The Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University ofSheffield invites applications for a PhD studentship in Slavonic
linguistics. The studentship is sponsored by the Leverhulme Trust.
ABOUT THE STUDENTSHIP. ‘Dived’ or ‘dove’, ‘proven’ or ‘proved’?
Competition and variation between forms for the same grammatical ‘slot’
occurs in all languages, and the Slavonic group, with its rich morphology,
is an excellent source of data. The purpose of our project in
‘Acceptability and forced-choice judgments in the study of linguistic
variation’ is to look at how we collect and analyse examples of variation in
Slavonic languages, and what different methods of analysis tell us about the
features in question.
Candidates will have a proposal that involves the collection of experimental
data (i.e. questionnaires, tests) that can be analysed quantitatively.
Proposals might be purely morphosyntactic in focus, or could include a
sociolinguistic element (geographic/social distribution of forms or
constructions). An interest in tying this research to data gathered from
corpora is also welcome, as is a focus on how our methods of collection and
analysis may affect the results.
The successful candidate will receive a three-year studentship at the
research council rate of £13,590 per annum, plus travel and conference
funding. Tuition fees for UK and other European Economic Area residents
(inc. Switzerland) will be paid in full. (For other applicants, only a
portion of the tuition fees can be met.)
ABOUT THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE: You should have, or be expecting to obtain
by this summer, a BA and MA, with at least one of them focusing on
linguistics, and have degree-level facility in the Slavonic language you
wish to work on. The first degree should be a good upper second or
equivalent. Some familiarity with corpora and statistics will be an
ABOUT THE APPLICATION: Informal contact prior to application regarding your
proposed topic is welcomed and may increase your chances of a successful
proposal. Please direct your enquiries to Professor Neil Bermel,
To apply, candidates should submit an application for admission to PhD study
on the University’s standard online form:
The application should include a clearly formulated research proposal of
500-1000 words, plus bibliography. It should propose a preliminary
hypothesis or research question and lay out the way in which you plan to
test or answer it. Please indicate clearly in the application that the
proposed source of funding is the Leverhulme Trust studentship.
Applications should reach us no later than 1 May. We may conduct some
interviews by phone before reaching a decision in mid- to late May.
ABOUT THE RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT: The Department of Russian and Slavonic
Studies has two linguists on staff, Professor Neil Bermel and Dr Dagmar
Divjak, both of whom work on questions of competition, variation, and the
relation between corpus and survey data. We play an active role in the
School’s linguistics cluster and the Faculty Centre for Linguistic Research.
For more information, see the following links: