Support: Corpus Linguistics: PhD Student, MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig

Sebastian Nordhoff sebastian_nordhoff at EVA.MPG.DE
Thu Apr 5 21:18:19 UTC 2012

Dear all,
please find below a job offer posted on behalf of Frank Seifart

At the Department of Linguistics of the Max Planck Institute for  
Evolutionary Anthropology ( 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 (

The project investigates the relative frequencies of nouns, pronouns, and  
verbs in spoken language corpora of seven languages (see 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 (  
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  

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  
consistent tagging

- developing scripts for frequency analyses and other statistical analyses  
in R

- developing creative visualizations of results for presentations and  

The Ph.D. candidate will receive training and continued supervision  
throughout the project in the computationalmethods 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:/

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.

Mailing Address for Applications:
Dr. Frank Seifart
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
Leipzig D-04103
frank_seifart at

Contact Information: Dr. Frank Seifart

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