Support: Australian Languages; Language Documentation / Australia

Institution/Organization: University of Queensland
Department: School of Languages & Comparative Cultural Studies
Web Address:

Level: MA / MSc

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Language Documentation
Australian languages


Applications are now being sought for PhD/MPhil positions in the Shape of
Language program of the new Centre for Excellence for the Dynamics of Language
(CoEDL), funded by the Australian Research Council for the period mid-2014 to
mid-2021. CoEDL is launching an ambitious series of interlinked projects, focusing
on language as a dynamic and variable system, and drawing on the full diversity of
the world’s languages, through four programs focusing on the design space of
language (Shape), how it is learned (Learning) and processed (Processing), and
how linguistic structures evolve at various timescales (Evolution). Two ‘threads’
(Archiving, and New Generation technologies) will enable the technological
advances needed to drive forward the language sciences in the coming decades.
The Centre is strongly interdisciplinary and features researchers from linguistics,
speech pathology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, bioinformatics and
robotics. CoEDL is centred on four Australian Universities (Australian National
University, University of Melbourne, University of Western Sydney and University
of Queensland), with partner institutions in Australasia and the Pacific, Asia,
Europe and North America. More detailed information can be viewed at website:

The details below refer to CoEDL, University of Queensland node.

The present PhD/MPhil positions will be located at the University of Queensland,
and situated within the Shape program. Potential topics include the following:
– morpho-syntactic dialectal survey of Kriol;
– morpho-syntax of language change or contact in a well described Australian
language, e.g. an Arandic language;
– alternate registers in Central Australian languages, e.g. mother-in-law speech;
– topics in Morpho-Syntax/Semantics/Information Structure of an Gurindji,
Kaytetye or related languages;
– topics in or a grammar of a newly emerged language, e.g. Kriol, mixed language;
– grammar of a previously undescribed Australian language;
– topic suggested by applicant.

Duties and Responsibilities:
Each PhD/MPhil position will undertake substantial fieldwork in the relevant
speech community or extensive work on an existing body of material of an Arandic
or Ngumpin-Yapa language. PhD/MPhil applicants will need to successfully apply
for an Australian Postgraduate Award (or other suitable scholarship, e.g. UQ
Research Scholarship), but will receive generous fieldwork funding, conference
travel funds, and substantial training and development opportunities within the
newly ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. PhD/MPhil
students will be supervised by Felicity Meakins and/or Myfany Turpin and/or
another suitable member of the School of Languages and Comparative Cultural
Studies, as well as researchers across the other CoEDL nodes (ANU, UWS, UQ).

How to Apply:
For further details, interested applicants should contact
Felicity Meakins at
Myfany Turpin at
Please provide the following:
– a curriculum vitiate (CV) with educational qualifications, any publications and
other relevant experience (e.g. fieldwork, relevant internships);
– transcript of prior undergraduate and/or postgraduate degrees (must have at least
80% average to be competitive);
– two-page statement setting out your preferred topic, potential field site, what
skills and personal attributes you will bring to the project, and what you see as the
most interesting and challenging issues you will address;
– if available, other materials supporting your case (e.g. relevant articles or other

Application Deadline: 15-Sep-2014

Web Address for Applications:

Contact Information:
Felicity Meakins

LINGUIST List: Vol-25-3258