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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Level: PhD
Duty: Research
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics Speech Comprehension
Application Deadline: 24-May-2013
Supporting Institution: Radboud University Nijmegen
Faculty of Arts
LL Issue: 24.1880
Posted: 01-May-2013
Support Description: PhD student Learning Pronunciation Variants in a Foreign Language Responsibilities As a PhD student in this project you will investigate the interplay between exemplars and abstract representations, which is expected to vary with processing speed and experimental task, and to evolve during learning. The student will investigate these issues with behavioural experiments investigating how native speakers of Dutch learn pronunciation variants of French words with schwa deletion. Learning a foreign language implies learning pronunciation variants of words in that language. This includes the words' reduced pronunciation variants, which contain fewer and weaker sounds than the words' canonical variants (e.g. 'cpute' for English 'computer'), and which are highly frequent in casual conversations. The learner has to build mental representations (exemplars and possibly also abstract lexical representations) for these variants. Importantly, late learners will build representations that differ significantly from native listeners' representations, since reduction patterns in their native language will shape their interpretation of reduction patterns in the foreign language. The goal of this Vici project is to develop the first, fully specified, theory of how late learners of a foreign language build mental representations for pronunciation variants in that language. The dissertation will consist of an introduction, at least three experimental chapters that have been submitted to high impact international journals, and a General Discussion. What we expect from you • You have or shortly expect to obtain a Master's degree in a field related to speech processing, such as phonetics, linguistics, psychology-, or cognitive neuroscience; • you have an excellent written and spoken command of English; • you have demonstrable knowledge of data analysis; • you preferably have knowledge of the phonetics / phonology of French; • you preferably have knowledge of the phonetics / phonology of Dutch. Further information - On the research group Speech Comprehension: http://www.ru.nl/speechcomprehension - On the project leader: http://mirjamernestus.nl - Or contact Prof. dr. Mirjam Ernestus, leader of the Vici project, telephone: +31 24 3612970, E-mail: m.ernestus Linguist List let.ru.nl Applications Please send your application, including your letter of motivation, curriculum and transcripts of your university grades and stating vacancy number 23.12.13, to vacatures Linguist List let.ru.nl, for the attention of Mr drs. M.J.M. van Nijnatten, before 24 May 2013.
Application Mailing Address: Prof. dr. Mirjam Ernestus Wundtlaan 1 Nijmegen 6525XD Netherlands
Application Web Address: http://www.ru.nl/vacatures/details/details_vacature_0?recid=527516
Contact Information: Prof. dr. Mirjam Ernestus m.ernestus@let.ru.nl Phone:+31243612970