05/02/2020
The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

PhD in linguistics: Discourse units and discourse alignment

This job offer has expired


  • ORGANISATION/COMPANY
    Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL)
  • RESEARCH FIELD
    Language sciencesLinguistics
  • RESEARCHER PROFILE
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE
    15/04/2020 17:00 - Europe/Brussels
  • LOCATION
    Belgium › Louvain-la-Neuve
  • TYPE OF CONTRACT
    Temporary
  • JOB STATUS
    Full-time
  • HOURS PER WEEK
    38
  • OFFER STARTING DATE
    01/09/2020
  • EU RESEARCH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
  • MARIE CURIE GRANT AGREEMENT NUMBER
    859588

OFFER DESCRIPTION

Discourse units and discourse alignment

Objectives: The PhD project focuses on the interaction between (i) discourse units, (ii) discourse alignment, and (iii) discourse processing in conversation. It aims to establish whether alignment applies to the building blocks of conversational turns, beyond the level of words and phrases. Syntactic, prosodic and pragmatic components are known to be involved in the Turn-Constructional Unit (TCU), but the interaction between these three components has not been investigated in a systematic way. Recent empirical work at UCLouvain has aimed at clarifying the syntax-prosody interaction through the concept of Basic Discourse Unit, and has revealed that about 40% of BDUs are “congruent” (one-to-one syntactic-prosodic unit correspondence), whilst the syntax-prosody combination depends in the remainder of cases on the degree of discourse preparation, ranging from highly prepared (e.g., newsreading) to highly spontaneous. The project will endeavor to better understand the role of BDUs in discourse alignment and discourse processing. The goals will be (1) to establish to what extent syntax+prosody units correspond to complete pragmatic units; (2) to determine to what extent speakers align their types of BDU (congruent vs non-congruent) in conversation; (3) to experimentally test the effect of different types of syntactic-prosodic-pragmatic completions on the process of discourse comprehension and turn-ending projection.

Expected results:

  • Provide a novel and detailed characterization of alignment at the basic discourse unit level, as a function of the communicative situation.

Based in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Full-time three-year contract, starting September 2020

PhD enrolment at: Université catholique de Louvain

Main supervisor’s institution: Université catholique de Louvain

Main supervisor: Prof Liesbeth Degand

Secondments:

  • Aix-Marseille University: modelling the overall sequence organization of activities within conversation, and development of an annotation protocol (5 months);
  • Orange Labs, Lannion: to carry out experiments with conversational systems; to identify common points and differences between the results obtained for finalized human-machine dialogues vs other types of dialogues; to determine the usability of the results for modelling the architecture of a conversational system (6 months).

Co-supervisors’ institutions:

  • Aix-Marseille University, France
  • Orange Labs, Lannion, France

 

More Information

Benefits

The ESR will be contractually employed for 36 months by the main institution, and will be covered under the social security scheme of the enrolling country. She/he will monthly receive a Living Allowance, a Mobility Allowance and a Family Allowance (if applicable) compliant with the applicable EC Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions-ITN general conditions.

 

Eligibility criteria

Experience eligibility requirement: Eligible applicants must be in the first 4 years of their research careers (full-time equivalent research experience) at the signature of the contract (measured from the time the Master’s degree has been obtained).

Eligible applicants must not hold a Doctoral Degree yet.

Mobility eligibility requirement: The fellow must not have resided in the main institution’s country for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date, and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in that country.

 

Selection process

Applications must contain the following:

  • An up-to-date CV, without gaps, in order for the selectioncommittee to easily check the mobility and experience requirements. CVsthat either do not clearly show the applicant’s past experience, or have gaps, will be considered ineligible;
  • A letter exposing her/his motivation for a COBRA PhD fellowship, and her/his preference for two of the fifteen PhD projects proposed in COBRA;
  •  At least 1 reference letter (in English) from one former supervisor and/or professor;
  •  The scan of the degree (usually the master’s degree) which would formally entitle her/him to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained, or in the country in which the researcher will be recruited. If the degree has not been obtained yet, the applicant will have to provide a declaration of her/his university stating that the degree will be obtained before the expected starting date;
  •  Transcripts of records (document indicating the applicant’s ranking and marks within her/his master’s degree as well as the courses/modules she/he has followed).

The complete application should be provided in the form of one single pdf file, named as follows: lastname-firstname.pdf.

THE APPLICATION IS DONE VIA THE COBRA WEBPAGE: https://www.cobra-network.eu/

 

Offer Requirements

  • REQUIRED EDUCATION LEVEL
    Language sciences: Master Degree or equivalent
  • REQUIRED LANGUAGES
    ENGLISH: Excellent
    FRENCH: Excellent

Skills/Qualifications

  • solid training in linguistics (syntax and prosody)
  • experience with discourse annotation
  • knowledge of languages other than English and French is a plus

Specific Requirements

Applications must be in English and will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • Educational record;
  • Scientific quality of the applicant’s CV;
  • Expected impact and benefit to the fellow and to the project;
  • Previous experiences in the area of the COBRA research programme

 

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Université catholique de Louvain
Belgium
Louvain-la-Neuve
1348
Place B. Pascal 1

EURAXESS offer ID: 489097

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