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FYI: EoI: Visiting Fellows, Anthropological Linguistics


Author: Alexandra Aikhenvald

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics

FYI Body: EXCITING RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY IN ANTHROPOLOGICAL LINGUISTICS
LANGUAGE AND CULTURE RESEARCH CENTRE, JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY,
AUSTRALIA

AN OPPORTUNITY HAS ARISEN, FOR A TOP-CLASS, HIGHLY MOTIVATED LINGUIST, TO
SPEND 6-10 MONTHS AS A VISITING FELLOW WITHIN THE LANGUAGE AND
CULTURE RESEARCH CENTRE, AT JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY, SITUATED IN THE
TROPICAL CITY OF CAIRNS, NORTH QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA. THEY WOULD WORK
WITH DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR ALEXANDRA Y. AIKHENVALD AND PROFESSOR R.
M. W. DIXON WITHIN THE PROJECT 'THE WORLD THROUGH THE PRISM OF
LANGUAGE: A CROSS-LINGUISTIC VIEW OF NOUN CLASSES, GENDERS AND
CLASSIFIERS'. WE INVITE EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST FROM SCHOLARS AT ALL LEVELS,
FROM POST-DOCTORAL ON UP.

THE SUMMARY OF THE PROJECT IS:

GENDERS, NOUN CLASSES AND CLASSIFIERS ARE THE GRAMMATICAL MEANS FOR
LINGUISTIC CATEGORISATION OF NOUNS AND NOMINALS. SEMANTIC FEATURES THEY
ENCODE OFFER ‘A UNIQUE WINDOW’ INTO HOW HUMANS CONSTRUCT
REPRESENTATIONS OF THE WORLD AND ENCODE THEM INTO THEIR LANGUAGES.

THE AIM OF THIS PROJECT IS TO INVESTIGATE, ACROSS THE WORLD'S LANGUAGES,
THE GAMUT OF NOUN CLASSIFICATION DEVICES, THEIR MEANINGS, AND THEIR
CORRELATIONS WITH THE SOCIO-CULTURAL AND PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH A
LANGUAGE IS SPOKEN. PARTICULAR ATTENTION WILL BE PAID TO LITTLE KNOWN
LANGUAGES FROM NEW GUINEA AND AMAZONIA. THE PROJECT HAS FAR-
REACHING IMPLICATIONS FOR STUDIES OF HUMAN INTERACTION AND COGNITION.

THE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE RESEARCH CENTRE (LCRC) BRINGS TOGETHER
LINGUISTS, ANTHROPOLOGISTS, OTHER SOCIAL SCIENTISTS AND THOSE WORKING IN
THE HUMANITIES. THE PRIMARY INTENT OF THE CENTRE IS TO INVESTIGATE THE
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LANGUAGEAND THE CULTURAL BEHAVIOUR OF THOSE WHO
SPEAK IT. IT ALSO STUDIES THE RELATIONS BETWEEN ARCHAEOLOGY, PREHISTORY,
HUMAN BIOLOGY, COGNITION STUDIES AND LINGUISTICS, BASED ON IN-DEPTH
EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATIONS OF LANGUAGES AND CULTURES IN THE TROPICAL AREAS,
INCLUDING THOSE OF THE PACIFIC (ESPECIALLY THE PAPUAN LANGUAGES OF NEW
GUINEA), THE LANGUAGES OF AMAZONIA, AND OF INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIA.
(THE WEBSITE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION).

FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE POSITION, AND THE LCRC, IS AVAILABLE FROM
PROFESSOR AIKHENVALD AT ALEXANDRA.AIKHENVALD@JCU.EDU.AU.

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