Dec 172020
 

GRADUATE POSITION(S) IN INDIGENEOUS LANGUAGE DOCUMENTATION/TECHNOLOGY
LEVEL: MA / PhD
INSTITUTION: University of Alberta, Canada

SPECIALTY AREAS:

Morphology; Phonetics; Computational Linguistics; Language Documentation; Text/Corpus Linguistics, Indigenous Languages; Language Revitalization

DESCRIPTION:

The Alberta Language Technology Lab (ALTLab) in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Alberta is offering graduate student positions at the PhD (4 years) or MA (2 years) level in its graduate program, beginning in September 2021 within the research project: 21st Century Tools for Indigenous Languages, funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grant in 2019 – 2026. See our partnership website for more information: http://21c.tools/

This partnership is hosted by the ALTLab and is led by Dr. Antti Arppe (Associate Professor & Partnership Director). We are developing language technological models, tools, and resources for Indigenous languages in Canada, starting with Plains Cree (Algonquian) and Tsuut’ina (Dene), and plan to continue and expand work in other languages. These tools and resources include: intelligent electronic dictionaries, linguistically analyzed collections of spoken and written texts, spell-checkers, language learning and practice tools, and word form analyzers and generators, all created in collaboration with Indigenous communities in order to facilitate and support the use of their languages in all spheres of life by community members.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Alongside studies in the Department’s graduate program, the graduate student will be expected to:

  1. support the development or maintenance of our current or future projects within ALTLab for our partnering communities.
  2. conduct research that falls within the purview of ALTLab research interests on either the languages of our partners and/or another Indigenous language (see our list of past publications from our ALTLab team and a full list of potential research topics: https://altlab.artsrn.ualberta.ca/).

REQUIREMENTS:

These graduate positions require:

  1. a keen interest in North American Indigenous languages;
  2. a Bachelor or Master’s degree in a relevant field; and
  3. meeting the general entrance requirements to the Department’s graduate program (https://www.ualberta.ca/linguistics/graduate/admissions.html)

We will prefer candidates with:

  1. experience in and knowledge of the phonetics/phonology and/or morphosyntax of North American Indigenous languages, in particular Plains Cree or other Western Cree, Algonquian, or Dene language; and/or
  2. experience in computational linguistics and natural language processing (e.g. finite-state transducers, speech technology); and/or
  3. interest or experience in language documentation, language revitalization, and language learning.

WE OFFER:

  1. an opportunity to personally contribute to the practical retention of linguistic diversity;
  2. opportunities for well-rounded, comprehensive training in empirical research methods in field linguistics, psycholinguistics and corpus linguistics as well as in language technology; and
  3. a chance to participate in an international SSHRC funded Partnership involving collaboration with 27 researchers from 14 different partner organizations world-wide including leading research centers in the development of language technology and research on indigenous languages.

HOW TO APPLY:

Interested applicants must contact in advance Dr. Antti Arppe (email:
arppe@ualberta.ca) in order to discuss their research interests and how they might match with the current research and development activities pursued by ALTLAb.

Following this, in order to apply, applicants should send by email to our Partnership office (21ct4il@gmail.com, Attn: Dr. Antti Arppe, ref: Grad 2021):

  1. a brief statement of research interests and relevant background;
  2. curriculum vitae (including possible publications and presentations);
  3. transcripts of university studies; and
  4. at least two confidential academic letters of recommendation delivered directly to Dr. Antti Arppe (arppe@ualberta.ca) by the referees.

We will start considering applications in January 2021. These positions are open until filled, but we urge applications to be submitted by
Sunday Jan 10, 2021, in order to meet the Linguistics departmental regular graduate application deadline on that day. These positions are for a start in September 2021.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

21C Partnership office: 21ct4il@gmail.com

FURTHER INFORMATION:

https://altlab.artsrn.ualberta.ca/call-for-graduate-student-ma-phd-applications-deadline-january-2021/