The University of Queensland

Applications are now being sought for one or two PhD positions in the Shape of Language program of the Centre for Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL), funded by the Australian Research Council for the period mid-2014 to mid-2021. 

The present PhD position/s will be located at the University of Queensland, and situated within the Shape program. Potential topics include the following:

  • Intergenerational comparisons of the expression of spatial relations (i.e. cardinal directions) in Guugu Yimidhirr spoken in Hope Vale
    Supervisors: Felicity Meakins and Alice Gaby (Monash) in collaboration with Lourdes de Leon (CIESAS, Mexico)
  • A grammatical description of Warlmanpa, a Ngumpin-Yapa language spoken around Tennant Creek (Northern Territory)
    Supervisors: Felicity Meakins and Mary Laughren in collaboration with David Nash (ANU)
  • Interfaces between prosody, syntax and information packaging in Garrwa, spoken around Borroloola
    Supervisor: Ilana Mushin
  • Language ecology of Kaytyetye communities
    Supervisors: Felicity Meakins and Myfany Turpin (Sydney)
  • Another proposed topic on an Australian language and/or contact situation

CoEDL is has an ambitious series of interlinked projects, focusing on language as a dynamic and variable system, and drawing on the full diversity of the world’s languages, through four programs focusing on the design space of language (Shape), how it is learned (Learning) and processed (Processing), and how linguistic structures evolve at various timescales (Evolution). Two ‘threads’ (Archiving, and New Generation technologies) will enable the technological advances needed to drive forward the language sciences in the coming decades. The Centre is strongly interdisciplinary and features researchers from linguistics, speech pathology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, bioinformatics and robotics. CoEDL is centred on four Australian Universities (Australian National University, University of Melbourne, University of Western Sydney and University of Queensland), with partner institutions in Australasia and the Pacific, Asia, Europe and North America.

Students will be required to win their own scholarship (Australian Postgraduate Award or international equivalent) but will be guided through this process. They will also receive generous fieldwork and travel (conferences etc) funding, as well as opportunities to attend the annual CoEDL Summer Schools and other workshops through the year. 

Please send a CV (including academic transcript) and a one page summary of your relevant research experience and interest in a particular topic to Felicity Meakins, f.meakins@uq.edu.au by 31 May 2016.

  • Australian Government
  • The University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Western Sydney University

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