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LINGUIST List 19.3070

Fri Oct 10 2008

Support: Semantics, Pragmatics: PhD Student, Utrecht University

Editor for this issue: Luiza Newlin Lukowicz <luizalinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Rianne Giethoorn, Semantics, Pragmatics: PhD Student, Utrecht University, Netherlands

Message 1: Semantics, Pragmatics: PhD Student, Utrecht University, Netherlands
Date: 09-Oct-2008
From: Rianne Giethoorn <rianne.giethoornlet.uu.nl>
Subject: Semantics, Pragmatics: PhD Student, Utrecht University, Netherlands
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Institution/Organization: Utrecht University
Department: UiL OTS
Web Address: http://www-uilots.let.uu.nl/

Level: PhD

Duties: Research,Teaching

Job Rank: PhD

Specialty Areas: Pragmatics; Semantics


Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS is now offering

1 PhD position in formal semantics (1,0 fte)
1 PhD position in formal semantics/pragmatics (1,0 fte)

These two PhD positions are part of a five-year research programme funded by The
Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research NWO. The programme, supervised
by Dr. Rick Nouwen, investigates gradability in natural language.

The main goal of the project is to broaden the perspective on gradability by
investigating degree phenomena that lack the use of specialised degree
vocabulary. There are three main research questions: (i) what are the semantic
structures underlying gradability?; (ii) what are the pragmatic mechanisms that
play a role in the expression of degree?; (iii) what is the relation between
degree, vagueness and context-dependence?

Job description
The current opening is for:
PhD project 1 The role of scales in a broader view on gradability (vacancy
number 68853; preferable starting date 1-1-2009):
This project focuses on the role of scales in gradable expressions. It is known
that the scale structure involved in the semantics of adjectives determines the
ways in which they are degree-modifiable. This project investigates cases of
degree modification of which the underlying structures are unknown (like
degree-modified nouns, determiners, etc.) and seeks to develop a comprehensive
theory of scalar aspects of degree.

PhD project 2 Degree modification without predicate modification (vacancy number
68854; preferable starting date 1-1-2009):
This project focuses on the role of emotion and attitude markers on degree.
Exclamatives ("What a tall man!"), expressives ("wow", "damned"), and
evaluatives ("amazingly") can all manipulate degree. This project intends to
discover how to properly characterise the interaction between gradable
predicates and such markers.

A full description of the projects is available at

The PhD projects involve training in research and completion of a PhD
dissertation. As part of her/his training, the PhD student will take courses
offered by the National Graduate School in Linguistics (LOT).

Required qualifications
We are looking for an ambitious student who is willing and able to work in a
closely collaborating team. The candidate must have an MA degree in hand by the
starting date. Specific requirements for the individual projects are given below:

Project 1/68853
An MA degree in linguistics or cognitive science. Knowledge of formal semantic
models is an advantage.

Project 2/68854
An MA degree in linguistics or theoretical philosophy. Knowledge of formal
pragmatics is an advantage.

For further information, please contact the project supervisor at the UiL OTS,
dr. Rick Nouwen, telephone +31-30-2536076, e-mail Rick.Nouwen at let.uu.nl, or
the UiL-OTS PhD coordinator dr. Maaike Schoorlemmer, telephone +31-30-2536183,
e-mail Maaike.Schoorlemmer at let.uu.nl. You might also like to consult our
institute's website: http://www-uilots.let.uu.nl/.

How to apply?
please check the application website (URL provided below).

Interviews are planned during the week starting Monday, November 24, 2008.

Applications Deadline: 03-Nov-2008

Mailing Address for Applications:
        Attn: Mrs I. Wagenaar
        Kromme Nieuwegracht 46
        Utrecht Utrecht 3512 HJ

Web Address for Applications: http://www-uilots.let.uu.nl/General%20Information/Vacancies/advertisement%20PhD%20applications%202008.2.htm

Contact Information:
        Dr. R. Nouwen
        Phone:+31 (0) 30 253 6076

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