Summer Scholars Program (ANU)

The Australian National University in partnership with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of language intends to offer regular summer scholarships to several students.

What is the Summer Scholars Program?

A Summer Research Scholarship or Summer Internship at The Australian National University is an exceptional research opportunity for undergraduate and masters coursework students, providing insight into what studying for a graduate research degree is all about. The scholarship or internship package gives you the opportunity to stretch your boundaries by undertaking research projects and activities during the summer.

2016-2017

Applications for this year's program has closed.

For the current round the eight-week program will run between Monday  21 November 2016 and Friday 20 January 2017.

In furture to apply, please go to: http://www.anu.edu.au/study/study-options/summer-research-program

Projects

Western Desert Verbal Arts Project

We are seeking an enthusiastic student to work under the guidance of Ngaatjatjarra linguist Elizabeth Ellis and  Inge Kral, Jane Simpson, and Alexandra Grant to assist with developing a dictionary of an endangered Western Desert respect register. Tasks will include;

  • Becoming familiar with the basic morphological and syntactic features of Western Desert dialects (Ngaanyatjarra and Pitjantjatjara) and learning about Western Desert culture and history.
  • Assisting with voice and video transcriptions in ELAN and incorporating them it into the new FLEX dictionary.
  • Becoming familiar with the FLEX dictionary to store new lexical items from the ELAN transcriptions, IE keeping track of the source files, grammatical features, dialect, and usage.

The student will gain skills in ELAN and FLEX and develop a potential research area for development in postgraduate study. A background in linguistics is essential. Additional background in computer science and Indigenous Australian languages is preferred. Email:  inge.kral@anu.edu.au for more information on this project.

Warumungu corpus, dictionary and grammar project

We are seeking an enthusiastic student to work under the guidance of Jane Simpson and Samantha Disbray  to assist with developing a corpus, grammar and dictionary of an endangered central Australian language, Warumungu.  Students will become familiar with the basic phonological, morphological and syntactic features of Warumungu. Depending on the student's skills and research interests, tasks may include:

  • Organising the structure and building of a multidimensional corpus (dimensions of time, genre, mode and speaker)
  •  Assisting with voice and video transcriptions in ELAN and incorporating them it into a digital dictionary.
  • Critiquing electronic dictionary creation and representation software with a view to creating a complex structured dictionary of Warumungu
  • Developing workflows for going from corpus to dictionary and grammar (both for creation and representation)  

The student will gain skills in understanding a typical Pama-Nyungan language and in the use of computational tools for creating representations of languages, and may develop a potential research area for postgraduate study. A background in linguistics is essential and knowledge of Indigenous Australian languages is preferred. Computer science students with relevant backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Email: jane.simpson@anu.edu.au  for more information on this project.

Morphological typology project and Papuan language projects

Professor Nicholas Evans and other researchers are working on morphological typology and on Papuan languages, and are looking for students to work with them.  A background in linguistics is essential,  and computer science students with relevant backgrounds are encouraged to apply.  More details on these projects will be provided shortly.  

Online interactive communication experiments

We are doing a series of experiments looking at how people create novel communication systems in a variety of different conditions. The experiments are carried out on Amazon Mechanical Turk, so the student will be involved in maintaining and modifying code and potentially analyzing data. These skills will be of great use in future academic work, whether honours or PhD level. Some background in Linguistics, Psychology or Philosophy is preferred, as is some degree of experience with computer programming and inferential statistics. Email: matthew.spike@anu.edu.au for more information on this project.  

Children’s emerging phonological styles

How does the speech of young children vary depending on who they’re talking to? In this project we are looking for a student interested in phonological and lexical patterns in development, working with a corpus of child speech under the guidance of Caroline Jones. Depending on the student’s skills and research interests, tasks may include:

  • Improving the alignment and accuracy of ELAN transcriptions
  • Coding for phonological features
  • Writing and running scripts to analyse the corpus
  • Collaborating in data visualization or follow-up research design

The student will gain knowledge of north Australian Kriol and English varieties, skills in computational tools (ELAN, Praat, R, Python), and may develop a research idea for postgraduate study. A background in linguistics is essential. Computer science students with relevant backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Email: caroline.jones@westernsydney.edu.au for more information on the project.

Watch this space, as other projects may be advertised

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

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