Novel Perspectives on Communication Practices in Antiquity. Towards a Historical Socio-Semiotic Approach

03-05 October 2019, Ghent, Belgium 

The main aim of this conference, which forms the opening event of the ERC-project ‘Everyday writing in Graeco-Roman and Late Antique Egypt. A socio-semiotic study of communicative variation’ (2018-2023;, is to explore to what extent it is possible and desirable to found a discipline such as historical social-semiotics, parallel to historical socio-linguistics. Such a novel, interdisciplinary approach is particularly relevant for ‘everyday’ documentary texts: since these texts represent autographs, their external characteristics can also be brought into the interpretation. Jean-Luc Fournet (2007), for example, has recently argued for a ‘paléographie signifiante’, noting that ‘l’analyse matérielle d’un document peut être porteuse de sens’ (2007:353), not only when it comes to text type, but also with regard to the socio-cultural context of writing, and the provenance of the document. Other external characteristics to be considered as expressions of social meaning (functioning as ‘semiotic resources’) are – but are not limited to – writing material, document format, and language choice. Their analysis reveals information concerning hierarchy, status and social relations. 


Thursday, October 3, 2019 


Welcome Greetings 

Morning session: Genre and multimodality 
Chairperson: Klaas Bentein 

Klaas Bentein (Ghent University) 

Sarah Béthume (INCAL/CEMA, UCLouvain) 
“The ‘exposed writings’: how the study of the ‘pluricode’ message of ancient Greek inscriptions can shed light on the archaic and classical dialectal variation” 

Nicola Reggiani (University of Parma) 
“Towards a socio-semiotic analysis of Greek medical prescriptions on papyrus” 

11:00-11:30: Coffee Break 

Francesca Murano & Mariarosaria Zinzi (University of Florence) 
“A social-semiotic analysis of Greek defixiones from South Italy” 

Jimmy Wolfe (The Ohio State University) 
“Imagining faith: images, scripts, and texts of early Christian inscriptions from the Roman Near East” 

12:30-14:00: Lunch Break 

Afternoon session: Texts and intra-semiosis 
Chairperson: Yasmine Amory 

Key-note speaker, Antonella Ghignoli (Sapienza – University of Rome) 
“This is the catalogue! A so far unknown latin documentary papyrus from 6th century Italy” 

Martti Leiwo (University of Helsinki) 
“Hands and language in ostraca letters from Roman praesidia in Egypt” 

Giulio Iovine (University of Naples “Federico II”) 
“Descriptum et recognitum. A survey of Latin closing and acknowledging formulae in Latin and Greek papyri and ostraca” 

15:45-16:15: Coffee Break 

Antonia Apostolakou (Ghent University) 
“How to sign a contract in Late Antique Egypt: a study of linguistic variation” 

Simona Russo (Istituto papirologico “G. Vitelli”) 
“Rome as New York, fashion capital?” 

* Reception at Alice 

Friday, October 4, 2019 

Morning session: Sociolinguistic variation 
Chairperson: Mark Janse 

Key-note speaker, James Clackson (University of Cambridge) 
“Standard languages, language standards and language norms in the Greco-Roman world” 

Polina Yordanova (University of Helsinki) 
“Тhe forest’s broken branches: discontinuity in Greek word order in documentary papyri from III c BCE to III c CE” 

Alek Keersmaekers (UK Leuven) 
“Sociolinguistic variation in the Greek papyri: a corpus-based, bottom-up approach” 

11:00-11:30: Coffee Break 

Emmanuel Roumanis & Geert De Mol (Ghent University) 
“The Abinnaeus archive: lexical and orthographic features” 

Alessandro Papini (Ghent University) 
“A preliminary investigation on the graphemic oscillations in Italian Latin inscriptions of the Republican age” 

12:30-14:00: Lunch Break 

Afternoon session: Visual and material aspects of texts 
Chairperson: Joanne Stolk 

Key-note speaker, Jean-Luc Fournet (Collège de France – EPHE) 
“Beyond the text: the contribution of the ‘paléographie signifiante’” 

Marco Stroppa (Istituto papirologico “G. Vitelli”) 
“Big & small: the size of documents as a semiotic resource for Graeco-Roman Egypt?” 

Nina Sietis (Sapienza – University of Rome) 
“Abbreviations in Greek documentary texts. A case study of ‘significant palaeography’” 

15:45-16:15: Coffee Break 

Eleonora Conti (Istituto papirologico “G. Vitelli”) 
“Spread and persistence of Latin document features in some Greek letters of high chancery on papyrus” 

Yasmine Amory (Ghent University) 
“Visual signs of deference in Late Antique letters” 

Visit at the Archaeological Collection of Ghent University at Het Pand 

19:30: Dinner at Sint Jorishof (optional, pre-reservation required) 

Saturday, October 5, 2019 

Morning session: Multimodal aspects of writing 
Chairperson: Giovanbattista Galdi 

Key-note speaker, Mark Depauw (UC Leuven) 
“Splitting words in Greek letters and petitions. Quantitative research based on Trismegistos” 

Joanne Stolk (Ghent University/University of Oslo) 
“The social meaning of scribal corrections in final versions of papyrus letters”

14th International Colloquium on Late and Vulgar Latin (LVLT14)

31 Aug – 04 Sep 2020, Ghent, Belgium

The 14th International Colloquium on Late and Vulgar Latin (Latin vulgaire – latin tardif XIV) will be held at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of Ghent University (Belgium) from Monday, August 31 to Friday, September 4, 2020. It will be organized by the Latin section and the research group DiaLing at the Department of Linguistics, under the auspices of the Comité international pour l’étude du latin vulgaire et tardif ( 

The colloquium will be held in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Latin. As per tradition, it will be devoted to all linguistic aspects of late, informal, non-standard and colloquial Latin (including the transition from Latin to Romance). 

Papers will be limited to 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes discussion. A peer-reviewed selection of papers will be published in one or two volumes. 

Members of the local organising committee are: 

– prof. Giovanbattista Galdi (UGent) 
– prof. Jeroen De Keyser (KU Leuven) 
– prof. Mathijs Lamberigts (KU Leuven) 
– Simon Aerts (UGent) 
– Alessandro Papini (UGent) 

In memory of József Herman (1924–2005), his widow Marianne Bakró-Nagy and the Comité international pour l’étude du latin vulgaire et tardif have established a prize for the best contribution by a young researcher at the biennial International Colloquium on Late and Vulgar Latin (Latin vulgaire – latin tardif). The prize consists of a diploma and €500 ( 

For all further and future information, please visit the website of the colloquium at For any additional questions you may have, please contact the organisers at 

We look forward to meeting you in Ghent in 2020. 

6th European and 9th Nordic Symposium on Multimodal Communication

September 9-10 2019, University of Leuven

The 6th European and 9th Nordic Symposium on Multimodal Communication aims to provide a multidisciplinary forum for researchers from different disciplines who study multimodality in human communication as well as in human-computer interaction. The 2019 edition of the MMSYM symposium is organized by the MIDI research group (Multimodality, Interaction & Discourse) based at the Linguistics Department of the University of Leuven, Belgium.

The symposium follows up on a tradition established by the Swedish Symposia on Multimodal Communication held from 1997 until 2000, and continued by the Nordic Symposia on Multimodal Communication held from 2003 to 2012. Since 2013 the symposium has acquired a broader European dimension, with editions held in Malta, Estonia, Ireland, Denmark and Germany. This year the symposium will be held in Belgium for the first time.

The past ten years have witnessed a spectacular increase in research on multimodal communication from a variety of perspectives and (sub)disciplines, including (corpus) linguistics, conversation analysis, human-computer interaction research, and (critical) discourse analysis. This has not only led to a range of novel insights into the dynamics of embodied and situated communication (see e.g. Müller et al. 2013, 2014 for an overview), but has also been the catalyst for the development and implementation of methodological innovations, including the use of high-quality (including multi-angle) video recordings, the integration of input from motion capturing systems, biometric sensor systems and eye-tracking into a multimodal analysis pipeline, the exploration of (semi-)automatic annotation techniques for large-scale corpora, and the implementation of multimodal interaction in computer interfaces. Despite the rapid development of the fields involved, many questions still need to be resolved and new challenges emerge for research on multimodal communication. The MMSYM symposium aims to provide a forum for the discussion of these challenges.


PhD candidate: NLP in the domain of Spanish dialectology (Ghent University)

In the context of a research infrastructure project, a scholarship is offered for a PhD student in the LT3 Language and Translation Technology Team at the Ghent University. The successful applicant will participate in a multidisciplinary research collaboration between UGent (ΔiaLing-LT3) and UHasselt (Expertise Centre for Digital Media). The PhD research topic is part of a Hercules project (see description below) and focuses on the extension of Natural Language Processing tools for application in the domain of Spanish

The successful candidate is appointed for two years. Further funding will be sought for the remainder of the PhD project. The starting date is as soon as possible.

Description of the project:
The study of dialectal microvariation of Spanish spoken in Spain has until recently mainly focused on lexical and phonetic features. The morphosyntax of these dialects, on the contrary, remains largely unexplored, despite the recent surge in interest in dialect grammars. This is due to the lack of large annotated dialectal corpora. This project aims to fill this lacuna and will create the first morphosyntactically annotated and parsed corpus of the European Spanish dialects. This dialect corpus will be designed in a geographically balanced way and its material will proceed from the COSER corpus (Corpus Oral y Sonoro del Español Rural ‘Audible Corpus of Spoken Rural Spanish’;, the largest collection of oral data in the Spanish-speaking world. As transcribing and annotating are expensive and labour-intensive, this project takes a collaborative game-based approach to building the parsed corpus of European Spanish dialects. In other words, a crowdsourced game will be built through which members of the public contribute to the co-creation of the parsed corpus by providing annotations in the
context of a game.


  • Master’s degree in a relevant field (Computational Linguistics, Computer Science or Hispanic Linguistics)
  • Strong interest in language and speech technology
  • Interested in research and having the intention to obtain a PhD degree
  • Fluent /(near) native in Spanish and English
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Eager to acquire new competences and knowledge
  • Preferably knowledge of programming languages (e.g. Python, Java)
  • The candidate should be able to work independently as well as in a
    multidisciplinary team, and will be guided by advisors with a computer science/computational linguistics background (UGent-UHasselt) and with a background in dialectology (UGent).

How to apply:
The application in English should include:

  • A motivation letter, summarizing the candidate’s background and
    capabilities, and describing his/her motivation for this position
  • Attested copies of education certificates, and a list of master courses with
    the grades obtained
  • An extensive CV
  • Contact information (e-mail) of potential referees

Applications are to be sent by e-mail to Prof. Dr Veronique Hoste ( and Prof. Dr Miriam Bouzouita (

Application deadline:
August 15th, 2019. Those who have applied previously do not need to resubmit their application.

Contact for more information:

Carrièremogelijkheden: Doctor-assistent (UGent)

  →   Solliciteren tot 02-07-2019 23:59 (Brussels time)
    →   Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte  
    →   Vakgroep LW22 – Vertalen, tolken en communicatie
    →   AAP tijdelijke aanstelling – 100%

    →   Aantal posities: 1
    →   Referentienummer: 201905/LW22/DA/005


De Universiteit Gent is een wereld op zich. Meer dan 8.000 personeelsleden zijn er dagelijks aan de slag in onderwijs en onderzoek, beheer en administratie, technische en sociale voorzieningen, enz. Voor hen is de Universiteit Gent een logische keuze: het is een van de grootste, meest boeiende en toekomstgerichte werkgevers van de regio. De Universiteit Gent telt 11 faculteiten en meer dan 100 vakgroepen, die in elk van de wetenschappelijke disciplines hoogstaande en door onderzoek ondersteunde opleidingen aanbieden.


  • U besteedt minimum 70% van uw opdracht aan hoogstaand en productief wetenschappelijk onderzoek op het vlak van de vertaal- of tolkwetenschap, meertalige communicatie, (ver)taalverwerving, terminologie of taaltechnologie (onderzoeksgroep EQTIS, TRACE, MULTIPLES of LT3).
  • U werkt mee aan het onderwijs op bachelor-, master- of postgraduaatsniveau in de afdeling Engels.
  • U verleent ondersteuning bij het uitschrijven van onderzoeksprojecten en het coachen van PhD studenten binnen de onderzoeksgroep.
  • U begeleidt bachelor- en masterscripties.


  • U bent houder van een diploma van doctor op proefschrift op het gebied van de vertaal- of tolkwetenschap, meertalige communicatie, (ver)taalverwerving, taaltechnologie, taal- en letterkunde of van een gelijkwaardig erkend diploma met Engels. Aan de diplomavereisten moet voldaan zijn op de datum van aanstelling.
  • U hebt reeds hoogstaand wetenschappelijk onderzoek verricht binnen het domein van de vertaal- of tolkwetenschap, meertalige communicatie of de taaltechnologie, gestaafd door recente publicaties in internationale wetenschappelijke tijdschriften die een beroep doen op deskundigen voor de beoordeling van de ingezonden manuscripten.
  • U beheerst het Engels op het niveau C2 van het ERK (Europees Referentiekader) of als moedertaalspreker.
  • Ervaring in het academische onderwijs in een of meer van bovenstaande gebieden strekt tot aanbeveling.
  • U hebt een uitgesproken interesse voor studentenbegeleiding in de academische en/of voortgezette academische opleiding.


  • Wij bieden u een aanstelling voor een termijn van drie jaar. De aanstelling kan enkel in uitzonderlijke omstandigheden éénmalig worden hernieuwd voor een termijn van maximum drie jaar. Opgelet: Indien u reeds eerder werd aangesteld als doctor-assistent aan een universiteit in de Vlaamse Gemeenschap kan u niet kandideren.
  • De datum van indiensttreding wordt voorzien ten vroegste op 1 september 2019.
  • De verloning gebeurt volgens barema AAP5. Meer informatie over onze salarisschalen.
  • Verder kan elk UGent-personeelslid rekenen op een aantal voordelen, zoals een breed opleidings- en vormingsaanbod, 38 dagen vakantieverlof, een fietsvergoeding, ecocheques enz. Een volledig overzicht van onze personeelsvoordelen.


Solliciteren kan alleen online via e-recruitment tot de uiterste inschrijvingsdatum (zie bovenaan). We aanvaarden geen laattijdige sollicitaties of sollicitaties die niet via de online toepassing worden bezorgd.

Volgende documenten dient u toe te voegen aan uw sollicitatie:

  • In het veld ‘Cv’: uw cv en een overzicht van relevante wetenschappelijke publicaties (samengevoegd als één pdf-bestand)
  • In het veld ‘Motivatiebrief’: uw motivatiebrief in pdf-formaat
  • In het veld ‘Diploma’: een kopie van het vereiste diploma (indien reeds in uw bezit)
  • In het veld ‘Gelijkwaardigheidsattest’: enkel indien u uw diploma buiten de Europese Unie behaalde moet u een gelijkwaardigheidsattest van NARIC toevoegen. Dit kan u aanvragen via
  • een tekst (max. 1500 woorden) waarin u wu visie met betrekking tot de functie uiteenzet, inclusief een concreet  onderzoeks- en publicatieplan.

Let op: elk veld heeft een beperking van maximum 10 MB.

De UGent voert een gelijkekansen- en diversiteitsbeleid en moedigt dan ook iedereen aan om te solliciteren.


Voor meer informatie in verband met deze vacature kan je contact opnemen met Prof. Sonia Vandepitte (

BCGL 12: Suppletion, allomorphy, and syncretism

Brussels, December 16-17 2019.

CRISSP is proud to present the twelfth instalment of the Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics (BCGL), devoted to suppletion, allomorphy, and syncretism.

Workshop description

Suppletion is a form of morphological irregularity whereby a change in a grammatical category triggers a change in word form, with a different (suppletive) root substituting for the normal one (e.g. in the past tense of go, the irregular form went replaces the regular goed). Allomorphy is (in a certain sense) the mirror image of suppletion, namely a change in the form of an affix that is triggered by the presence of a particular type of root (e.g with the root ox the irregular plural morpheme -en replaces the regular form -s). Both suppletion and allomorphy raise the question of how to get the correct distribution of forms: how to pair the correct root with the correct allomorph, and how to correctly restrict the occurrence of the suppletive roots. If all lexical insertion is done at terminal nodes, then suppletion and allomorphy point to some ‘action at a distance’: a head α influences the realisation of another head β (e.g. the V and the T node in the case of go + PST, the N and the Num node in the case of ox + PL). This raises the question of locality: how far apart can α and β be? A range of different views has been proposed in the literature, such as the claim that α and β are local if no overt node intervenes (Embick, 2010; Calabrese, 2015), if they form a span (Abels & Muriungi, 2008; Svenonius, 2016; Merchant, 2015; Haugen & Siddiqi, 2016), if they belong to the same phase (Moskal, 2013a; Embick, 2010; Moskal, 2015), if α is accessible to β (Moskal, 2013b; Moskal & Smith, 2016), if no XP or Xn (n > 0) intervenes (Bobaljik 2012 and Bobaljik & Harley 2017 respectively), if no γ intervenes (Siegel, 1978; Allen, 1978; Embick, 2003; Bobaljik, 2012; Kilbourn-Ceron et al., 2016), or if they form a constituent (Caha, 2017a; De Clercq & Vanden Wyngaerd, 2017).

Syncretism is the identity of forms across different (but related) grammatical categories (e.g. the pronoun you is both 2SG and 2PL). Syncretism is widely believed to be informative about the underlying grammatical system, across a variety of approaches, whether typological (Haspelmath, 2003), formal (Caha, 2009; Bobaljik & Sauerland, 2013), or paradigm-based (McCreight & Chvany, 1991; Plank, 1991; Johnston, 1996; Wiese, 2008). Syncretism may accordingly be used to structure paradigms in such a way that syncretic cells are always adjacent, i.e. avoiding ABA patterns. Caha’s (2009) study of *ABA patterns in Case marking paradigms furthermore interprets syncretism in terms of structural containment: if the structure of the more complex Case suffixes properly contains that of the less complex ones, then *ABA follows. The study of syncretism in morphology in this approach translates into a study of underlying structural relationships.

We welcome contributions addressing suppletion, allomorphy, and/or syncretism in various formal models (Distributed Morphology, the Exo-Skeletal Model, Minimalist Morphology, Nanosyntax, etc.). Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • What is the mechanism by which roots and affixes select one other? How are different classes of roots selecting different allomorphs represented in the lexicon? Can root size determine the selection of the allomorph (Caha et al., 2019)?
  • What is the boundary (if any) between suppletion and phonological readjustment of a root, e.g. in the pair givegave (Halle & Marantz, 1993; Embick & Marantz, 2008; Borer, 2003, 2013)?
  • Is root suppletion restricted to the functional part of the vocabulary, as claimed in Marantz (1997), or does it apply more broadly, as claimed by Haugen & Siddiqi (2013); Harley (2014) (but see Borer 2014)?
  • Is there a prefix/suffix asymmetry in allomorphy, and if so, why (Moskal, 2013a)?
  • Are there ways to derive *ABA patterns that do not rely on strict containment, as suggested in Bobaljik & Sauerland (2018); Caha (2017b)?
  • Which approach to deriving syncretism yields the best results, the one in terms of underspecification (i.e. the Subset Principle; Halle 1997), or the one in terms of overspecification (the Superset Principle; Starke 2009), or perhaps other types of approaches (e.g. McCreight & Chvany 1991)?
  • What are the locality conditions governing suppletion, allomorphy, and syncretism?

Invited speakers

  • Heidi Harley (U of Tucson, Arizona)
  • Hagit Borer (QMUL, London)
  • Michal Starke (Masaryk U, Brno)

Abstract guidelines

Abstracts should not exceed two pages, including data, references and diagrams. Abstracts should be typed in at least 11-point font, with one-inch margins (letter-size; 8½ inch by 11 inch or A4) and a maximum of 50 lines of text per page. Abstracts must be anonymous and submissions are limited to 2 per author, at least one of which is co-authored. Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Please submit your abstract using the EasyChair link for BCGL11:

Important dates

  • First call for papers: June 12, 2019
  • Second call for papers: August 16, 2019
  • Abstract submission deadline: September 15, 2019
  • Notification of acceptance: October 16, 201
  • Conference: December 16-17, 2019

Conference webpage

Conference location

CRISSP – KU Leuven Brussels Campus
Stormstraat 2
1000 Brussels

Job: PhD position in historical computational linguistics, KU Leuven

A PhD position is offered as part of the FWO-funded project « Population developments co-determine diffusional language change: a close-up view on West-Germanic languages », under the supervision of Prof. Freek Van de Velde and Prof. Hubert Cuyckens (co-supervisor). The project is to be carried out within the research group ‘Quantitative Lexicology and Variational Linguistics’ (QLVL), which is part of the Department of Linguistics. QLVL has a strong tradition in language variation and change. The group focuses on advanced quantitative methods for studying lexical and constructional variation.

Website unit



This project investigates the relation between urban population developments and morphological changes in three major West-Germanic languages, English, Dutch, German, from the beginning of Early Modernity to the end of Classical Modernity (1500-1900). The main hypothesis is that morphological simplification accelerates when urban populations grow. Put more succinctly: word structure becomes simpler when cities grow. The reason is that the growth in this period is brought about mainly by immigration involving speakers from different dialects and different languages, resulting in what linguists call ‘koineisation’ (dialect leveling) with a decrease in morphological complexity. We take a decidedly quantitative approach, relying on linguistic databases (text corpora) as well as on demographic databases.


An eligible candidate should

  • have successfully completed a Master’s Degree in Linguistics, a Master’s Degree in Language & Literature, a Master’s Degree in Digital Humanities (or equivalent). Students finishing their MA degree in the summer of 2019 are also encouraged to apply.
  • have an interest in and demonstrable background knowledge on the history of the Germanic languages (minimally English and German)
  • have an interest in quantitative approaches to linguistics
  • have hands-on experience with coding in R and/or Python.
  • be proficient in English, including mastery of academic writing
  • be willing and able to deepen their knowledge of theories of language change and language variation.

Familiarity with historical corpora of Early New High German is a plus.


A full-time PhD position is offered for 1 year (starting in October 2019), with the perspective of prolongation with another 3 years. The successful candidate will become part of a small team of researchers investigating language variation and language change. S/he will author international scientific publications. S/he will be able to develop a variety of skills, including programming, statistics, knowledge of earlier stages of English, German, and Dutch, but also writing and presentation skills as well as organizational skills. S/he will be able to attend international meetings and to meet and collaborate with enthusiastic fellow linguists. Teaching load is limited to up to 10% of the time. The starting net monthly salary is about 2000 euros.


For more information and/or a detailed description of the project, please contact Prof. dr. Freek Van de Velde <>. Applicants should include a CV, a letter of motivation and one piece of academic writing demonstrating their skill as a linguist and researcher.

You can apply for this job no later than July 07, 2019 via the online application tool on the website:

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

Summer School: Cognitive linguistic applications to second language teaching: From Theory to Practice

21-24 August 2019, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

The workshop aims to provide interested researchers in the field of applied linguistics (PhD students, PostDocs and others) with a strong methodological background on how to test the effectiveness of cognitive linguistic approaches to language teaching by means of classroom-based studies. To this end, the program of the workshop includes both talks reporting the most recent advances in the field and hands-on sessions, requiring the participants to further their own research. Participants will have the opportunity to receive specialized feedback, become familiar with practice examples and actively engage in discussion. The workshop will be held in English, but pedagogical applications for other foreign languages such as Spanish, German and French will be showcased. Researchers working on any foreign language are strongly encouraged to participate.
Minimum Education Level: Undergraduate

Cognitive linguistic approaches such as cognitive grammar and construction grammar are best suited to elucidate grammar principles that often remain hidden to language learners, since they use imagery and embodied experiences to make grammar’s meaningfulness more transparent to learners. Although their potential is widely accepted, empirical research so far still needs to provide a clear understanding of how these approaches can best be translated into effective teaching practices, especially for languages others than English. In the field of applied linguistics, assessing the effectiveness of such approaches in controlled classroom settings remains an exciting, but challenging endeavor. Therefore, the present workshop addresses some of the questions regarding the testing of cognitive linguistic approaches in the form of interventional studies in classroom settings, such as the following:

– How should the treatment be designed in order to align with the most recent advances in language pedagogy?
– Which study designs are best suited to assess the impact of the treatment?
– How can measurements be constructed and validated?
– Which statistical methods are best suited for the analysis of variables?

Keynote Speakers

Robert Blake (University of California Davis)
Thomas François (Université catholique de Louvain)
Jörg Roche (University of Munich)

Tuition Explanation: Participation is free of charge.

Registration: 10-May-2019 to 15-Jul-2019
Contact Person: Mathieu Lecouvet

Apply here.

Registration Instructions:
Participants will be required to submit a short abstract about their current research project(s).

11th International Conference on Construction Grammar (ICCG11)

Construction grammars in and between minds, communities, computers

ICCG11 will take place at the University of Antwerp (UAntwerpen), Belgium, 20-22 August 2020. ICCG11 will cover a broad range of topics related to constructionist approaches to language. The conference also acts as a forum of discussion between approaches, including cognitive construction grammar, embodied construction grammar, fluid construction grammar, radical construction grammar, sign based construction grammar, frame semantics, or other approaches. The conference theme is: how do constructions model language in minds, communities, or computers? Submissions for presentations, posters, or workshops are particularly welcomed along the lines of this theme, but submissions may also be related to other aspects of constructionist linguistics.


Nick Ellis (University of Michigan) – language learning

Luc Steels (Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona) – computational linguistics

Evelina (Ev) Fedorenko (MIT) – neurolinguistics

Gabriele Diewald (Hannover University) – historical linguistics

Steffen Höder (Kiel University) – language contact


Information on how to submit an abstract is available here.

Job: research assistant in Natural Language Processing (UCLouvain)

The Institute for Language and Communication ( has an opening for a research assistant (part-time 50%) in Natural Language Processing for a max. period of three years, starting 1 October 2019.

The position is part of a large multidisciplinary project that aims to investigate socio-cognitive conflicts in online educational platforms: “MOOCresearch2.0: A mixed-method and multidisciplinary approach to socio-cognitive conflicts in online educational platforms” (Prof. M. Frenay, Prof. F. Lambotte, Dr. Magali Paquot & Prof. V. Swaen) (see for more info). As such, the research assistant will be working with researchers from the Centre for English Corpus Linguistics (, the Social Media Lab (, the Interdisciplinary Research Group in Socialisation, Education and Training (GIRSEF,, the Center on Consumer Relations and Responsible Marketing (CERMA, and the Centre for Natural Language Processing (CENTAL,

Job description

  • The research assistant will provide support to the project team by performing a variety of tasks such as:
  • Data pre-processing: anonymization, normalization
  • Data structuring: linking up different data types (forum posts, user profiles, learners’ questionnaires, logs, etc.)
  • Data enrichment: part-of-speech tagging, language recognition, topic detection, etc.
  • Data analysis and visualization
  • The research assistant will also work in close collaboration with the CENTAL to provide access to the compiled corpus via a user-friendly online concordancer. Another important task of the research assistant will be to implement sustainable solutions for the automated treatment of incoming data.

Requirements and profile:

  • Master degree in Natural Language Processing
  • excellent record of MA level study;
  • programming skills in Python or Perl
  • experience with NLP for social media is an asset
  • knowledge of statistics and statistical software is an asset
  • very good command of French and English
  • excellent and demonstrated analytic skills
  • excellent and demonstrated self-management skills
  • ability and willingness to work in a team

Terms of employment:

  • The contract will initially be for one year, two times renewable, with a total of max. three years.
  • The monthly gross salary is min. 3317 EUR.
  • The position requires residence in Belgium, preferably in or near Louvain-la-Neuve
  • Applicants from outside the EU are responsible for obtaining the necessary visa or permits, with the assistance of UCLouvain staff department.

Application Deadline: 31 May 2019

Please include in your application:

  • a cover letter in French, in which you specify why you are interested in this position and how you meet the job requirements outlined above;
  • a curriculum vitae in French or English;
  • an outline of previous work or research experience in English
  • a copy of your BA and MA degrees;
  • a copy of your master thesis and academic publications (if applicable);
  • the names and full contact details of two academic referees.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview (in situ or via video conferencing) on 24 or 26 June 2019. Please save the dates!

Enquiries and applications should be addressed by email to Dr. Magali Paquot (