Job opportunity: PhD position Macquarie University (Syndney, Australia)



A full-time PhD scholarship is available in the Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia) for commencement in 2010.
Supervisor (advisor), Trevor Johnston.

Please quote the allocation reference number 2010086 on your application form.

Project Name: New languages seen with new eyes: evidence for the emergence of grammar in signed languages (SLs) using new methodologies and technologies

Project Description: This scholarship will provide the opportunity for a PhD candidate to work closely with SL researchers on a project to use a corpus of Australian SL (Auslan) and British SL (BSL) to collect evidence in support of the claim that grammar is an emergent feature of language, driven by frequency and usage. The project researchers make heavy use of ELAN multi-media annotation software. The theoretical framework adopted in the research project can be broadly characterised as functional-cognitive usage-based construction grammar.

The aim is to explain how signed languages acquire grammar, using Auslan/BSL as a case study, and to compare this with what is known about spoken languages.

The PhD scholarship is available to an applicant who wishes to conduct linguistic research related to the general project aims. The candidate must be prepared to learn how to use the multi-media annotation software program, ELAN, to a high level of proficiency in order to be able to search and query the corpus, both as an assistant on the abovementioned project and for their own related research. The candidate must have an undergraduate degree with a major in linguistics, a good knowledge of a SL (preferably Auslan or BSL), and excellent English skills. The candidate is expected to learn Auslan/BSL to a basic conversational level during their candidature if they are not already familiar with it at the time of enrolment.

A co-tutelle enrolment may be considered for a suitably qualified international candidate, but the majority of the candidature must be spent in Australia at Macquarie University. Applications close October 31 2010 and the candidate must be prepared to start their candidature before 31 December 2010, if accepted.

For further discussion regarding the project, applicants are encouraged to contact the supervisor, A/Prof Trevor Johnston; email <>  Phone +61-2-9850 8067.

The 2010 MQRES full-time stipend rate is $22,500 pa tax exempt for 3.5 years.

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