Postdoctoral Researcher in African Linguistics Ghent University, Department of Languages and Cultures Belgium

Postdoctoral Researcher in African Linguistics


Last application date

Nov 27, 2017 17:00



LW21 - Department of Languages and Cultures



Limited duration



PhD in (African) Linguistics or an equivalent diploma


Occupancy rate



Vacancy Type

Research staff


Job description


Applications are invited for a one-year postdoctoral research position, starting in January 2018 and renewable twice with another year, to carry out historical-comparative linguistic research within the ERC-funded BantuFirst project led by Prof. Dr. Koen Bostoen at the Department of Languages and Cultures of Ghent University. The project's full title is "The First Bantu Speakers South of the Rainforest: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach to Human Migration, Language Spread, Climate Change and Early Farming in Late Holocene Central Africa". For a short project description, check


You will be part of the UGent Department of Languages and Cultures ( and operate within the UGent Centre for Bantu Studies (, associated with the UGent African Studies program (;


You will be responsible for the collection and historical analysis of comparative lexical and grammatical data from the West-Coastal Bantu languages (cf. Vansina 1995), aka the ‘West-Western Bantu’ languages (cf. Grollemund et al. 1995), in order to reconstruct their most recent common ancestor, to gain a better understanding of their internal classification and to address the question of prehistoric language contact with autochthonous hunter-gatherers;


You will collaborate closely with and report to the PI, who is a historical Bantu linguist himself and work with him and other BantuFirst team members on bodies of evidence from different disciplines, such as archaeology and archaeobotany. A keen interest in interdisciplinary approaches to the African past is recommended;


You will collaborate with the project’s international partners including geneticists, archaeobotanists and archaeologists;


You will participate in the project’s fieldwork missions in Central Africa planned between 2018 and 2020 or carry out fieldwork independently;


You will be expected to carry out both independent and joint research, and to disseminate research results together with the BantuFirst research team via the publication in international peer-reviewed journals, the participation in conferences and the popularization for a wider audience;


You might be involved in teaching African linguistics to BA and MA students and in the supervision of BA and MA students doing research in the field of Bantu linguistics.


Profile of the candidate


You hold a PhD in (African) linguistics or an equivalent diploma;

You have done descriptive and/or comparative linguistic research on Bantu languages, preferably West-Coastal Bantu languages or other western Bantu languages;

You are familiar with historical linguistics;

You have done linguistic fieldwork in Africa and you are willing and able to carry out fieldwork in West-Central Africa;

You have an interest in corpus-based and/or quantitative approaches to language comparison;

You have published in international peer-reviewed journals;

You have presented at international conferences;

You have good knowledge of English as well as sufficient knowledge of French to do fieldwork in francophone Central Africa;

You are a dynamic and enthusiastic team player.


How to apply


Send your CV and Statement of Purpose in English to Prof. Dr. Koen Bostoen,, Department of Languages and Cultures, Blandijnberg 2, 9000 Ghent.

The Statement of Purpose should include a research plan, in which you explain how you would tackle the proposed research over a period of three years.

Ask also two referees to send a letter of reference before the deadline, one of these from your most recent employer/supervisor.

For more information or a full project description:


If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Educaloxy


All Jobs






Uni Anu

Uni Copenhagen

Uni Gothenburg

Uni Kuwait

Uni Laval

Uni Nus Singapore

Uni Seoul

Uni Simon Fraser

Uni Tcd

Uni Tokio

Uni Unsw