Diachronic development of text types in the English Language

Universität des Saarlandes (Germany)

The project will use computational approaches to model temporal dynamics of textual data (corpus-based and novel probabilistic measures) for the analysis of the development of text types in English. From the 15th century onward, increased use of the vernacular and perceived syntactic and lexical gaps (compared with Latin) prompted linguistic innovation in English, concurrent with the progressive conventionalization of text types. Existing variation was made functional and new distinctions were either borrowed or invented (e.g. transfer of features from medicine to cooking recipes). Applying corpus-based and novel probabilistic measures to investigate diachronic change and with support from Text+ and IDeaL, the PhD candidate will be able to: 1) determine the linguistic features of different text types; 2) determine how these features change over time; 3) assess the overlap of different text types and the possible mutual influence of text types; 4) develop a computational workflow to support the above objectives which is made publicly available (e.g. on github).

Further information about the project, the position and how to apply is available here.

Applicants are requested to enclose the following documents in English with their application as a single PDF file:

1. A curriculum vitae, including any publications (max. 10 pages);

2. A cover statement outlining the applicant’s ambitions for Diachronic development of text types in the English language and the wider CASCADE network (max. 2 pages);

3. A single-authored writing sample (any length).

Further information can also be obtained by contacting the supervisor, PD Dr. Stefania Degaetano-Ortlieb (