image of Vacancy: PhD candidate (m,f,x) for DFG-Project MPCD "Zoroastrian Middle Persian: Digital Corpus and Dictionary"!

Vacancy: PhD candidate (m,f,x) for DFG-Project MPCD "Zoroastrian Middle Persian: Digital Corpus and Dictionary"!

At CERES, one position of a PhD candidate (TV-L E 13, 29,87 weekly working hours) is to be filled at the earliest possible date after 01.04.2024 for 36 months. The candidate will choose to enrol in the PhD program at the Faculty of Philology, RUB, or Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Cologne.

CERES is a Central Research Unit of the Ruhr-Universität. It brings together over 50 researchers, making it one of the largest centers for the comparative study of religion in Europe. The center hosts a double-degree BA program as well as single- and double-degree MA Programs for Religious Studies. The programs combine a focus on the material history of religions with theoretical and empirical approaches to the study of religions and are in constant dialogue with our research projects.

The long-term project MPCD is creating an online and open-access corpus of Zoroastrian Middle Persian texts. The resulting corpus (ca. 54 texts, 700,000 tokens) will be by far the largest of its kind. The MPCD makes this corpus accessible in transliteration, transcription, and via manuscript photographs of the oldest codices (in development). The project provides orthographical, morphological, syntactical, and semantic annotations for these texts. Lexical information is stored in a digital Middle Persian-English dictionary that will encompass about 7000 lemmata. We apply a semi-automatic lexical and morpho-syntactical annotation based on the Universal Dependencies (UD) standard.

The digital corpus and the ensuing digital dictionary constitute two interlinked analytical instruments. They focus on two closely connected but separate aspects of the texts, syntax and semantics. A web-based working environment enabling the collaborative processing of both corpus and dictionary serves as a user interface for search and analysis of the prepared resources. Moreover, the project aims to make the corpus of Pahlavi literature accessible for the methods developed in corpus linguistics and digital humanities.

The project started in April 2021 and is funded now by the German Research Council for its second period of the whole nine years. The project and the advertised position are embedded within CERES, a Central Research Unit of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. You will work in close collaboration with the team members.

Your tasks:

  • Conducting quantitative analyses with qualitative assessment of syntactic structures in Middle Persian (such as diatheses, relative structures, ezāfe constructions, word order, pronominal reference etc.)
  • Setting up text grammars to identify chronological and dialectal feature
  • Improving the morpho-syntactic semi-automatic annotation
  • contribution to the syntactic annotation of the corpus

Your profile:

  • A degree in Iranian Studies, historical linguistics, or a comparable field
  • Excellent knowledge of Middle Persian and Pahlavi script
  • Good knowledge of linguistics of Iranian languages, especially in the field of syntax
  • Good knowledge of Pahlavi literature
  • Good command of English
  • Ability to read German
  • Ability to work in a team

In addition, the following qualifications are desirable:

  •  Experience in digital humanities
  •  Programming skills for quantitative analyses
  •  Knowledge of the Universal Dependencies standard
  •  Experience in working with manuscripts
  •  Knowledge of the Zand literature and Avestan
  •  Good command of German

Our offerings:

  • Challenging and varied tasks with a high level of personal responsibility
  • Support from and cooperation with competent colleagues
  • Employment at one of the largest universities in Germany within the University Alliance Ruhr
  • Fair and flexible working hours
  • Other social benefits according to the TV-L

Contact Details for your Application:

Neda Darabian, Phone: +49234 32 22330

We look forward to receiving your application with the reference ANR: 3031 by 25.03.2024. Please send your application by e-mail to the following address:

Please note: