PhD Candidate in Philosophy of Language and Experimental Linguistics

PhD Candidate in Philosophy of Language and Experimental Linguistics

Published Deadline Location
17 Sep 16 Nov Nijmegen

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Job description

Are you fascinated by how we use language? Then join this new research project as a PhD Candidate. You will aim to understand commitments in communication, combining linguistic experiments with theoretical discourse analysis.

By speaking we undertake commitments, obligations to others to act in certain ways. We do this both by performing speech acts and by choosing certain vocabulary. Within linguistics the notion of commitments has popped up in accounts of a wide range of phenomena (ranging from promises to rising declaratives, and from evidentiality markers to transparent free relatives). In our society, issues about commitment come up in the media and even in court rooms.

Despite the central place of commitment in both our language make-up and our society, a true understanding of how we undertake, attribute and avoid commitments through language use is lacking. This understanding is what this project aims to contribute to.

You will perform a series of experiments in which we measure the commitments that discourse participants undertake, as interpreted by the participants of the experiment. We measure this through both explicit and implicit judgments. For the latter, we use inter alia physiological measures such as fEMG. Combined with theoretical discourse analysis (as done in the fields of semantics, pragmatics, philosophy of language, conversational analysis and dialogue modelling), the series of experiments will result in four journal papers, to be integrated into a dissertation.

Teaching related tasks may be part of your responsibilities, constituting up to 10% of your appointment.


Radboud University


  • You have an MA or MSc in philosophy, linguistics, cognitive neuroscience, psychology or a related field.
  • You have proven affinity with philosophy of language and/or linguistics.
  • You are proficient in English.
  • You are highly motivated to conduct interdisciplinary research and to present your work to different kinds of audiences.
  • You have good collaborative and communication skills.
  • You are committed to open science and scientific integrity.
  • Proven affinity with experimental research with human participants and experience with quantitative data analysis techniques would be a plus.
  • Given that the experiments will probably be run in Dutch, proficiency in Dutch would be a plus.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).

  • Employment for 0.8 (5 year contract) - 1.0 FTE (4 year contract).
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,434 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,111 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment  and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 29 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.
Additional employment conditions Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.


The Philosophy of Mind and Language group's research focuses on fundamental and applied questions at the intersection of cognition, culture and language. The group's profile is strongly interdisciplinary. The group combines state-of-the-art philosophical theorising with recent scientific findings in psychology, linguistics, artificial intelligence and cognitive neuroscience. It offers courses to students in philosophy, linguistics, sociology, psychology and cognitive neuroscience.
The Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religion Sciences is a compact, ambitious division consisting of around 160 employees and almost 900 national and international students. Our education programme contains several great courses and offers disciplinary as well as interdisciplinary and interfaculty fields of study. The faculty has an innovative education and research programme which is strongly linked to current societal issues.

Our faculty believes in equal opportunities for everyone. We stand for an inclusive community and believe that diversity contributes to education and research quality. We welcome all employees who contribute to the diversity at our faculty through their unique background and perspective.

Radboud University
We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!


  • PhD; Research, development, innovation
  • Behaviour and society; Language and culture
  • €2434—€3111 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1169884



Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen

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