Support: Linguistic Theories / Netherlands

Institution/Organization: Meertens Instituut
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Duties: Research,Project Work

Specialty Areas: Linguistic Theories
Dialectology, Dialect Geography


This PhD project is part of the project Maps and Grammar (
Maps and Grammar investigates the relation between the geographic distribution of linguistic variables (i.e. syntactic, phonological and morphological properties) and their organization in mental grammars. One of the central questions is if and how we can put (partial) grammars on geographic maps, instead of individual linguistic variables.

The selected candidate will get a contract for 1 year (38 hours/week). If successful, this contract can be extended to a 4-year position.

Duties and Responsibilities:
The project will start out from a part of grammar which shows a lot of dialect variation, to be chosen in consultation with the other researchers in the group. Examples include the pronominal systems or the sound systems of Dutch dialects. Data will be taken from syntactic, morphological, and phonological databases. There is no absolute requirement that the work is done on the basis of Dutch. Dialect variation in other languages can also be studied, provided there are enough data available in electronic form.
The PhD student should model this fragment as a formal system (of rules, constraints or constructions), and visualize the developed partial grammars on geographic maps. The key question is whether the maps which are built in this way, based on more ‘abstract’ principles, are significantly different from traditional maps that are typically based on more ‘superficial’ data, such as different words. The answer to this question will be central in the dissertation. Another question to be answered is how the differences between partial grammars can be measured.

All applicants should posses:
– MA in theoretical and/or computational linguistics;
– excellent research skills;
– programming and modeling skills;
– aptitude to work in a research team and independently;
– interest in the theoretical analysis of micro-linguistic variation.

How to apply:
Please send your application with CV and MA thesis before June 16, 2014 to:
Meertens Instituut, Human Resource Department,
Mrs. M. Lucassen (
PO Box 94264, Amsterdam NL-1090 GG

For information on this position you can contact:
Prof. dr. Sjef Barbiers
Phone: 0031204628530

A more extensive project description can be found at:

Application Deadline: 16-Jun-2014

Mailing Address for Applications:
Attn: Mrs Marcia Lucassen
PO Box 94264
Amsterdam NL-1090 GG

Contact Information:
Prof Sjef Barbiers

LINGUIST List: Vol-25-1921