PhD positions in Oceanic linguistics

Bill Palmer Bill.Palmer at NEWCASTLE.EDU.AU
Wed Jun 9 02:39:27 UTC 2010

PhD positions, Linguistics, School of Humanities and Social Science,
University of Newcastle (Australia)
Deadline for applications: Friday 16th July 2010

Two fully funded PhD positions are available to carry out field-based
research on two typologically and theoretically significant highly
endangered Oceanic languages of island Melanesia.

The positions are attached to a Major Documentation Project entitled
‘Documenting Ririo and Papapana: the two most highly endangered
Northwest Solomonic languages’ (Chief Investigator Dr Bill Palmer),
funded by the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project. The project
will involve fieldwork on the previously undescribed languages Papapana
(120 speakers, Bougainville island, Papua New Guinea) and Ririo (79
speakers, Choiseul island, Solomon Islands). It will involve gathering
extensive documentation on the target languages using current
documentation best-practice, and a thesis focusing in detail on an area
of the language’s structure or use that is of particular interest to the
student, to be determined in consultation between the successful
applicants and their supervisors. The positions will be housed within
the Endangered Languages Documentation, Theory and Application Group
(ELDTA) at the University of Newcastle. ELDTA is home to PhD students
and staff working on a diverse range of endangered languages including
Austronesian, Australian Aboriginal, Turkic, Bantu, and Semitic. The
successful applicants will join a larger program of field-based research
in Northwest Solomonic involving Palmer and an existing PhD student
working on another Bougainville language. The PhDs will be supervised by
Palmer and Dr Catriona Malau, also an expert on the documentation,
description and analysis of Oceanic languages.

In addition to a PhD stipend scholarship at the standard University of
Newcastle rate (currently $22,500 p.a.), the positions include all
fieldwork expenses and tuition fee scholarship. The positions are of
three years duration, and are open to domestic and international

The positions are located in Newcastle, a city close to Sydney famous
for its magnificent beaches and relaxed lifestyle.

To apply to be a part of this project, please send your CV, a copy of
your academic record, and the names and contact details of two
professional referees to Dr Bill Palmer (bill.palmer at
by 16 July 2010, with the words “PhD application” in the email subject
line. A telephone interview may be required for shortlisted applicants.
Please note: an honours degree or at least one year of postgraduate
study of any kind is highly desirable.

For further information please contact Bill Palmer
bill.palmer at

Dr Bill Palmer
Endangered Languages Documentation, Theory and Application Group
Linguistics Research Higher Degree and Honours coordinator
School of Humanities and Social Science
University of Newcastle
Callaghan NSW 2308
email bill.palmer at
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