[RNLD] PhD Top-up scholarship in Linguistics within cross-corpus DoBeS project on three-participant events

Felicity Houwen fhouwen at RNLD.ORG
Mon Sep 9 23:58:58 UTC 2013

*PhD Top-up scholarship in Linguistics within cross-corpus DoBeS project on
three-participant events*

* *

Faculty/School:                       Faculty of Arts, School of Languages,
Cultures & Linguistics

Location:                                   Clayton Campus, Melbourne

Scholarship tenure:              3 years full time, beginning in 2014

Scholarship value:                 $6,750 per annum (conditions apply)

                                                      Laptop & standard
software up to a value of $1700
Closing Date:                           31 October 2013

The project *Cross-linguistic patterns in the encoding of three-participant
events** *started in June 2013 as a cross-corpus project of the
Documentation of Endangered Languages Program (DoBeS) of the Volkswagen
Foundation (http://www.mpi.nl/DOBES/);  chief investigator: *Anna
Margetts*(Monash University), co-applicants:
*Nikolaus Himmelmann* (University of Cologne) and *Katharina Haude* (CNRS,
Paris).  We are inviting applications for a second PhD Top-up scholarship
within the project.

*Project summary: *The project investigates the linguistic encoding of
events which involve three participants. It brings together three areas of
study: the encoding of three-participant events, the typological parameter
of basic valence orientation, and the field of text-based typology. (For
more details see the project description further below).

*PhD project*: The PhD project will be concerned with the encoding of
three-participant events and basic valence orientation, either (a) across
the participating DoBeS language projects, (b) across a larger sample of
languages or (c) in an individual language, e.g. on the basis of original

* *

*Candidate Requirements: *Applicants should have a very good undergraduate
degree in linguistics, preferably a first-class Honours or Master's degree.
They are expected to have a strong background in linguistic typology and
the morpho-syntactic analysis of natural language data, preferably of
under-documented non-Indo-European languages. Experience in working with
linguistic text corpora of spoken language and with software programs such
as ELAN and TOOLBOX is desirable. The successful applicant will take on
selected research and administrative tasks within the project.

 The successful applicant will be part of a research group investigating
three-participant events from a cross-linguistics perspective which will
include the three project investigators, representatives of the
participating DoBeS teams and a further PhD student working in the project.
They will be based in the Linguistics Program at Monash University which
has a strong research track-record in linguistic analysis and
documentation, in particular of languages of Austronesia and Australia. The
supervision team will include Anna Margetts and other members of the
Linguistics Program.  Consult the websites below for further information:


Candidates will be based at Monash’s Clayton Campus and will be expected to
start by early 2014. *The top-up scholarship will be contingent on the
candidate successfully applying for an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA)
or Monash Graduate Scholarship (MGS) *(or on an Australian candidate being
self-funding). http://www.monash.edu.au/migr/support/scholarships/major/

*International students should note that the scholarship does not cover
foreign-student tuition fees.* However, for outstanding applicants there is
opportunity to apply for additional tuition fee scholarships. Interested
applicants are strongly advised to refer to the website below for more
information. Candidates will be required to meet Monash entry requirements
which may include English language skills. *

* *

*How to apply*

·         Send the following documentation as email attachments by *31
October 2013 *to
Anna Margetts: *anna.margetts at monash.edu ** *(put “PhD Top-up” in the
subject line):**

o   a covering letter outlining relevant training and experience and
stating the language(s) you intend to work on**

o   CV **

o   academic transcripts **

·         Apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) or Monash
Graduate Scholarship (MGS) *by 31 October 2013 *(

*Further funding possibilities:* PhD candidates are eligible to apply for
additional funding, including for conference travel and fieldwork support,
from a range of sources within Monash University:

·         Monash University:

·         Faculty of Arts:

·         School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics:

·         Linguistics Program
Project description: The project investigates the linguistic encoding of
events which involve three participants. It brings together three areas of
study: the encoding of three-participant events, the typological parameter
of basic valence orientation, and the field of text-based typology.

In recent years the topic of three-participant events has received growing
attention. Such events include any scenario involving three participants,
e.g. those encoded by transactional verbs like ‘give’ and ‘show’, placement
verbs like ‘put’, and benefactive constructions like ‘do something for
someone’. There is considerable variation cross-linguistically as well as
within individual languages in how the three involved participants are

Earlier work on three-participant events tends to focus on syntactic
three-place predicates, i.e. constructions with three syntactic arguments.
Some of the more recent studies, including Margetts and Austin (2007),
investigate a fuller range of linguistic strategies for encoding such
events, including three-place predicates and their subtypes but also a
range of functional alternative constructions many of which are syntactically
two-place but express a third participant by other means – morphological,
syntactic or pragmatic. (Examples of alternative strategies include, e.g.
clauses with two-place predicates which encode a recipient by means of
directional markers, or a beneficiary by means of possessive morphology.)

The project investigates three-participant events from a cross-linguistic
and text-based perspective focussing on DoBeS corpus data from Austronesian
(Oceanic and non-Oceanic) and Papuan languages and from languages of North
and South America. It will address two sets of topics:

(A)     Morpho-syntactic strategies for encoding three-participant events
and their pairing with semantic event types:

   - What strategies for encoding three-participant events exist in the
   sample languages and what is their relative frequency?

   - Are there correlations between semantic event types and specific
   morpho-syntactic encoding strategies?

   - Do certain strategies tend to co-occur in a language and is it
   possible to identify language types on this basis?
   - Is it possible to formulate any implicational hierarchies?
   - Can the morpho-syntactic strategies listed in Margetts and Austin
   (2007) be extended by further types or sub-types?

(B)     Possible correlations between the encoding of three-participant
events and the classification of a language in terms of basic valence
orientation, in the sense of Nichols et al. (2004):

·         Are there any correlations between a language’s classification in
terms of its basic valence orientation (as transitivising or
detransitivising, etc.), and the set of strategies which are found in the
language or which are most commonly employed for the expression of
three-participant events?

By investigating both three-participant events and the parameter of basic
valence orientation the project brings together two independent areas of
study which are important in their own right and which have not been
previously researched in relation to each other. If typological parameters
like basic valence orientation and choice of encoding strategies for
three-participant events can be shown to be connected and form a network of
interrelated features this would open a new field of investigation in terms
of lexical and grammatical expressions of valence and strengthen the
parameters’ scientific importance, typological value and scope. The project
applies methodologies of text-based typology to the study of
three-participant events and basic valence orientation which allows us to
address questions which could not be answered by earlier approaches.

*References: *

Margetts, Anna and Austin, Peter K. (2007). "Three-participant events in
the languages of the world: towards a cross-linguistic typology." *
Linguistics* *45*(3): 393-452.
Nichols, Johanna, David A. Peterson, and Jonathan Barnes. (2004).
"Transitivizing and detransitivizing languages." *Linguistic Typology* *8*:

Felicity Houwen
Outreach Officer

*Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity*
Suite 1107, 530 Little Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
*Phone*: +61 3 9041 5474* *||* Email*: fhouwen at rnld.org <mchen at rnld.org> ||
*Skype*: RNLDorg* *||* **Web*: www.rnld.org
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