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“Mutual intelligibility of closely related languages in Europe: linguistic and non-linguistic determinants” project, University of Groningen, Application Deadline March 15

PhD positions General Linguistics/Phonetics (3,0 fte) (211031-33)

You can apply for these vacancies until the closing date of 15 March 2011


Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage what are currently 27,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

The university is an equal opportunities employer. Because women are still underrepresented in a number of fields, they are particularly encouraged to apply.

Job description

Applications are invited for three PhD students at the Graduate School for the Humanities, Center for Language and Cognition Groningen. Successful applicants will join the project Mutual intelligibility of closely related languages in Europe: linguistic and non-linguistic determinants which is funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). The aim of the project is to investigate the mutual intelligibility of related languages within the Germanic, Slavic and Romance language families. The results will be correlated with linguistic factors, such as phonetic and lexical distances, as well as extra-linguistic factors, such as language attitudes towards and familiarity with the languages concerned. Tests will also be carried out with English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) to compare the (mutual) intelligibility of related languages with the (mutual) intelligibility of ELF as spoken by the same groups of speakers. Each PhD student will cover one of the language areas (Germanic, Slavic or Romance) but they will work together methodologically and cooperate with senior researchers. The full project description can be downloaded from:


Preference will be given to candidates who can offer the following:

  • university graduate
  • Master’s degree in phonetics, linguistics (or related field)
  • good knowledge of languages and the language situation in the relevant language area (Germanic, Slavic or Romance)
  • an interest in experimental research, language planning, sociolinguistics, computational linguistics
  • statistical knowledge
  • experience with speech manipulation and speech processing programmes (e.g. PRAAT)
  • strong motivation to complete a PhD dissertation in four years
  • proven research abilities
  • publication skills and desire to publish
  • fluency in written and spoken English (TOEFL 620, IELTS 7,5, Cambridge Advanced CAE)
  • ability to work collaboratively
  • an accurate way of working
  • self motivation.

Conditions of employment

The University of Groningen offers a salary of € 2,042 gross per month in the first year to € 2,612 gross per month in the fourth year (figures based on full employment). The full-time appointment is temporary for a specified period of four years.

The 3 PhD candidates will be affiliated with the computational linguistics group of the Center for Language and Cognition Groningen (CLCG) at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen. This institute embraces all the Linguistics research in the faculty. The PhD candidate will be enrolled in the research training program of the Graduate School for the Humanities.

These positions require residence in Groningen, 38 hours/week research and research training, and must result in PhD dissertations. After the first year there will be an assessment of the candidates’ results and the progress of the project to decide whether the employment will be continued.

How to apply:
You can apply for these vacancies until the closing date of 15 March 2011.

Applications (in English or Dutch) should contain the following:

  • a letter of application
  • your curriculum vitae (including a list of publications, if any)
  • a copy of your diploma together with a list of grades; a copy of your passport
  • a copy of an article or short paper
  • the names and email addresses of two referees.

Send us your entire application in just 1 pdf-file please using the link to the application form below. Do NOT send your application to the e-mail addresses mentioned in this text. Incomplete dossiers will not be taken into consideration.

Job interviews will take place on 14 and 15 April 2011.

Starting date of the PhD projects: 1 September 2011.


Dr Charlotte Gooskens, +31 50 3635827,

Wyke van der Meer (for practical information),

Center for Language and Cognition Groningen


Application form for General Linguistics/Phonetics (3,0 fte) (211031-33)

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