Job opportunity: research assistantship in Sign Linguistics (Formal Syntax and Typology, LSC): Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

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The research group GLiF (Grup de Lingüística Formal) at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) announces an opening for a 4-year research assistantship associated to the project Clause combining in sign languages: the grammar of complex sentences in Catalan Sign Language in a crosslinguistic and crossmodal perspective (CLAUSECOMBISL, FFI2009-10492/FILO), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and starting in 2010.
The project aims at investigating the mechanisms of clause combining in sign languages (SLs), a scarcely studied area in most cases, if at all. Empirically, the research will focus on Catalan Sign Language (LSC), which lacks descriptions of the relevant phenomena almost entirely. The project has two major goals: to remedy the gap in grammatical description for clause combining strategies in LSC and to contribute to linguistic typology and, specially, to linguistic theory with SL research, a domain that can no longer be neglected when trying to elucidate which properties of human languages are modality-(in)dependent –modality being understood as either oral-aural or gestural-visual. With these goals in mind, we resort to typological knowledge and theoretical syntactic accounts of crosslinguistic variation, which will in turn be enriched with new data and insights from SLs. The project will try to identify and analyze the SL counterparts of classic subordination (argument, relative and adjunct clauses), parataxis, conjunction and disjunction along with serial verb constructions and clause-chaining.
            This project follows up on two previous projects that focused on research into SLs, specifically LSC, from the point of view of theoretical linguistics. At present it involves two senior researchers, two Deaf LSC research assistants and two PhD students at the Department of Translation and Languages Sciences (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) and the Department of General Linguistics (Universitat de Barcelona).
The basic eligibility requirement is a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent by the end of June 2010.
The interested candidates should:
-have a background in Sign Linguistics, especially in syntax,
-be proficient in a sign language and, in case it is not LSC, be ready to learn it,
-be ready to carry out his/her own research on a topic related the group’s one, leading to a PhD,
-be willing to conduct fieldwork and contribute to the research activities of the group, and
-have a good command of English and some knowledge of Catalan or Spanish, or be ready to acquire it.
The position includes a monthly stipend, coverage by the Social Security system, and university fees related to doctoral study. The assistantship also includes the possibility of applying for grants for short-term stays abroad. Annual renewal of the assistantship will depend on successful progress in the doctoral program and collaboration on the research project. The first 24 months have the status of a scholarship and the following 24 months have a work-contract form.
As the application for these assistantships will be handled through the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, individuals who are interested in applying are advised to contact us in advance.

For more information please contact Josep Quer (see contact information below) as soon as possible, and in any case no later than December 31st, 2009. Interested candidates are requested to send their CV and a sample writing to him. The Ministry’s application period will be open in January just for 15 days, therefore the documents required for the application should be prepared well in advance.
For information (in Spanish) about last year’s call, visit the MICINN website:
Contact information:
For more information about GLiF, visit our website:

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