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This was posted today on the Indigenous Language and Technology (ILAT) listserv [see archives here] by Dr. Jordan Lachler of UAlberta…

Open Graduate Research Assistantship

ualbertaThe Department of Linguistics at the University of Alberta is offering a graduate student position at either the MSc (2 years) or PhD (4 years) level in its graduate program, beginning in September 2014 within the research project 21st Century Tools for Indigenous Languages.

21st Century Tools for Indigneous Languages

Currently, we are developing a prototype computational model of the morphology and lexis of Plains Cree, which can be used to create software applications such as a spell-checker, an intelligent electronic dictionary, language learning and practice tools, a wordform analyzer, a wordform generator, and a word paradigm generator, in order to facilitate the use of Plains Cree in all spheres of life by community members.

This project is associated with several laboratories within the Department of Linguistics and is led by Dr. Antti Arppe (Alberta Language Technology Laboratory: ALTLAB), Dr. Jordan Lachler (Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute: CILLDI), Dr. Juhani Järvikivi (Centre for Comparative Psycholinguistics: CCP), and Dr. Timothy Mills (ALTLab, Alberta Phonetics Laboratory: APhL).

Successful applicants for this position will be required to meet the entrance standards for admission to our graduate program.

Alongside studies in the Department’s graduate program, the graduate student will participate in developing:

  • a computational model of the morphology for Plains Cree (and/or another indigenous language in North America) and subsequent computer-aided writing, reading, and language learning applications; and/or
  • text-to-speech synthesis, aiming at supporting the retention and revitalization of these languages; and
  • evaluation measures for either type of applications.

The position necessarily requires:

We will prefer candidates with:

  • experience in and knowledge of the phonology and/or morphosyntax of Indigenous languages (in particular Plains Cree and other Algonquian or North American indigenous languages); and/or
  • experience in computational linguistics and natural language processing (e.g. finite-state transducers, speech technology); and/or
  • interest or experience in the evaluation of text-to-speech systems and/or experimental study of language.

We offer:

  • an opportunity to personally contribute to the practical retention of linguistic diversity
  • opportunities for well-rounded, comprehensive training in empirical research methods in field linguistics, psycholinguistics and corpus linguistics as well as in language technology;
  • a chance to participate in a international research project involving collaboration with leading research centers in the development of language technology and research on Indigenous languages (Giellatekno Institute, University of Tromsø).

To apply, send by email to Dr. Antti Arppe <arppe @ ualberta.ca>:

  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 reference delivered directly to Dr. Arppe by the referees.

We will start considering applications on May 26, 2014. The position is open until filled.

For further information, please consult the position announcement on the project website
 and contact Dr. Antti Arppe <arppe @ ualberta.ca>.