Three Postdoctoral Positions funded by the ERC Advan ced Grants Project “Sinotype” , EHESS, Paris

Hilary CHAPPELL hmchappell at GMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 16 15:53:20 UTC 2009

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*Three Postdoctoral Positions*

*funded by the ERC ** Project **"Sinotype"*

*Director :* Hilary M. Chappell

Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
54, boulevard Raspail
75006 Paris, France

*Project topic:** The hybrid syntactic typology of Sinitic languages*

Background: Three postdoctoral positions are available to work intensively
on the project *The hybrid syntactic typology of Sinitic languages*, funded
by the European Research Council (Sinotype, project no.  230388). These
positions each have a tenure of up to four years in duration (see below).

The primary objective of this project is to elucidate the reasons for why
Sinitic languages

possess a contradictory mixture of word order correlations, some of which
tally with VO while others tally with OV. Various hypotheses will be
addressed including those which suggest that this hybrid nature could be due
to ongoing change in language type and thus explicable either in terms of
language-internal development involving reanalysis (grammaticalization,
analogy etc) or due to external change involving language contact and areal
diffusion. A detailed study of the main syntactic features of a solid sample
of Sinitic languages is thus essential for attempting to solve this
conundrum as well as to enable us to describe this major branch of
Sino-Tibetan more thoroughly in terms of its typological features.

An international team of seven researchers and doctoral students will be
established to carry out this project in which each member will be
responsible for the grammatical description of one representative Sinitic

Position Profile: The candidates will be linguists who are trained in
linguistic typology, with a specialization in Chinese languages, and will
also be well-versed in contemporary theories of syntactic  and semantic
change. They will be expected to undertake research on a previously
undescribed Sinitic or Chinese language, each chosen from different branches
of this taxon, and to produce a descriptive grammar of this language,
written in English, in terms of current typological theory. The project will
require annual fieldwork trips to China of at least two months' duration,
funded by the ERC, to record and collect materials and begin the data

   - A good knowledge of Mandarin Chinese is essential for both research and
   field work.

   - A basic level of French would be useful but is not a requirement at the
   commencement of the project.

Duration of position: A total of four years:  in order to satisfy certain
requirements of French industrial relations laws, there will be an initial
two-year contract, followed by one renewal of the contract for a further two
years. This is a full-time position.

Commencement date:  1st April, 2009 or as soon as possible thereafter

Project director: Hilary Chappell, Chair Professor in "Linguistic typology
of East Asia"

Salary*:** **€ **2 365 *euros per month (*gross*)

*Note:* There is provision for relocation expenses in terms of reimbursement
of an economy-class airfare (or train fare, whichever is the more
practicable). The Sinotype Research Centre can also provide assistance to
the successful applicants in obtaining a scientific visa and in finding
appropriate accommodation in Paris.

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Application procedure:  Applicants should compile a dossier, including their
curriculum vitae,  publications list, two referees willing to provide
references (who will be contacted once the short list has been determined),
and a copy of their PhD diploma. They should indicate in their application
letter exactly how their research meshes with the present project on the
typology of Sinitic languages and should also include a short proposal
(maximum 2 pages) as to which Sinitic language they would choose to carry
out their fieldwork and analysis on, and why.

(Website: or Chappell)

*Deadline for applications:  March 15, 2009*

Contact for further information :

Hilary Chappell

Email : Hilary.Chappell at

Websites                 or : Chappell

Hilary Chappell
Project Director, Sinotype
Centre de Recherches Linguistiques sur l'Asie Orientale
54, boulevard Raspail
75270 Paris cedex 06


 Other information :

Two smaller projects, jointly directed by Hilary Chappell and Alain Peyraube
(EHESS-CNRS), will also be housed in the same Sinotype Research Centre,
located between Chinatown and the Parc Montsouris on the left bank. These
are *Diachronic change in Southern Min* (Diamin), and *Languages in contact
in Northwestern China*, funded respectively by the Agence Nationale de la
Recherche (ANR, France) and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for
International Scholarly Exchange (CCK, Taiwan). The Ecole des Hautes Etudes
en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) is the designated host institute for all three
projects which have a combined budget of more than 2 million euros.
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