Vacature AiO-plaats metriek, Meertens Instituut, Amsterdam

The Meertens Institute is a research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), concentrating on research and documentation of Dutch language and culture. In the institute, linguists, ethnologists and historians work together. 

The institute offers a PhD position m/f on metrics for 1 FTE.

Project description:
In the late 16th Century, Renaissance poetic forms hit the Low Countries; within a short period of about 25 years, poets started converging on ‘Germanic’ iambs and trochees, i.e. alternating stressed and unstressed syllables, just as had happened independently in England about 200 years earlier. The hypothesis to be tested in this project is that the reason for this sudden success is that the stress system of Dutch (and earlier) English had changed from an earlier ‘Germanic’ stress to a more Latinate stress system due to the influx of Romance loanwords. A full description of the project can be found here.

Job description PhD:

This project has primarily a (historical)-phonological focus; the researcher will build a corpus of 16th and 17th Century Dutch (and possibly English, French and Italian) poetry, and apply phonological analysis to determine both the evidence for developing word stress as well as for the poetic metrics. The project is at this point still rather open, given the exploratory nature of the work; if wanted, the candidate can have quite some influence on the actual content of the research. This work should lead within the application period to a PhD Dissertation following the usual requirements of the Dutch university system.
We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with an MA degree in a relevant field of linguistics, preferably phonology. The candidate should be able to work with digital  / digitized (historical) sources, and have an interest in metrical theory, metrics and historical phonology. Good communication, writing and presentation abilities in English are mandatory. The candidate does not have to be a native speaker of Dutch although he/she should be able to read both historical and contemporary sources on Dutch within a few months. Experience with statistical analysis would be an asset. The candidate should show a clear interest to also cooperate with and learn from literary scholars and should be able to function well in a group.
This is a temporary appointment, initially for 1 year to be extended to 4 years in total given satisfactory performance. We offer a full-time position (38 hours), initially for 1 year after which a go/no go decision will be taken on extension with another three years.

The gross salary (based on a 1 FTE appointment) starts at € 2.125, – per month in the 1st year, and will gradually increase to a maximum of € 2.717, – per month in the 4th year, scale P, Collective Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten), excluding 8% holiday pay and a year-end bonus. We offer an extensive package of fringe benefits. The preferred starting date of the project is January 1st 2016.

Please contact Prof Marc van Oostendorp,; tel. +31-204628528 for questions and additional information about this position.


Please send your application with vacancy number, including a cover letter detailing your motivation for and expectations from this position, a short plan (500-1000 words) describing how you would go about this project, your CV and contact information for two references to The closing date is November 1, 2015. The interviews will be scheduled in the second half of November.