Postdoc in English Historical Linguistics

University of Zurich English Department

English Department

Postdoc position in English historical linguistics (focus Middle English)
80 %

The project “Waxing and Waning Words: Lexical Variation and Change in Middle English” (WAW-ME, PI Prof. Dr. Olga Timofeeva/Co-I Dr. Annina Seiler Rübekeil), funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and based at the English Department of the University of Zurich, invites applications for a post-doctoral position in the field of English historical linguistics, to start on 1 October 2024. The position is 80 % and is limited to 48 months.

Your responsibilities

This post-doctoral post is designed as a research position that culminates in a habilitation thesis (cumulative or monograph) but also involves other publication goals, such as conference papers, articles, organization of academic events, and applications for additional funding. You will be a member of the WAW-ME team, responsible for collecting lexical-semantic data from two occupational domains, e.g. Religion and Medicine, and data analysis along such parameters as period, region, genre, and semantic hierarchy. Drawing on the collected data, you will also assess the impact of borrowing from Latin and French in the chosen domains, as well as take part in the theorization of the impact of the four parameters on lexical standardization of the two domains. Further, you will be involved in checking data collected by the doctoral student and overseeing the work of student assistants.

Your profile

We are looking for a research team member with an outstanding PhD thesis in the field of English historical linguistics (Old and/or Middle English) and high motivation for research activities associated with the WAW-ME project. The successful candidate will have a publication record in historical semantics and lexicology, previous background in historical corpus linguistics and database compilation, as well as familiarity with historical dictionaries and such methodological approaches as frame semantics and variationist linguistics. The candidate will be proficient in oral, written, and interpersonal communication in English. A working knowledge of German will be desirable.

What we offer

We offer a postdoc position with a workload of 80 % (limited to 48 months, salary according to canton regulations) at an internationally renowned university. The WAW-ME project and the English Department offer a vibrant and stimulating work environment with a committed and collegial team that will support the successful candidate in their independent research. You will have your own desk at the university as well as full access to excellent infrastructure, library services and IT facilities. The University of Zurich's regulations allow staff to work from home for up to 40 % of their weekly employment time.

Place of work

Englisches Seminar, Plattenstrasse, Zürich, Switzerland

Start of employment

Start of employment is 1 October 2024 or by arrangement. Applications should be submitted as a single PDF document that includes a letter of motivation, CV, degree certificates, the names and addresses of two potential referees, as well as a writing sample (an article or a chapter from a PhD thesis) by 31 July 2024.