At the Department of Linguistics of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingu) a half time position for a researcher at the PhD or PostDoc level (pay scale EGr. 13TV-L, 50%) is available for 3 years beginning in June 2012 or later. The position is part of the project ''The relative frequencies of nouns, pronouns, and verbs cross-linguistically'', funded by the Volkswagen Foundation's DoBeS program (www.mpi.nl/dobes).
The project investigates the relative frequencies of nouns, pronouns, and verbs in spoken language corpora of seven languages (for details, see http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua/research/relative-frequencies.php). The main research questions are: (i) How exactly and why do languages vary in the overall relative frequencies of noun, pronoun, and verb tokens employed in discourse? (ii) How exactly and why do the relative frequencies of nouns, pronouns, and verbs vary as narrative texts unfold?
The candidate should have a background in computational linguistics, ideally in corpus-linguistic methods. The candidate should have a demonstrable interest in typological linguistics, and ideally have had some formal training in this area. Prior acquaintance with a scripting language is required. Prior acquaintance with R (www.r-project.org) and Unicode would be advantages.
Candiates at the Ph.D. level will be given the opportunity to work on a Ph.D. thesis related to this project. The Ph.D. thesis should ideally include a discussion of the methodological issues involved in this project, and a detailed investigation of a research question to be determined together with the candidate.
The duties of the candidate are to further develop and apply routines to process and analyze the multilingual corpora used in this project. This includes - importing annotated texts files into R - developing methods to detect systematic errors in tagging and create consistent tagging - developing scripts for frequency analyses and other statistical analyses in R - developing creative visualizations of results for presentations and publications
The candidate will receive training and continued supervision throughout the project in the computational methods and in the linguistic issues involved. Project work will be supported by two student assistants.
Applicants should already have an MA in Linguistics, Computer Science, or an equivalent qualification by the start of their appointment. Applicants at the Ph.D. level have the possibility of obtaining their doctoral degree through the University of Leipzig (http:/www.uni-leipzig.de).
Good knowledge of English is required.
Applicants are requested to send a C.V. and a statement of research interests (2-3 pages) to the address given below or by e-mail. Applicants should provide the names of two referees in their application and arrange for them to send letters of reference directly to Dr. Frank Seifart. E-mail applications, preferably as one single pdf-document, are welcome.
Application deadline: Until filled. We will start reviewing applications on May 20.
The position is available from as soon as June 2012, but a later starting date is possible.
Application Address and Applicant Contact: Dr. Frank Seifart Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Deutscher Platz 6 Leipzig 04103 Germany frank_seifart at eva.mpg.de