PhD position Linguistics/Philosophy (1.0 fte)

University of Groningen

Faculty of Philosophy

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 30,000 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 PhD position is jointly hosted by two departments, The Department of Theoretical Philosophy in the Faculty of Philosophy, and the Center for Language and Communication in the Faculty of Arts. The successful applicant will be working under direct supervision of Dr. Emar Maier with co-supervision of promotores Prof. Petra Hendriks and Prof. Jan-Willem Romeijn.

Job description
The Faculties of Philosophy and Arts of the University of Groningen are looking for a PhD candidate in the NWO-funded research project "The Language of Fiction and Imagination" led by Dr Emar Maier.

Project description
Fiction is interpreted differently from non-fiction. In the context of a fiction, the usual expectations of truth and reference are out the window. We all know that Frodo never existed, yet we can interpret stories about him and even be emotionally involved with this non-existent character. Since traditional formal semantics has fundamental difficulties with things like non-referring names and inconsistent plots, literary scholars have turned to cognitive linguistics. The current project will build a bridge between cognitive and formal semantics, exploiting existing semantic frameworks (e.g. Discourse Representation Theory, Mental Spaces), and philosophy (e.g. Mental Files, pretense theories of fiction), in order to arrive at a formally explicit account of the interpretation of fiction.

The project has three parts: (A) formally modelling mental states, including imagination and belief (PhD1); (B) modelling fiction as imagination updates (PI); and (C) analyzing linguistic fiction markers (PhD2). The position advertised is for subproject C. It is centred on the linguistic questions raised by the project as a whole: How does a reader even know that a given text is fiction? Are there linguistic clues an author can leave to mark a text as fiction? Putative examples of such "fiction markers" include narrative subject--verb inversion (in Dutch: "Komt een skelet bij de dokter..."), past tense marking in children's pretend play ("You were the father and I was the baby"), the historical present, and free indirect discourse. The goal is to give a formal semantic analysis of these and other constructions, building on the semantic machinery for fiction interpretation developed in the other subprojects, and engaging with existing work in both formal/cognitive linguistics and literary studies/narratology.

Our ideal candidate has:
- a strong background in formal semantics (through training in theoretical linguistics, logic, and/or philosophy of language), and a clear interest in literature/narratology
- excellent English and academic writing/presentation skills
- an MA or MSc degree in a field relevant to the project (e.g. linguistics, philosophy, literary studies, A.I.).

Conditions of employment
Contract length: 48 maanden.
The University of Groningen offers a salary of € 2,174 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 2,779 (salary scale PhD candidates Dutch Universities) gross per month in the final year, based on a fulltime position, excluding an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-the-year bonus. The position requires residence in Groningen and must result in a PhD thesis within the contract period. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement. The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. The preferred starting date is 1 January 2017, or earlier. How to apply You may apply for this position until 20 September 23.59 Dutch local time / before 21 September 2016 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website). Applications should include the following documents: - letter of motivation, explaining your interest and expertise in the topic (2-4 pages) - curriculum vitae, with contact information of two academic referees - list of grades - MA/MSc thesis - an additional writing sample (e.g. an essay or BA thesis, approx. 3000-7000 words). Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.
Maximum salary: 2779.

Additional information
For additional information, please contact:
Dr Emar Maier

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 216219
Extra informatie kan worden verkregen via een van de volgende links:

Project homepage

Digital application form