Job opportunity: Postdoc at UQAM



Postdoctoral Fellowship

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: postdoctoral fellowship

Value and duration: $20 000, tenable for 12 months

Beginning of the funding: summer 2010

Field of research: pragmatics andor semantics andor natural language


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, wish to hire a postdoctoral fellow to work on a research project on the comparative analysis 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- Task Description

The expected tasks to be filled by the postdoctoral fellow are:

– Coordinating the quantitative data processing(biomechanical data) on the description of the different languages of the project;

– Participating in the comparative analysis of two of the studied languages;

– Teaching four seminars (three hours each) at the three sites of the research

project (Paris, Montréal, Austin) via videoconference;

– Organizing biweekly seminars with undergraduate and graduate students of the team for scientific discussions.

The postdoctoral fellow 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 movements 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 fellow.

4- Eligibility

Applicants for the postdoctoral fellowship should have a sound experience in semantics, pragmatics and/or in natural language processing.

Their research projects (including doctoral dissertation) must have dealt 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. Applicants must have received their Ph. D. degree between May 1st 2005 and June 30th 2010.

Applicants must be bilingual (French-English) and must know French enough to work and teach in this language.

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 your doctoral project and of your current projects;

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. Acknowledgements of receipt of all the submitted papers and notifications of acceptance of all accepted papers (not required for papers already published).

The applicant’s name must appear on these documents. Publications without acknowledgement of receipt will not be considered.

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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