Job opportunity: 2 PhD positions at UQAM



Doctoral Awards

Groupe de recherche sur la LSQ et le bilinguisme sourd

Université du Québec à Montréal

Chair: Anne-Marie Parisot, professor, UQAM

Location of tenure: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Type of award: 2 doctoral awards

Value and duration: $16 000 each, tenable for 12 months

Beginning of the funding: summer 2010

Field of research: pragmatics andor semantics andor natural language processing

Speciality: American Sign Language (ASL) or French Sign Language (LSF) or Quebec Sign Language (LSQ)

Posting: May 20th 2010

1- Objectives

The Groupe de recherche sur la LSQ et le bilinguisme sourd de l’UQAM (Research Group on LSQ and Deaf Bilinguialism at UQAM), supported by the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture, offers two doctoral awards, to support students to work on a research project on the comparison of the structure of three sign languages, that is, ASL, LSF and LSQ. The main goal of the research program is to examine and compare the grammar and semantics of the use of space in these three sign languages, and to analyze the way signers can mark relations of saliency in grammar. Specifically, we analyze the distributional and prosodic patterns of four strategies of spatial association (pointing sign, direct localization, eye gaze and torso movements) that are involved in the expression of saliency in those sign languages. We also define the semantic, morphosyntactic and pragmatic characteristics of these strategies. Moreover, gathered biomechanical data with kinematic instrumentations allow us to describe the spatio-temporal patterns of spatial association.

2- Materials

Candidates will have access to corpora gathered on the variation of the strategies of spatial association. Data consist in sentences and narrations produced in LSQ, ASL,

LSF, French and English. All the productions have been collected with a recording system composed of 1) a digital camera, 2) infrared cameras for the capture of the

upper body movement and 3) mini-rangefinder cameras for the capture of eye movements.

3- Location of Tenure

The Groupe de recherche sur la LSQ et le bilinguisme sourd, located at UQAM, will host the candidates.

4- Eligibility

The candidates’ dissertation must deal with the description of elements of the grammar of either ASL, LSF of LSQ, according to either a semantic or pragmatic perspective, or a language processing perspective. The candidates will have at least one sign language specialist as a supervisor.

Candidates must have strong skills in French and must know English enough to read and understand scientific texts. Applicants must be registered as full-time students, undertaking or continuing a doctoral program by September 1st 2010.

5- Application Process

Applications should consist of:

1. A cover letter. This letter must include the following information (maximum two pages and an extra page for a bibliography):

a. The award for which you are applying;

b. A description of the master dissertation and of the prospective doctoral project;

c. How you wish to contribute to the research project on the comparative description of sign languages.

2. A curriculum vitae.

3. Two letters of reference from people who know you enough to be able to give information on your qualifications and your personality (referees should directly send their letter to Dominique Machabée in an attachment (, by June 30th 2010).

4. University transcripts of all your undergraduate and graduate studies, completed or not (certificate, diploma, bachelor degree, master degree, Ph. D degree, etc.).

Digitized copies accepted. University transcripts are also accepted, but cannot be sent back to applicants.

University transcripts outside of Quebec: Short explanation of the grade system in force in the institution (for university transcripts obtained outside of Canada or U.S.A.)

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply and to send their application to Dominique Machabée (machabé, by June 30th 2010.

The required documents can also be sent to:

Dominique Machabée

Groupe de recherche LSQ

Département de linguistique, UQAM

C.P. 8888, succ. Centre-ville

Montréal, Québec

H3C 3P8


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