The Societas Linguistica Europaea Summer School in Linguistics, 7-9 September 2017, Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Publish Date: Dec 23, 2016

Deadline: Jan 01, 2017

Event Dates: from Sep 07, 2017 05:53 to Sep 09, 2017 05:53

About the SLE Summer School

The Societas Linguistica Europaea invites applications from current PhD students for participation in the 2017 SLE summer school, which will take place in September 2017 at the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. The summer school will offer a range of short theoretical and methodological courses that will introduce the participants to linguistic topics of high current relevance. The courses will be complemented by three keynote lectures.

The summer school is competitive, with a total of 30 places. Tuition, accommodation and lunches will be provided free of charge for successful applicants, but we ask delegates to pay for their own travel to and from Neuchâtel. The deadline for applications is January 1, 2017. The application email is 

Application Process

All applications have to be sent in electronic form to Applications have to contain the following items, combined in a single PDF document:

  1. A cover page with the applicant's name, address, university affiliation, and employment status (PhD student, scholarship holder, instructor, etc.).
  2. A brief letter of motivation that explains why the applicant wishes to participate (max. 600 words).
  3. A brief curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages, including information on 1: research interests and dissertation topic, 2: publications, 3: talks, and 4: awards / scholarships)
  4. A list that ranks the six courses in terms of the applicant's preferences, from 1 (This is my favorite course) to 6 (I will take this course if there is no other option). The schedule will allow the attendance of two courses and all three plenary lectures. We will try to accommodate the applicants' wishes as best we can.
  5. Proof of current SLE membership

All applications have to be sent to by the deadline of January 1, 2017. All incoming applications will be acknowledged.

Application Assessment 

The applications will be ranked primarily on the basis of academic merit. In keeping with the goals of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, we particularly encourage applications from weak-currency countries. The organizing committee will strive for a balance of different countries, different genders, and a broad range of linguistic interests in the pool of accepted applicants. Notification of the outcome will be given by February 1, 2017. We wish all applicants success and the best of luck!


Damian Blasi (Zurich) Data science applied to language: a bag of methods to wrangle with linguistic data

It is commonplace to note that the 21st century came with unprecedented amounts of data and statistical methods relevant for the study of language. Data-oriented science doesn't only provide ancillary tools to traditional research on language, but it can also serve as a source of new hypotheses, as a principled way of discovering complex patterns in data and as a safeguard against some of the biases that affect qualitative research. On the other hand, inferences with data come with their unique set of limitations and opportunities for misuse. In this course, I'll provide a brief introduction to data science, revisiting classic statistical topics as well as recent methodological developments from the last decade. I'll illustrate the concepts with case studies taken from my work as well as from others, ranging from linguistic typology to language acquisition, historical linguistics and psycholinguistics.

Session 1: General introduction to statistical modelling and machine learning
Session 2: Regression and classification, causal inference and model evaluation
Session 3: Clustering, mining and learning from the data

Francesco Gardani (Zurich) Advances in contact linguistics

Language contact is one of the fundamental factors of language change. This course will begin with a survey of prominent approaches to contact linguistics, such as Thomason & Kaufman (1988) and van Coetsem (2000), and of the possible effects of language contact on all levels of linguistic processing - phonology, syntax, and morphology. After this introductory session, the course will focus on types of borrowing and degrees of borrowability. In the final session, we will consider a selection of case studies on a world-wide scale. The course pursues three main goals: First, to introduce the most recent developments in this area of research; second, to make the students acquainted with the array of data that has become available in recent years; and, third, to lead the students to a full understanding of how data from language contact informs linguistic theory, in terms of the architecture of grammar.

Session 1: Contact-induced language change
Session 2: Typology of borrowing
Session 3: Case studies

Natalia Levshina (Leipzig) Semantics in space: semantic maps, MDS, correspondence analysis and graph-theoretical approaches

Spatial metaphors are ubiquitous in semantic research. Linguists speak about semantic maps, semantic vector spaces, semantic distance, semantic narrowing and broadening, etc. This practical course shows how one can use R, a free statistical environment, to create spatial semantic models, which allow the linguist to compare the semantics of different linguistic units, as well as to investigate the semantic structure of a specific word or construction. One can also visualize the development of semantics in time or explore intra- and cross-linguistic semantic variation. The statistical procedures and visualization techniques discussed in this course include traditional methods (Multidimensional Scaling, Cluster Analysis, Correspondence Analysis), as well as more recent ones (graph-theoretic approaches and motion charts). The methods are presented in a linguist-friendly way, with a focus on the essential link between linguistic theory and statistical methods. For each of these methods, I will discuss the data format, main steps of the analyses, available diagnostics tools, practical caveats and interpretation of the visual output. The course includes real-life case studies and practical exercises. R code will be provided for all steps of the analyses.

Session 1: Implicational and probabilistic semantic maps based on cross-linguistic data: graph theory and Multidimensional Scaling.
Session 2: Distributional models of semantics: Semantic Vector Spaces and motion charts.
Session 3: Exemplar-based models of semantic structure: Correspondence Analysis and Multidimensional Scaling.

For more information click "Further official information" below.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

Similar Opportunities



Opportunity Types


Eligible Countries


Host Countries