[Corpora-List] metaphor in discourse

G.J. Steen gj.steen at let.vu.nl
Fri Jun 16 12:02:03 CEST 2006

(Apologies for cross-postings)

2 PhD Positions in Metaphor and Discourse Analysis f/m
For 1,0 fte each

Vacancynumber 1.2006.00132

The Faculty of Arts at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is
inviting applications for two PhD positions, beginning 1
September 2006 or as soon as possible thereafter, in the
vici-programme ‘Metaphor in discourse: linguistic forms,
conceptual structures, cognitive representations.’ This is
a five-year research programme, awarded to Gerard Steen by
the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
(NWO), which started 1 September 2005. It addresses the
role of metaphor in discourse by examining its
distribution, structure, function, and effect in four
varieties of English. The hypothesis is that distinct
linguistic forms and conceptual structures of metaphor
display distributions and functions of their own, and that
these interact with the domains of discourse in which
language users employ them. The programme aims at
describing and explaining these interactions on the basis
of detailed corpus research on four samples from the
British National Corpus, and at testing the cognitive
effects of some of these interactions in their mental
representation by language users. Metaphor in discourse is
modelled by means of a discourse-analytical elaboration of
the cognitive-linguistic approach to metaphor as a
cross-domain mapping. Research involves corpus analysis of
samples from the British National Corpus and
psycholinguistic experiments on various aspects of
metaphor processing.

The vici-programme is part of one of the four research
programmes of the Institute of Language, Culture, and
History of the Faculty of Arts at the Vrije Universiteit,
‘The architecture of the human language faculty’. This
research programme investigates the modular structure of
human language and cognition, with participation from
formal, functional, and cognitive grammarians, and
psycholinguists as well as discourse analysts.

The vici-programme is also connected to the Ster research
programme of the Vrije Universiteit on ‘Text, cognition,
and communication’, an interdisciplinary research
programme between the faculties of Arts, Psychology, and
Social Science, with the Faculty of Arts concentrating on
‘The conversationalization of public discourse’ in the
usage of Dutch.

The two PhD projects will complement two other PhD
projects which started a year ago. The four PhD projects
constitute the core of the programme. Each of the projects
will eventually concentrate on the use of metaphor in one
specific language variety: conversation, news texts,
academic texts, and fiction. All projects are organized by
an integrated timetable, and the research is characterized
by a great deal of synchronized team work. During the
first year, the researchers identify metaphors in samples
from all four language varieties, after which each
researcher will concentrate on one language variety for
the rest of the programme.

Each of the two PhD projects involves research training
and aims at completing a dissertation within four years.
As part of their training, PhD students take courses
offered by the National Graduate School in Linguistics
(LOT). They also present work at annual expert meetings
and participate in international conferences. Candidates
will also be requested to make a small contribution to the
teaching programme of the School of Language and
Communication at the Vrije Universiteit.

Candidates should have native-speaker or near-native
speaker command of (British) English. They should have an
excellent MA thesis in English language and linguistics,
or be able to show that such a thesis will be completed by
August 31. Expertise in metaphor, discourse analysis,
cognitive linguistics, and/or corpus linguistics will be
regarded as an advantage.

Appointment will initially be for one year, to be extended
with a maximum of three more years upon positive
evaluation. General conditions of employment can be found
at www.vu.nl/vacatures.
Non-native speakers of Dutch are expected to acquire a
basic command of Dutch in the first two years of their

For all projects we offer a full-time four-year PhD
position with gross monthly salary starting at
€ 1.933,- in the first year to € 2.472,- in the fourth
year of appointment.

A full description of the complete programme and
additional information about the vacancy can be obtained
from dr. G.J. Steen, phone 0031 (0)20 59 86433, e-mail
address: Gj.Steen at let.vu.nl.

Your letter of application will have to be in by Saturday
1 July. Please send your application to Vrije
Universiteit, Faculteit der Letteren, t.a.v. dr. B.
Weltens, directeur bedrijfsvoering, De Boelelaan 1105,
1081 HV Amsterdam, or by e-mail to vacature at let.vu.nl.
Applications (by regular mail or by e-mail) should include
a curriculum vitae and the names and addresses of two
referees. An MA thesis and a list of courses plus results
should also be included.
E-mail applications should be sent in pdf format and
should specify your name and vacancy number in the message
as well as in the topic, include a list of attachments in
the message, and specify your name in every attachment.
Interviews are planned between Monday 17 and Wednesday 19
July 2006.

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