LINGUIST List 32.1528

Mon May 03 2021

Support: Linguistic Theories; Syntax: PhD, Universität Leipzig

Editor for this issue: Becca Morris <>

Date: 03-May-2021
From: Fabian Heck <>
Subject: Linguistic Theories; Syntax: PhD, Universität Leipzig, Germany
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Department: Linguistics
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: Universität Leipzig

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Linguistic Theories; Syntax


The project "Syntactic Repairs and Cyclic Optimization" (PI Fabian Heck) invites applications for a four-year PhD position in Linguistics/Syntax (federal German pay scale TV-L E13, 65%), starting from October 1, 2021. The project will be part of the research unit (RU) "Cyclic Optimization" (at Leipzig University), funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). See for further information about both the project and the RU.

The research of the RU focuses on grammatical models that combine aspects of optimization and cyclicity in the areas of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and computation. The present project addresses the phenomenon of "repairs" in syntax that exhibit a last-resort character (textbook examples: do-support, grammatical resumption), an area where optimization-based analyses (in particular optimality theory) have proven particularly successful. The project team will consist of the PI, a Post-Doc researcher and one PhD student.

A possible dissertation topic fitting the project addresses the question of how the notion of a repair/last resort can be incorporated into the framework of the minimalist program (MP) without making use of ranked and violable constraints (which are not part of the MP).

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 syntactic theory (ideally with a focus on minimalist syntax). Familiarity with optimization theory is not required but considered a plus. Researchers from international backgrounds are encouraged to apply. They should have an M.A. in linguistics (or some related field), with degree in hand latest by October 1, 2021. Prior knowledge of German is not required.

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 M.A. 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 Fabian Heck (subject line: cycopt repairs; email address given below). The recommendation letters should be emailed directly to this address by the referees.

Mailing Address for Applications:
        Attn: Prof. Dr. Fabian Heck
        Beethovenstr. 15
        Leipzig D-04107 Saxony

Contact Information:
        Prof. Dr. Fabian Heck

Page Updated: 03-May-2021