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MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Linguistics
**Please note that the rank and deadline for this position have been
modified. You can view the updated announcement here:
At the Department of Linguistics of the Max Planck Institute for
Evolutionary Anthropology (http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua) a Ph.D. Position
(pay scale EGr. 13TV-L, 50%) is available for 3 years beginning June 1, 2012,
within the project
'The relative frequencies of nouns, pronouns, and verbs cross-linguistically',
funded by the Volkswagen Foundation's DoBeS program (www.mpi.nl/dobes).
The project investigates the relative frequencies of nouns, pronouns, and verbs
in spoken language corpora of seven languages (see
http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua/research/relative-frequencies.php). The main
research questions are:
(i) How exactly and why do languages vary in the overall relative frequencies of
noun, pronoun, and verb tokens employed in discourse?
(ii) How exactly and why do the relative frequencies of nouns, pronouns, and
verbs vary as narrative texts unfold?
The candidate should have a background in computational linguistics, ideally
in corpus-linguistic methods. The candidate should have a demonstrable
interest in typological linguistics, and ideally have had some formal training in
this area. Prior acquaintance with a scripting language is required. Prior
acquaintance with R (www.r-project.org) and Unicode would be advantages.
Prior acquaintance with the languages studied in this project is not required.
Good knowledge of English is required.
S/he will be expected to work half time for the project and will be given the
opportunity to work on a Ph.D. thesis related to this project in the remaining
time. The Ph.D. thesis should ideally include a discussion of the
methodological issues involved in this project, and a detailed investigation of a
research question to be determined together with the candidate.
The duties of the Ph.D. candidate are to further develop and apply routines to
process and analyze the multilingual corpora used in this project. This includes:
- importing annotated texts files into R
- developing methods to detect systematic errors in tagging and create
- developing scripts for frequency analyses and other statistical analyses in R
- developing creative visualizations of results for presentations and publications
The Ph.D. candidate will receive training and continued supervision throughout
the project in the computational methods and in the linguistic issues involved.
Project work will be supported by two student assistants.
Applicants should already have an MA in Linguistics, Computer Science, or an
equivalent qualification by the start of their appointment, and be qualified to
register in a recognized doctoral program at a university or equivalent
degree-awarding institution. Ph.D. candidates have the possibility of obtaining
their doctoral degree through the University of Leipzig (http:/www.uni-leipzig.de).
Applicants are requested to send a C.V. and a statement of research interests
(2-3 pages) to the address given below or by e-mail. Applicants should provide
the names of two referees in their application and arrange for them to send
letters of reference directly to Dr. Frank Seifart. E-mail applications, preferably
as one single pdf-document, are welcome.
Application deadline: May, 1, 2012
Phone interviews of shortlisted candidates will take place on May 7 and 8.
|Application Mailing Address:||
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
Dr. Frank Seifart