Job Opportunity: Research Fellow in the Surrey Morphology Group (Alor-Pantar Languages) - Ref 7108

Dunstan Brown d.brown at SURREY.AC.UK
Wed Jun 24 10:29:42 UTC 2009

[With apologies for cross-postings ­ Advertisement and Role Description

University of Surrey
Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences
Surrey Morphology Group
Department of English
Research Fellow - ref 7108
Salary from £28,839 to £32,458 per annum
(depending on experience)
Applications are invited for a research post in the Surrey Morphology Group,
for three years, available from 1 October 2009. This post is for the project
ŒAlor and Pantar Languages: Origins and Theoretical Impacts¹, funded by the
Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of European Science
Foundation¹s EuroBABEL scheme, and involves coordinated projects in Surrey,
Leiden and Fairbanks (Alaska). The Surrey project directors are Professor
Greville Corbett, Dr Matthew Baerman and Dr Dunstan Brown.
The job will involve working collaboratively with linguists gathering data
in the field on constructing a typology of word classes and morphosyntactic
categories in the Alor-Pantar languages, maintaining a database and
contributing to joint papers. Some fieldwork in conjunction with the
collaborating project teams is also foreseen.
Applicants should have Ph.D. in hand or expect to complete all requirements
for the Ph.D. prior to appointment. Applicants should have a solid
background in one or more of the following areas: linguistic typology,
morphological theory, and the languages of New Guinea and/or Indonesia.
Candidates must have the ability to work independently while functioning as
part of a research team.
The Project
The Alor-Pantar (AP) languages are a group of 15-20 non-Austronesian
(ŒPapuan¹) languages spoken on several islands in eastern Indonesia. They
are of special interest because they have no established genetic relatives.
A relationship to the Trans New Guinea family has been proposed, but remains
highly disputed, due to the lack of language documentation. Documentation of
these languages has recently begun, but the material has yet to be analyzed
in a rigorous fashion, and the theoretical linguistic community is largely
unaware of these data. The implications for language classification,
migration patterns, and morphosyntactic and semantic typology remain largely
The project aims to document and analyze the AP languages, collecting high
quality archival data to deepen our understanding of human language. It is
divided into three Individual Projects: Extended Documentation (Leiden),
Word Class Typology (Surrey) and Linguistic Prehistory (Fairbanks). The aims
of the Surrey project are to investigate (i) the continuum between word
classes and grammatical features; (ii) how morphosyntactic categories evolve
from diffuse pragmatic and syntactic conditions; (iii) several particularly
unusual morphosyntactic phenomena of the AP languages.
Now is a crucial time for this work: the AP languages are severely
endangered but still have sufficient vitality to provide additional
supporting documentation without difficulty. The quality of AP language data
is likely to decline significantly over the next two decades as language
shift progresses.
Details about the EuroBABEL project can be found at:
Details of the Surrey Morphology Group can be found at:
Informal enquiries may be made to Dr Matthew Baerman
(m.baerman at or to Dr Dunstan Brown (d.brown at
To apply on line, please visit
<> .   Alternatively please contact Louise
Ellesley via email on l.ellesley at or by telephone on 01483
689646 quoting reference number 7108. To send an application, please post to
Louise Ellesley, HR Assistant, Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences,
University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH.
Closing date for applications: 10th August 2009
Provisional date for Interview board: 28th August 2009
The University is committed to an Equal Opportunities Policy

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