Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald a.aikhenvald at LATROBE.EDU.AU
Tue Sep 4 17:50:52 UTC 2001

PhD scholarships in grammatical description

The Research Centre for Linguistic Typology at La Trobe University in
Melbourne, Australia, invites applications from suitably qualified students
to enter the PhD program.

Our PhD candidates generally undertake extensive fieldwork on a previously
undescribed (or scarcely described) language and write a comprehensive
grammar of it for their dissertation.  We prefer students to work on a
language which is still actively spoken, and to establish a field situation
within a community in which it is the first language.  Fieldwork
methodology should be centred on the collection, transcription and analysis
of texts, together with participant observation, and - at a later stage -
judicious grammatical elicitation in the language under description (not
through the lingua franca of the country). Our main areas of specialisation
are the languages of Amazonia, the Papuan languages of New Guinea, and the
Aboriginal languages of Australia.

PhDs in Australian universities generally involve no coursework, just a
substantial dissertation. Candidates must thus have had a thorough
coursework training before embarking on this PhD program.  This should have
included courses on morphology, syntax, semantics, phonology/phonetics and
comparative-historical linguistics, taught from a non-formalist
perspective. We place emphasis on work that has a sound empirical basis but
also shows a firm theoretical orientation (in terms of general typological
theory, or what has recently come to be called basic linguistic theory). 

The Research Centre for Linguistic Typology consists, at any one time, of
about twenty scholars, working on a variety of languages and typological
issues.  Besides the permanent staff of Professor R M W Dixon (Director)
and Professor Alexandra Y Aikhenvald (Associate Director) we have an array
of Research Fellows and PhD students; each year a number of senior scholars
from across the world spend from three to six months with us as Visiting
Fellows.  Our personnel this year includes specialists on spoken languages
from the following families or areas: Siouan, Tsimshian, Arawak, Arawá,
Barbacoan, Macro-Je, Dravidian, Indo-European, Turkic, Uralic, Afroasiatic,
Nilo-Saharan, Tibeto-Burman, Sinitic, Papuan, Austronesian and Australian.

There is also an excellent Department of Linguistics in the Faculty of
Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University, with Professor Barry
Blake, Associate Professor David Bradley, Associate Professor Kate
Burridge, and Dr Hilary Chappell. And there are fine Departments of
Linguistics at the University of Melbourne and at Monash University. 

The scholarship will be at the standard La Trobe University rate,
Australian $16,432 p.a.  Students coming from overseas are liable for a
visa fee (effectively, a tuition fee); we will pay this. A small relocation
allowance may be provided on taking up the scholarship. In addition, an
appropriate allowance will be made to cover fieldwork expenses. The
scholarship is for three years (with the possibility of extension for an
additional six months if circumstances warrant).

Further information about RCLT is at our website: 
See, in particular, our February 2001 Newsletter, available on this web site.

Prospective applicants are invited to get in touch with Professor
Aikhenvald at a.aikhenvald at, providing details of their
background, qualifications and interests. 

Professor Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald
Associate Director
Research Centre for Linguistic Typology
Institute for Advanced Study
La Trobe University
Bundoora, Vic
Australia 3083

e-mail a.aikhenvald at

phone: 	61-(0)3-9467-3079 Uni
	61-(0)3-9455-0020 home

fax 	61-(0)3-9467-3053

Administrator: 61-(0)3-9467-3128

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list