The Utrecht Institute of Linguistics (UiL OTS) invites applications for a PhD position in the area of formal semantics. This project will develop a theory of spatial and reciprocal expressions across languages. Starting from current theories of spatial meanings and reciprocal expressions (Zwarts & Winter 2000, Poortman et al. 2018, Winter 2018), the project will extensively compare meanings of these expressions in different languages. These data will be employed for developing a new formal semantic theory of spatial and reciprocal expressions across languages.
The project will be supervised by Dr. Joost Zwarts and Prof. Yoad Winter, in collaboration with Dr. Eva Poortman (UiL OTS) and Prof. James Hampton (Psychology, City, University of London). Work at the UiL OTS will be part of the ROCKY project, financed by an ERC Advanced grant to Prof. Yoad Winter.
Tasks for the PhD candidate will include:
- completion and defence of a PhD thesis within four years;
- regular presentation of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
- publication of peer-reviewed articles in established international journals or conference proceedings;
- help with organizational tasks connected to the project, such as the organization of conferences and workshops;
- participation in training programmes and expert meetings scheduled for the project;
- participation in selected training programmes scheduled for the Research Institute, Graduate School and the National Research School.
E.B. Poortman et al. 2018. Reciprocal expressions and the Maximal Typicality Hypothesis. Glossa, 3:18, 1–30.
Y. Winter 2018. Symmetric Predicates and the Semantics of Reciprocal Alternations. Semantics and Pragmatics, 11.
Zwarts, J. and Winter, Y., 2000. Vector space semantics: A model-theoretic analysis of locative prepositions. Journal of logic, language and information, 9(2), 169-211.
The successful applicant for this position should have a strong background in formal semantics and linguistic theory. Applicants should ideally hold, or be about to complete, an excellent Master's degree in Formal Semantics. Excellent candidates with a research thesis in logic, mathematics, artificial intelligence, and/or computer science will also be considered, in case they can demonstrate active interest in theoretical linguistics. Good communication skills, proficiency in spoken and written English, as well as a keen interest in problem solving and research are essential.
The successful candidate will be appointed on a fixed-term full-time basis (38 hours per week/1.0 FTE), starting 1 September 2018 or soon thereafter. The appointment is initially for a period of 18 months. Upon good performance and a positive evaluation, the contract will be extended for the remaining period of 30 months (4 years in total). The gross monthly salary starts at €2,222 in the first year, and ends at €2,840 (Scale P Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment.
Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8 % and a year-end bonus of 8.3 % per year. We offer a pension scheme, (partly paid) parental leave, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information is available at: working at Utrecht University.