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PhD fellowship in contrastive corpus linguistics (French/Dutch/English), University of Liège, Belgium

The Department of Modern Languages of the University of Liège (Belgium) and the Institute for Language and Communication at the Université catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium) are looking for applicants for a fully funded four-year PhD fellowship in contrastive corpus linguistics (French/Dutch/English). 

The PhD project is part of the FNRS-funded project “How do grammar and discourse interact? Answers from subordination, coordination and insubordination”. The candidate’s supervisors will be An Van linden (University of Liège) and Liesbeth Degand (Université catholique de Louvain) in a joint degree programme. 

The goal of this research project is to investigate the grammar-discourse interface and more specifically the question of how speakers bend the language system’s affordances (i.e. grammar) to new uses in discourse. In particular, it will concentrate on patterns of adverbial insubordination (e.g. As if I had nothing else to do!) and aims to move beyond constructional analyses provided for the phenomenon so far by investigating which discourse-interactional conditions facilitate it, and which prosodic features co-signal it. It will be based on spoken corpus samples of at least two of the following three languages: French, Dutch and English. 


– Master in Linguistics, Linguistics and Literature, or Philology (or equivalent), with excellent study results; 
– an excellent command of French and/or Dutch (native or near-native) and a good command of (spoken and written) academic English; 
– familiarity with corpus linguistic methods and tools as well as strong analytical skills and creativity; 
– an interest in authentic corpus data of French, Dutch and English; 
– a passion for linguistics and an international orientation (i.a. for research stays abroad during the doctoral period); 
– the capacity to work independently and as part of a team; 
– the ability to present research results at international conferences, and to publish in English in peer-reviewed journals; 
– previous experience with statistical analysis of corpus data and/or analysis of discourse features and/or prosodic analysis is an asset 


– The candidate will have the opportunity to do doctoral research in the context of the above-mentioned project, during 4 years. 
– The candidate will have 90% of his/her time available for his/her doctoral research activities; 10% will be dedicated to other (administrative) services. 
– The candidate will receive a grant of approximately 1800 EUR/month (including social security). In addition, s/he will be allocated office space and a laptop, and receive funding for research activities like attending conferences abroad. 
– The candidate will take part in the doctoral training programme, as stipulated by the joint degree conventions. 
– starting date: not later than 1 July 2020 

If you are interested, please e-mail your application file to Prof. An Van linden and Prof. Liesbeth Degand (, including: 

(i) a cover letter describing your motivation, stating why you want to do this research (in English) 
(ii) a detailed CV (in English or French) 
(iii) a list of grades obtained for your Bachelor and Master programmes 
(iv) the names and contact details of two academic referees we may contact prior to appointment 
(v) a sample piece of academic writing (in English, French or Dutch, e.g. a BA- or an MA-paper). 

Interviews will be held with shortlisted candidates in Liège on 13 March 2020 (if needed via Skype for international applicants). 
A decision will be made by 30 March 2020. 

Applications Deadline: 29-Feb-2020 

Mailing Address for Applications:
        Attn: Prof. An Van linden 
        Place Cockerill 3-5 
        Liège 4000 

Contact Information: 
        Prof. An Van linden