[Histling-l] PhD position advert

Widmer paul.widmer at uzh.ch
Fri Dec 15 02:28:21 EST 2017

  PhD position available in linguistics (Department of Comparative 
Linguistics, University of Zurich)

  Word order is said to be highly prone to change, from both internal 
(i.e. reanalysis, pragmatics) and external (i.e. areal and contact) 
influence. In Indo-European languages, we find languages and 
sub-branches with predominant V1 structures (e.g. Insular Celtic, Modern 
Welsh), V1 maintenance (e.g. Modern Irish), and V1 loss (e.g. Modern 
Breton), while other languages are claimed to be verb final or verb 
medial. However, in corpora the amount of configurations that deviate 
from the presumed basic configuration is astoningishly high and needs to 
be taken into account when exploring word order distribution and/or 
evolution. In close collaboration with two ongoing projects at the 
department (one on verb-initial structures in Austroasiatic and one on 
phylogenetic models of corpus-based trends in word order patterns), the 
succesful candidate will carry out corpus-based research on the 
evolution of verb-initial orders in Indo-European. The dissertation will 
be supervised by Paul Widmer and Balthasar Bickel. Apart from extracting 
data from, and, where necessary, developing corpora, he/she will also 
perform computational phylogenetic analyses.

  Funding and expected outcomes:
  Funding for the position is limited to three years, salary is 
according to SNSF PhD employee pay scale. The successful applicant is 
expected to complete his/her PhD dissertation at the University of 
Zurich within this timeframe. The PhD will preferrably be cumulative, 
consisting of four papers (published or accepted by a relevant 
international journal). The exact topics of the papers will be 
determined in accordance with the applicant's background and 
preferences, and papers may be co-authored with the supervisors and/or 
other team members, but they must contain original and independent 
contributions by the PhD candidate.

The candidate must hold a Master’s degree in linguistics received at 
latest by the time he/she takes up his/her position. Top candidates will 
have excellent results from their Master's degree courses/thesis and a 
focus on or interest in corpus linguistics, computational linguistics. 
Knowledge of historical linguistics and ancient Indo-European languages 
is clearly an asset.

  Estimated start date: March 2018.

  Applications with the usual documents (cover letter, CV, transcript of 
BA/MA studies) should be sent in electronic form to Paul Widmer 
(paul.widmer at uzh.ch)  by January 15, 2018. Two letters of reference 
should be sent directly by independent referees to the same e-mail 
address. For more details, please contact paul.widmer at uzh.ch.

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