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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: Discourse Analysis
Text/Corpus Linguistics
Specific Language: English
French
Application Deadline: 01-Oct-2012
Supporting Institution: University of Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve)
Institute for Language and Communication
LL Issue: 23.2624
Posted: 06-Jun-2012
Support Description: The Institute for Language and Communication at the Université catholique de
Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium) has three PhD openings within the framework
of the research project 'Fluency and disfluency markers. A multimodal contrastive
perspective' conducted jointly by the CECL (Centre for English Corpus
Linguistics), VALIBEL - Discours et Variation and CENTAL (Centre de traitement
automatique du langage) in collaboration with the University of Namur (Namur
Research College). The aim of the research project is to investigate markers of
fluency and disfluency in spoken and sign language, focusing on three main
modalities: first language discourse (French and English), (advanced) foreign
language discourse (English), and sign language (Belgian French). Our central
working hypothesis will be that fluency and disfluency markers are two faces of
the same phenomenon. We will furthermore assume that their forms and functions
vary systematically according to the language, speakers, and discourse genres at
stake. The methodological approach will be that of corpus analysis (corpus-based
and corpus-driven).

The selected candidates will be engaged in a 4-year PhD project under the
supervision of one or two of the six promoters of the research project in the
following three areas:

- PhD 1: Prosodic markers of fluency and disfluency in spoken French
- PhD 2: Fluency and disfluency in English native and learner speech
- PhD 3: Discourse markers as (dis)fluency markers in English and French
speech

Profile:

- Master in linguistics or modern languages (major in linguistics), with honours
- Native or near-native speaker of French (PhD 1) or English (PhD 2) and very
good knowledge of both languages for PhD 3
- High level of academic English
- Good knowledge of linguistic statistics or commitment to acquire it
- Familiarity with corpus linguistic methods and tools
- Dynamic and motivated
- Capacity to work independently and as part of a team
- Previous experience with the analysis of spoken language and/or discourse
features is an asset

We offer a motivating research environment with many opportunities for
collaboration with other researchers working on the same project. The salary
consists of a PhD grant including social security (+/- 1500 € net/month).

Additional information:

Institute for Language and Communication: www.uclouvain.be/ilc
(Dis)fluency project: http://www.uclouvain.be/415256.html
Centre for English Corpus Linguistics: www.uclouvain.be/cecl
CENTAL: www.uclouvain.be/cental
Valibel - Discours & Variation: www.uclouvain.be/valibel
Application Mailing Address: Prof Liesbeth Degand
Insitute for Language and Communication
Place B. Pascal 1; L3.03.33
Louvain-la-Neuve 1348
Belgium
Contact Information: Prof Liesbeth Degand
liesbeth.degand@uclouvain.be