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LINGUIST List 16.1742

Fri Jun 03 2005

Support: Lang Description: PhD Student, La Trobe University

Editor for this issue: Ann Sawyer <sawyerlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    alexandra aikhenvald, Language Description: PhD Student, La Trobe University, Australia

Message 1: Language Description: PhD Student, La Trobe University, Australia
Date: 02-Jun-2005
From: alexandra aikhenvald <a.aikhenvaldlatrobe.edu.au>
Subject: Language Description: PhD Student, La Trobe University, Australia

University or Organization: La Trobe University

Job Rank: PhD Student
Specialty Areas: Linguistic typology
PhD scholarships in grammatical description

The Research Centre for Linguistic Typology (RCLT) at La Trobe University in
Melbourne, Australia, invites applications from suitably qualified students to
enter the PhD program.

Our PhD candidates generally undertake extensive fieldwork on a previously
undescribed (or scarcely described) language and write a comprehensive grammar
of it for their dissertation. They are expected to work on a language which is
still actively spoken, and to establish a field situation within a community in
which it is the first language. They normally undertake a first fieldtrip of
nine to twelve months and, towards the end of their course, a follow-up
fieldtrip of two to three months. Fieldwork methodology should be centred on the
collection, transcription and analysis of texts, together with participant
observation, and — at a later stage — judicious grammatical elicitation in the
language under description (not through the lingua franca of the country). Our
main priority areas are the languages of Amazonia and the Papuan and
Austronesian languages of New Guinea. However, we do not exclude applicants who
have an established interest in languages from other areas.

PhDs in Australian universities generally involve no coursework, just a
substantial dissertation. Candidates must thus have had a thorough coursework
training before embarking on this PhD program. This should have included
courses on morphology, syntax, semantics, phonology/phonetics and
comparative-historical linguistics, taught from a non-formalist perspective. We
place emphasis on work that has a sound empirical basis but also shows a firm
theoretical orientation (in terms of general typological theory, or what has
recently come to be called basic linguistic theory).

The Research Centre for Linguistic Typology consists, at any one time, of about
twenty scholars, working on a variety of languages and typological issues.
Besides the permanent staff of Professor R M W Dixon (Director) and Professor
Alexandra Y Aikhenvald (Associate Director) we have an array of Research Fellows
and PhD students; each year a number of senior scholars from across the world
spend from three to six months with us as Visiting Fellows. Over the past decade
the Research Centre has included specialists on languages from the following
families or areas: Tsimshian, Algonquian, Athabaskan, Mayan, Oto-Manguean,
Eskimo-Aleut, Chukchee, Arawak, Carib, Arawá, Jê, Panaoan, Jívaro, Tacanan,
Indo-European, Dravidian, Turkic, Uralic, Niger-Congo, Afro-asiatic, Khoisan,
Tai-Kadai, Sinitic, Tibeto-Burman, Austro-asiatic, Papuan, Austronesian and

There is also an excellent Department of Linguistics in the Faculty of
Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University headed by Professor Randy
LaPolla. And there are fine Departments of Linguistics at the University of
Melbourne and at Monash University.

The scholarship will be at the standard La Trobe University rate, Australian
$18,000 p.a. Students coming from overseas are liable for a visa fee
(effectively, a tuition fee); we will pay this. A small relocation allowance may
be provided on taking up the scholarship. In addition, an appropriate allowance
will be made to cover fieldwork expenses. The scholarship is for three years.

Further information about RCLT is at our website: http://www.latrobe.edu.au/rclt.
See, in particular, our February 2005 Newsletter, available on this web site.

Prospective applicants are invited to get in touch with Professor Aikhenvald at
a.aikhenvaldlatrobe.edu.au, providing details of their background,
qualifications and interests.

Address for Applications:

Prof Alexandra Aikhenvald
La Trobe University
Melbourne Victoria 3086

Contact Information:

Prof Alexandra Aikhenvald
Website: http://www.latrobe.edu.au/rclt

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