Call for MA Student applications at Carleton University (Application Deadline: January 15th, 2022)

Level: MA

Institution/Organization: Carleton University

Duties: Graduate Research

 

Specialty Areas:

Dene languages; Indigenous Language Documentation; Language Revitalization; Language Technology; Text/Corpus Linguistics; Morphology; Phonetics; Computational Linguistics

Description:

The School of Linguistics and Language Studies at Carleton University is offering up to two funded graduate student positions at the MA level (1–2 years), beginning in September 2022. These positions are part of the project 21st Century Tools for Indigenous Languages (https://21c.tools/), funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grant in 2019–2026 and hosted by the Alberta Language Technology Lab (ALTLab; https://altlab.ualberta.ca/) at the University of Alberta.

The 21st Century Tools for Indigenous Languages project is developing language technological models, tools, and resources for Indigenous languages in Canada. This includes: 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 our tools are created in close collaboration with Indigenous communities in order to facilitate and support the use of their languages in all spheres of life by community members.  

The positions advertised here will focus on the development of tools for Dene languages, building upon preceding work on Tsuut’ina and Upper Tanana (Dene), Plains Cree, East Cree, and Odawa (Algonquian), and Haida (isolate). Students will be housed in either the Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies (ALDS) or Linguistics (LING) degree programs in the School of Linguistics and Language Studies at Carleton University and be supervised by Dr. Christopher Cox (Associate Professor & Partnership Co-investigator), with the possibility of one or more other co-investigators in this Partnership acting as co-supervisors.

Duties and responsibilities: 

Alongside studies in one of the School’s graduate programs, the graduate student(s) will be expected to: 

  • support the development or maintenance of our tool development for one or more Dene languages.
  • conduct research that contributes to our knowledge of Dene languages and to community-based maintenance and revitalization efforts in the broadest sense, with a special focus on technological tool development and application.

Requirements:

These positions require: 

  • a keen interest in North American Indigenous languages; 
  • a Bachelor or Master’s degree in a relevant field; and 
  • meeting the general entrance requirements to the Carleton University Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs (https://graduate.carleton.ca/apply-online/) and an MA program within the School of Linguistics and Language Studies.

We will prefer candidates with: 

  • interest or experience in language documentation, language revitalization, and language learning. 
  • experience in and knowledge of the phonetics/phonology and/or morphosyntax of Indigenous languages (North American Indigenous languages, in particular Dene languages); and/or 
  • experience in computational linguistics and natural language processing (e.g. finite-state transducers, speech technology, machine learning); and/or 

Indigenous candidates, in particular Dene candidates, are especially encouraged to apply. 

We offer: 

  • an opportunity to personally contribute to the creation of resources to support the practical retention of Dene languages; 
  • opportunities for well-rounded, comprehensive training in empirical research methods in language documentation, corpus linguistics and language technology; and 
  • 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 in Indigenous languages.

How to apply: 

Before submitting a formal application package, interested students must contact Dr. Cox (christopher.cox@carleton.ca) to informally discuss the position as soon as feasible, but not later than January 15, 2022.

Following this informal discussion, candidates will be invited to submit a formal application package by email to Christopher Cox by January 22, 2022 (christopher.cox@carleton.ca). A complete formal application includes the following documents:

  • a brief statement of research interests and relevant background (approx. 1–2 pages); 
  • an academic curriculum vitae (including possible publications and presentations) and/or resume;
  • transcripts of university studies

Candidates are expected to apply separately for admission to a graduate program within the School of Linguistics and Language Studies at Carleton University, which has a deadline of February 1, 2022.

These positions are intended for a start in September 2022, but will remain open until filled.

Application Deadline: 15-Jan-2022

Contact Information: christopher.cox@carleton.ca

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