The University of Konstanz has been successful in the German Excellence Initiative since 2007.
Three PhD positions are available on the ERC-funded project “Sociolinguistic typology and responsive features in syntactic history” (STARFISH), led by Prof. George Walkden in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Konstanz.
The aim of the project is to find out whether adult second-language acquisition can lead to changes in the syntax of a language in historical time. In particular, we're interested in whether there are syntactic features that are particularly favoured or disfavoured in languages historically characterized by a high proportion of adult second-language acquirers independently of what their first language is, and – if so – what these “responsive” features are. The project takes as a starting point Peter Trudgill's theory of sociolinguistic typology, in particular the idea that different language contact scenarios favour different types of change.
The role of the project’s doctoral researchers is to investigate these ideas in the domain of diachronic syntax using evidence from historical corpora. You can read more about the project, its aims and its hypotheses at https://www.ling.uni-konstanz.de/en/walkden/starfish/.
For information please contact Prof. George Walkden, firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to receiving your application, consisting of an academic CV, a writing sample (e.g. an essay), and a short overview of a possible PhD project as part of STARFISH (maximum of 2 pages, including examples and references where relevant), by 8 June 2020 through our Online Application Portal.