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Stefan Schnell commences at the University of Melbourne

Shape

Date: 12 October 2015

We are very happy to welcome Stefan Schnell as a new postdoctoral researcher at the University of Melbourne. Stefan will be working in the Shape program where he will be involved in the building of larger-scale structured corpora from lesser-described languages in an academic and a language community context.

Stefan joins us from The Centre for Research on Language Diversity at La Trobe University where he held a ARC DECRA fellowship in 2012-2015 with the research project "Typology of Language Use". The central objective of this previous research has been the quantitative cross-corpus study of the interaction between argument structure and discourse structure, focusing on the hypothesis of Preferred Argument Structure.

Stefan will continue his corpus-based work on the interplay of factors impacting on the choice of referring expressions in different text varieties across diverse languages, in particular in the South Pacific region. He has a background in language documentation and corpus building of lesser-described languages; since early 2007 he was engaged in the documentation of the Vera'a language from North Vanuatu. His 2011 PhD thesis (Kiel University, Germany) contains the first descriptive account of the language based on an extensive multi-media data collection resulting from 13 months of fieldwork in the language community.

Together with Geoffrey Haig from Bamberg University (Germany) and in collaboration with the Language Archive Cologne (LAC), Stefan has recently initiated Mult-CAST, a cross-language database of corpora with rich annotation for comparative research in referentiality.

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