For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
You are using a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Please upgrade your browser. The site may not present itself correctly if you continue browsing.
The Amsterdam Centre for Language and Communication (ACLC) currently has a vacant Postdoc researcher position as part of the NWO-funded research project Crossing language borders: A quest for the human language capacity in West Africa and Central America, led by principal investigator prof. E.O. Aboh (ACLC) in collaboration with dr María Carmen Parafita Couto (University of Leiden), prof. F. Ameka (University of Leiden), and dr Anne L. Beatty-Martínez (University of California, San Diego). You can find some information about the research group here. The ACLC prioritises diversity (taken in a holistic sense, e.g., ethnicity, social and/or linguistic background, gender, sexuality) and is committed to creating an inclusive research environment. The ACLC is one of the five Research Schools within the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR). The deadline for applying for this vacancy is 31 January 2024.

What are you going to do?

We are looking for a talented and creative postdoctoral scholar with a PhD degree in Psychological Anthropology, Cognitive Science, Linguistics, Neuroscience, Psycholinguistics, Psychology, or another related discipline, who is fascinated by the study of language use in a multilingual community, and armed with sophisticated tools for data collection and statistical modelling to describe and analyse code-switching/code-mixing (CSCM) phenomena from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Our project’s aim is to yield an integrated approach to multilingual speech that is both descriptively and explanatorily adequate. Despite extensive research in this area, no clear explanation emerges about the regularities underlying mixed speech. While most existing studies focus on Western communities in which CSCM is socially disfavoured, this project investigates CSCM in multilingual communities, in Belize (Central America) and in Benin (West Africa), where multilingual discourse involving CSCM is the norm, and where speakers use various languages including Spanish (Belize) and French (Benin). We will use a multimethod, comparative approach, linking linguistic, cognitive (e.g., eye-tracking, pupillometry) and social factors to help us understand how multilinguals adapt to communicative and cognitive demands of contexts where CSCM is the norm.

Together with two PhD candidates who have already been in the field, we expect you to conduct fieldwork in multilingual communities in Belize and in Porto-Novo/Cotonou (Benin). You will collect and analyse data on CSCM and publish on those in scholarly articles or book chapters. You will present your results in (inter)national conferences and participate in research activities within the project team and within the ACLC at the UvA as well as with collaborating groups at the University of Leiden.

Your tasks and responsibilities:

  • set up and pilot experiments to be conducted during fieldwork in Belize and Benin to collect multilingual language processing data;
  • stimuli creation for speech elicitation tasks;
  • collection of community network data;
  • collection of eye-tracking and pupillometry data during naturalistic CSCM;
  • annotation, coding, and analysis of naturalistic and elicited CSCM data;
  • organising and participating in meetings of the project research group and developing a shared database;
  • publishing peer reviewed articles or book chapters;
  • presenting (intermediate) research results at (inter)national workshops/conferences;
  • organising knowledge dissemination, training activities, and outreach events.

Your experience and profile:

  • a PhD in Anthropological linguistics, Cognitive Science, Linguistics, Neuroscience, Psycholinguistics, Psychology, or another related discipline;
  • excellent research and field or lab work skills demonstrated by your PhD thesis and a demonstrable capacity to develop a track record of publishing in high-ranking journals and/or with leading presses;
  • demonstrated experience with eye-tracking using SR Research hardware (experience with pupillometry would be desirable);
  • experience using statistical procedures such as mixed-effects modelling (experience in the R environment and with generalised additive mixed modelling and/or network analysis would be desirable);
  • enthusiasm for communicating academic research to non-academic audiences;
  • interest in mentoring of graduate students and research trainees;
  • knowledge of Spanish and/or French.