PhD position: Semantics and pragmatics of Negative Polarity Items

This position has been posted on linguistlist:

At the Institute of English and American Studies, Faculty of Modern Languages, at Goethe University Frankfurt, the position of a 

Research associate (m/f/d)
(E 13 TV-G-U, 65% part time)  

is to be filled on 01.04.2024 within the project B05: “Negative polarity items in non-negative contexts“. The project is part of the CRC 1629 “Negation in Language and Beyond (NegLaB)“, which is established at the Institute of Romance Languages and Literatures. The position will be non-permanent until 31.12.2027. The salary grade is based on the job characteristics of the collective agreement (TV-G-U) applicable to Goethe University.

The responsibilities of the position include collaboration and scientific services in research within the project B05: “Negative Polarity Items in non-negative contexts“ as part of the CRC “NegLab“. The project explores the occurrence of Negative Polarity Items in German, Romanian, and English. Specifically, the following tasks are expected of the position holder: Acquisition, annotation, and analysis of corpus data and speaker judgements; formal semantic modeling within a constraint-based grammar framework; presentation and publication of project results. Two research stays lasting several weeks are planned in Bucharest. The opportunity for academic qualification (PhD) and independent research will be provided. 


  • completed academic university degree (Master) in linguistics or a relevant field with a linguistic focus
  • very good language skills in English (C1) and German
  • proficiency in common software (including LaTeX)
  • ability to work independently, teamwork, and communication skills
  • demonstrable interest in the following areas: formal semantics and pragmatics, formal grammar, corpus linguistics, collection of speaker judgments
  • interest in the linguistic study of Romanian and willingness to carry out research stays in Bucharest lasting several weeks
  • knowledge of constraint-based grammar frameworks is advantageous 

Goethe University is committed to a policy of providing equal employment opportunities for both men and women alike, and therefore encourages particularly women to apply for the position/s offered. Individuals with severe disability will be prioritized in case of equal aptitiude and ability.

Please submit your application with the usual documents (cover letter, curriculum vitae, and relevant certificates in original and, if necessary, certified translations into German or English) electronically in one single PDF document by 15.02.2024, to Manfred Sailer, email:

You can find more information on the project here.