2021
From: Manuela Rossini <>
Subject: Historical Linguistics: PhD, University of Zurich, Switzerland
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Department: Department of Comparative Language Science
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: University of Zurich

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Historical Linguistics


The Department of Comparative Language Science at the University of Zurich invites applications for a 4-year PhD position in the are of historical comparative linguistics. The position is embedded in the interdisciplinary research project ‘The evolution of metaphors in ontogeny and phylogeny’ funded by the Gerda Zeltner Fellowships (Department of Comparative Language Science).

The focus is on the evolution of metaphors and colexifications in the history of Indo-European. While much past work has focused on ontologies of semantic change (broadening, narrowing, etc.), PhD2 will use an empirical approach in order to get a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying such changes as well as the contribution of facilitators and inhibitors of semantic change. The student will work with open-access corpora of ancient and modern varieties of Indo-European.

We seek a PhD student with a strong interest in comparative historical linguistics, lexical semantics, and quantitative data analysis. The successful candidate has a solid background in qualitative data analysis, a good knowledge of, and familiarity with ancient and modern Indo-European languages in their diverse cultural and areal contexts as well as some experience with quantitative methods or the willingness to acquire the necessary skills. Candidates are expected to have a strong commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork. Very good communication skills in English are important.

For consideration please compile the following documents into a single PDF labelled ‘Metaphors-YourSurname-Position2.pdf’ and send to
- A cover letter (motivation and qualifications, 2 pages max);
- Curriculum vitae;
- Contacts of two referees;
- Writing sample (2 pages max., e.g. summary of MA thesis);
- Transcripts of bachelor’s and master’s courses.

Contact Information:
        Paul Widmer
        Dept: Department of Comparative Language Science

Page Updated: 04-May-2021