Joeleonhart’s Weblog

To Learn and To Share

PhD student “Development of Phonetic Contrasts”

PhD student “Development of Phonetic Contrasts” (1.0 fte)
Faculty of Arts
Vacancy number: 23.32.08
Closing date: 14-09-2008

Job description
The NWO project A Computational Model of Language Acquisition aims to develop a computational model of language acquisition. The project team will comprise a postdoc and two PhD students. The PhD student will conduct experimental research and computer simulations to shed light on a number of related issues in the early (pre-lingual) language acquisition phase. For example, it needs to be explained why 8-month old infants can reliably distinguish between /d/ and /b/ in non-words, but can no longer do so at 14-months, except if they know the words. Another research topic is the asymmetry in the role of phonological features: alveolars cannot substitute bilabials, whereas the opposite is quite possible, i.e. bilabials can substitute alveolars. Also, differences between the roles of consonants and vowels in early language acquisition need to be investigated.

In addition to designing and conducting suitable experiments, the PhD student is expected to have completed a PhD thesis on the topic by the end of the contract.

The successful candidate has a Master’s Degree in Language Acquisition, Phonetics or Experimental Psychology. She/he has an affinity with interdisciplinary experimental research, has excellent writing skills and is fluent in English. Because the experiments will focus on the acquisition of Dutch, command of the Dutch language is a definite advantage.

The Faculty of Arts consists of eleven departments in the area of language and culture, history, history of arts, linguistics and business communication, which together cater for about 2,700 students and collaborate closely in teaching and research. The project will be carried out at the research institute Centre for Language Studies as part of the Linguistic Information Processing and Grammar and Cognition research programmes.

Conditions of employment
The total duration of the contract is 3.5 years. The PhD student will receive an initial contract for the duration of 1.5 year with the possibility of prolongation for another 2 years.

Additional information
The starting gross salary is € 2.000 per month based upon a full-time employment.

For further information such as a copy of the project proposal, please contact prof. dr. Paula Fikkert (

Application letters, including extensive CV and MA thesis or other publications, (with vacancy number: 23.32.08, preferably by e-mail) can be sent to:

Radboud University Nijmegen, Faculty of Arts,
Department of Human Resources, attn. of Ms. A. Graat
P.O. Box 9103, 6500 HD Nijmegen, the Netherlands

September 9, 2008 - Posted by | Scholarships - Beasiswa

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: