[RNLD] PhD opportunities, University of Melbourne

Rachel Nordlinger racheln at UNIMELB.EDU.AU
Fri Jul 25 05:42:26 UTC 2014

PhD Opportunities: The ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, University of Melbourne node

Applications are now being sought for PhD positions in the Shape of Language program of the new Centre for Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL), funded by the Australian Research Council for the period mid-2014 to mid-2021. CoEDL [http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/] is launching an ambitious series of interlinked projects, focusing on language as a dynamic and variable system, and drawing on the full diversity of the world’s languages, through four programs focusing on the design space of language (Shape), how it is learned (Learning) and processed (Processing), and how linguistic structures evolve at various timescales (Evolution). Two ‘threads’ (Archiving, and New Generation technologies) will enable the technological advances needed to drive forward the language sciences in the coming decades. The Centre is strongly interdisciplinary and features researchers from linguistics, speech pathology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, bioinformatics and robotics. CoEDL is centred on four Australian Universities (Australian National University, University of Melbourne, University of Western Sydney and University of Queensland), with partner institutions in Australasia and the Pacific, Asia, Europe and North America.

The present PhD positions will be located at the University of Melbourne, and situated within the Shape program (led by Rachel Nordlinger).  Potential topics include the following:

  *   Description and documentation of a traditional indigenous language of Australia (possibilities include, but are not limited to Kunbarlang, Ritharrngu, Yolngu Matha languages, languages of the Daly River region, languages of the Western Desert region)
  *   Description and documentation of new Australian varieties, including Kriol
  *   Multigenerational documentation of an Australian language (e.g. Murrinh-Patha, Arrernte, Yolngu), which focuses not so much on a static description of the traditional language, but aspects of language use across generations, preferably as part of a team of researchers all working within the same language community.
  *   Description and documentation of undescribed languages of Vanuatu

Other topics that tie in with the Shape of Language research program are also possible, through negotiation with Assoc. Prof. Rachel Nordlinger.

Each PhD position will undertake substantial fieldwork in the relevant speech community. PhD applicants will need to successfully apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award (or other suitable scholarship), but will receive generous fieldwork funding, conference travel funds, and substantial training and development opportunities within the newly ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (http://dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/).  PhD students will be supervised by Assoc. Prof. Rachel Nordlinger and/or Dr. Nick Thieberger and work closely with the team of researchers associated with the Research Unit of Indigenous language at the University of Melbourne (http://indiglang.arts.unimelb.edu.au<http://indiglang.arts.unimelb.edu.au/>/), as well as researchers across the other CoEDL nodes (ANU, UWS, UQ).

Interested applicants should contact Rachel Nordlinger (racheln at unimelb.edu.au<mailto:racheln at unimelb.edu.au>) for further details, and provide the following:

  1.  CV with educational qualifications, any publications and other relevant experience (e.g. fieldwork, relevant internships)
  2.  Transcript of prior undergraduate and/or postgraduate degrees (must have at least 80% average to be competitive)
  3.  a two-page statement setting out your preferred topic, potential field site, what skills and personal attributes you will bring to the project, and what you see as the most interesting and challenging issues you will address
  4.  if available, other materials supporting your case (e.g. relevant articles or other materials)

Deadline: 15th September 2014

Approved applicants will then make a formal application for enrolment and scholarship through the regular University of Melbourne system, by the end of October 2014.

General information about the doctoral program in the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne is available at: https://handbook.unimelb.edu.au/view/current/101AA

Rachel Nordlinger
Associate Professor and Reader
School of Languages and Linguistics
University of Melbourne
VIC 3010
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