Thursday, January 8, 2009

Oxford Japanese & Japanese Family & Historical Linguistics PhD Student

Institution/Organization: University of Oxford
Department: Faculty of Oriental Studies
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Duties: Research,Project Work

Specialty Areas: Historical Linguistics
Semantics and Syntax
Required Language(s): Japanese (jpn)

Japanese Family


Applications are invited for a fully funded studentship in the Faculty of
Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, for a doctoral student who will work for
the Oxford D.Phil degree within the research project ‘Verb semantics and
argument realization in pre-modern Japanese: a comprehensive study of the basic
syntax of pre-modern Japanese,’ generously funded by the Arts and Humanities
Research Council, UK. The studentship, which is open to UK and EU students,
covers tuition fees as well as maintenance.
The doctoral student will be given the opportunity to work on his/her own
research within the project and will also form a full part of the research team
and contribute to all aspects of the overall project, including work on the text

The overall research project: ‘Argument realization’ is a fundamentally
important aspect of the syntax of a language which concerns the way in which
verb meaning determines the number of arguments and their morpho-syntactic and
semantic properties. The project will investigate this in detail for pre-modern
Japanese, in essence giving a comprehensive account of the basic grammar of each
of the stages of the Japanese language, from the beginning of its recorded
history in the 8th century until the beginning of the 17th century.

The project begins in January 2009 and finishes in September 2013. The initial
phase of the project will consist in building an extensive electronic database
of texts which will form the basis for the descriptive and analytical work of
the project. The results of the project will bear on the description and
understanding of pre-modern Japanese and its changes through time and will also
have a number of implications for general linguistic theory. See the website
listed above for more information.

The D.Phil. project: The D.Phil. project can be on any area within the overall
research project.
Application: Candidates are expected to have an MA or M.Phil in Japanese or in
Linguistics. Applicants from other fields, or with very strong undergraduate
degrees, are welcome, but must have demonstrable competence in modern Japanese
and in some form of pre-modern Japanese, as well as in linguistics.
Applications should be submitted through the usual Graduate Admissions Process
for the University of Oxford (see the application address below). In particular,
applicants are asked to take note of the following points:

1. Applicants should submit an application for the Doctor of Philosophy in
Oriental Studies.

2. Applicants should in their study plan and research proposal make clear that
they wish to be associated with the research project ‘Verb semantics and
argument realization in premodern Japanese’. They should outline their interest
in and background for the research project, but need not work out a detailed
research proposal.

3. Applicants should make clear in their study plan and research proposal, and
in the section marked “Funding”, that they wish to be considered for the
studentship attached to the project ‘Verb semantics and argument realization in
premodern Japanese’. They should also indicate in their application whether they
wished to be considered for admission even if their application for this
particular funding is not successful.

For further information please contact: either the Oriental Studies Graduate
Office (e-mail: or the director of the research
project Professor Bjarke Frellesvig (

Application Deadline: 23-Jan-2009

Web Address for Applications:

Contact Information:
Professor Bjarke Frellesvig
Phone:44 (0)1865 280383
Fax:44 (0)1865 278190