Fwd: PhD or PostDoc position available

Sebastian Nordhoff sebastian_nordhoff at EVA.MPG.DE
Wed May 2 12:35:44 UTC 2012

posted on behalf of Frank Seifart

Please note that the deadline was extended and the rank
modified with respect to a previous announcement for a Ph.D. position on
this list.

At the Department of Linguistics of the Max Planck Institute for
Evolutionary Anthropology (http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingu) a half time
position for a researcher at the PhD or PostDoc level (pay scale EGr.
13TV-L, 50%) is available for 3 years beginning in June 2012 or later.
The position is part of the project ''The relative frequencies of nouns,
pronouns, and verbs cross-linguistically'', funded by the Volkswagen
Foundation's DoBeS program (www.mpi.nl/dobes).

The project investigates the relative frequencies of nouns, pronouns,
and verbs in spoken language corpora of seven languages (for details,
see http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua/research/relative-frequencies.php). The
main research questions are: (i) How exactly and why do languages vary
in the overall relative frequencies of noun, pronoun, and verb tokens
employed in discourse? (ii) How exactly and why do the relative
frequencies of nouns, pronouns, and verbs vary as narrative texts unfold?

The candidate should have a background in computational linguistics,
ideally in corpus-linguistic methods. The candidate should have a
demonstrable interest in typological linguistics, and ideally have had
some formal training in this area. Prior acquaintance with a scripting
language is required. Prior acquaintance with R (www.r-project.org) and
Unicode would be advantages.

Candiates at the Ph.D. level will be given the opportunity to work on a
Ph.D. thesis related to this project. The Ph.D. thesis should ideally
include a discussion of the methodological issues involved in this
project, and a detailed investigation of a research question to be
determined together with the candidate.

The duties of the candidate are to further develop and apply routines to
process and analyze the multilingual corpora used in this project. This
- importing annotated texts files into R
- developing methods to detect systematic errors in tagging and create
consistent tagging
- developing scripts for frequency analyses and other statistical
analyses in R
- developing creative visualizations of results for presentations and

The candidate will receive training and continued supervision throughout
the project in the computational methods and in the linguistic issues
involved. Project work will be supported by two student assistants.

Applicants should already have an MA in Linguistics, Computer Science,
or an equivalent qualification by the start of their appointment.
Applicants at the Ph.D. level have the possibility of obtaining their
doctoral degree through the University of Leipzig

Good knowledge of English is required.

Applicants are requested to send a C.V. and a statement of research
interests (2-3 pages) to the address given below or by e-mail.
Applicants should provide the names of two referees in their application
and arrange for them to send letters of reference directly to Dr. Frank
Seifart. E-mail applications, preferably as one single pdf-document, are

Application deadline: Until filled. We will start reviewing applications
on May 20.

The position is available from as soon as June 2012, but a later
starting date is possible.

Application Address and Applicant Contact:
Dr. Frank Seifart
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
Leipzig 04103
frank_seifart at eva.mpg.de

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