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Leverhulme Sociolingusitics PhD Scholarships

Deadline: 14 March 2014

PhD scholarships in sociolinguistics
Department of Linguistics
Crossroads Project
Scholarships including fees at UK/EU level plus maintenance of ca. £16,500 per year
Fixed term for three years starting in October 2014

We seek to recruit two Home/EU fee status PhD students with a specialisation in sociolinguistics in the Leverhulme Research Leadership Award Project “Crossroads – investigating the unexplored side of multilingualism” led by Prof. Friederike Lüpke.

Candidates should hold a first class MA in linguistics or sociolinguistics and demonstrate a strong interest in field-based research. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and good ones in French are essential. Experience in working on non-European, in particular African, languages is desired. Expertise in quantitative methods is a plus.

The successful candidates will join a dynamic interdisciplinary research group consisting in total of three PostDoctoral researchers, three Home/EU PhD students, three Senegalese PhD students, three senior researchers, and a project co-ordinator, plus a number of external advisors. The project investigates the social networks and communities of practice and their impact on language structure and use in three multilingual village communities in Casamance, Southern Senegal. The main languages under scrutiny are Joola Kujireray, Joola Eegimaa (or Banjal) and Baïnounk Gubëeher, all of which are minority languages whose description and documentation has only recently started. Other relevant languages in the context of the project are Joola Fogny and Wolof. In close collaboration with Senegalese PhD students, and mentored by the other team members, the PhD students will collect data on social networks in one of the Crossroads communities and develop a PhD research topic related to them (e.g. on the influence of multilingualism and social networks on identity, detailed studies of a community of practice, representations of these language, or attitudes towards them, etc.). Although the main focus of the PhD project should lie in the area of sociolinguistics and ethnography of communication, there will be plenty of opportunity to work closely together with other team members on the investigation of phonological, semantic or syntactic phenomena from the perspective of variation and language contact. All PhD students will spend approximately three months a year in the field over a period of three years.

Applications should include a CV, an outline of research experience and how it could benefit the Leverhulme project, and two letters of reference, one of them from the primary supervisor of the MA thesis.  To be e-mailed to Anne-Laure Vieillé (av19@soas.ac.uk) by 14 March 2014

References should be emailed by the referees using the official letterhead of the university to Anne-Laure Vieillé (av10@soas.ac.uk) by the closing date.
Further information on these scholarships and on the project are available upon request from Prof. Friederike Lüpke: fl2@soas.ac.uk
The award of a scholarship will be subject to a successful application for an offer of a research degree place.

Closing date: 14 March 2014
Skype interviews with shortlisted candidates will be held during week commencing: 17 March 2014