[Tibeto-burman-linguistics] postdoc position in Chinese historical phonology at SOAS, University of London

Nathan W. Hill tibetologist at protonmail.ch
Mon Aug 23 15:28:35 UTC 2021

Dear Friends and colleagues,

I wanted to draw your attention to this four year postdoctoral position at SOAS, University to study the development of Chinese phonology during the Han period using digital techniques. Please circulate this notice as widely as you can so that we are able to recruit the strongest applicant.


Postdoctoral Researcher

Job title: Postdoctoral Researcher
Department: Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Contract Type: Fixed Term, up to 48 months – this position is part of an externally funded project, due to run from January 2021 until December 2025 (Successful candidate must be based in the UK for the duration of their contract)
Salary: Grade 7 - £37,920.50 - £44,543.50 (per annum including London Allowance)
Location: Bloomsbury, London
Hours: 35 per week

Are you looking for a challenging opportunity to work as a Postdoctoral researcher within our Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures? This new role at SOAS will enable an early career researcher in Chinese historical linguistics to build an international research profile that includes developing cutting-edge techniques for the study of language change.

About the Department
The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures’ (EALC) expertise in the languages and cultures of China, Tibet, Japan and Korea covers one of the oldest yet most dynamic and important regions of the world. Our interdisciplinary degree programmes mean we have close ties with other disciplines across SOAS, and with the SOAS China Institute (SCI), home to the largest community of Chinese Studies scholars in Europe.

About the project
The collaborative AHRC research project ‘Han phonology: when Chinese became Chinese’ will produce a Handbook of Han Chinese Phonology intended to supersede the existing monograph length studies of Han phonology. The Handbook will synthesize the existing knowledge of sound change in this period, formalizing this synthesis with finite state transducers. In addition, by applying state-of-the-art network analysis to the linguistic data found in a robust corpus of texts that includes newly unearthed sources, we will pinpoint the time, place, and social milieu of known changes, adjudicate controversial proposals, and provide a rigorous treatment of dialectal and sociolectal variation.

About the Role
The Post-Doctoral Researcher will work closely with the Principal Investigator, Dr. Ernest Caldwell and Co-Investigator, Dr. Nathan Hill. The role is for the primary researcher on the project, and the post holder will be responsible for collecting and processing data and preparing single and multi-authored research outputs. The appointee will have a high degree of self-motivation and a demonstrable pride in the quality of written work and research previously undertaken.

About you
PhD in linguistics or other relevant discipline, with a background in Chinese historical phonology, and advanced computer skills, including the ability to programme in multiple languages (Python, Javascript, Cytoscape, FOMA, Latex are currently foreseen), are essential. You should have the ability to synthesise complex arguments and write clearly. Good reading knowledge of Classical and Modern Chinese are also highly desirable.

You will need to demonstrate:

• You have been awarded a PhD in a relevant subject, such as linguistics or computer science, or equivalent experience
• Have a specialist knowledge of and interest in Chinese historical phonology, and data science
• Knowledge of one or more programming languages, particularly Python
• Sound time management skills; the ability to plan and to meet deadlines.
• Advanced computer skills including the ability to write new software.
• Ability to quickly learn computer skills needed for the completion of specific research goals (Python, Javascript, Cytoscape, FOMA, and Latex are foreseen in the current project plans).

You can find further information in the Job Description and Person Specification, along with a full list of duties and responsibilities

In return we offer 30 days holiday plus bank holidays and additional School closure days; a generous employer pension contribution; a number of loan schemes including season ticket and IT equipment; Cycle to Work Scheme; enhanced Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Pay provisions and financial support for childcare.

How to Apply

To apply, please complete the online application and upload your CV.

Closing date: The vacancy will close on Monday 13th September 2021 at 23.59
Interviews to be held: w/c 27th September 2021

Further information

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Dr Ernest Caldwell, ec24 at soas.ac.uk, to obtain a copy of the full project proposal. If you have any questions or require any assistance with regard to the application process, please contact hr-recruitment at soas.ac.uk not Ernest

'SOAS will support a Skilled Worker Visa should the successful candidate be based outside the UK, please note we will only pay for a Certificate of Sponsorship all other visa related costs must be paid by the candidate'.

For information on how and why SOAS processes personal data about its job applicants, please read our [Job Applicant Notice.](https://www.soas.ac.uk/infocomp/dpa/privacy-notices/job-applicant-privacy-notice/)

At SOAS we celebrate diversity and promote equality and inclusion amongst our staff and students. As such, we welcome applications from all, regardless of personal characteristics or background.

Nathan W. Hill
Sam Lam Professor in Chinese Studies
School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences
Trinity Centre for Asian Studies
Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
+353 1 896 4292 | nathan.hill at tcd.ie | www.tcd.ie/slscs | www.tcd.ie/Asian
Nathan W. Hill
Ollamh Sam Lam le Léann na Síne
Scoil na nEolaíochtaí Teangeolaíochta, Urlabhra agus Cumarsáide
Lárionad Léann na hÁise, Coláiste na Tríonóide
Coláiste na Tríonóide, Baile Átha Cliath, Baile Átha Cliath 2, Éire
+353 1 896 4292 | nathan.hill at tcd.ie | www.tcd.ie/slscs | www.tcd.ie/Asian

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