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Department of Linguistics - Syntax/Semantics

Recruitment Period

Open date: August 16th, 2019

Last review date: Friday, Nov 1, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


The Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Davis invites applicants for a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Linguistics with a specialization in Syntax and/or Semantics. The successful candidate is expected to develop a research program in the study of sentence structure and/or the meanings of natural language utterances, with broad theoretical appeal.

We are looking for a candidate who will strengthen our faculty in the foundational areas of language research and linguistic theory, also contributing to elevate the interdisciplinary profile of the department. The Linguistics Department at the University of California, Davis is distinguished by its high degree of collaboration with related disciplines. Our department recently served as the hub for the field of linguistics, hosting the 2019 Linguistic Institute.

A successful candidate will demonstrate knowledge of the analytical traditions that contribute to the development of modern theories of grammar and language structure, while at the same time be engaged in the pursuit of a research program that takes advantage of current advances in empirical, quantitative, experimental, or other cutting-edge methodologies. Within the qualifications listed above, the candidate's focus of inquiry will remain wide open. We will particularly encourage applications from candidates working on the syntax and semantics of lesser known languages, on alternative models for the representation of sentence structure and meaning (unification formalisms, probabilistic grammars, constructionist approaches, etc.), on the role of context in shaping the form and interpretation of utterances, and or at the interface of language and cognition. Additional desired qualifications include the ability to teach syntax and semantics at all levels, as well as general topics in linguistics and to contribute to the development of a thriving new program in cognitive science.

Mentoring of undergraduate students, supervision of graduate students, involvement in curricular development, and performance of university service are expected. A Ph.D. in Linguistics, or a closely related field must be completed by the beginning of instruction. Applicants should submit: curriculum vitae, a cover letter that clearly states reasons for the candidate’s interest in the position, qualifications, and a summary of academic trajectory; statements of research and teaching interests, official graduate transcripts, one writing sample (publication, submitted manuscript, or dissertation chapter), a summary or abstract of the Ph.D. dissertation, and three letters of recommendation through the online application system found at: This recruitment is conducted at the assistant rank. The resulting hire will be at the assistant rank, regardless of the proposed appointee’s qualifications.

The position will remain open until filled. Applications received by November 1, 2019 will receive full initial consideration.

The University of California, Davis, is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer with a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of diversity among its faculty and staff.

2019 Forbes Award: Best Employers for Diversity 2019 Forbes Award: America


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter - The cover letter should include reasons for the candidate’s interest in the position, qualifications, and a summary of academic trajectory

  • Research Statement

  • Teaching Statement

  • Summary or Abstract of the Ph.D. Dissertation

  • Official Graduate Transcripts

  • Writing Sample - publication, submitted manuscript, or dissertation chapter

  • Writing Sample 2 (Optional)

  • Writing Sample 3 (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a statement and why one is requested.

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 letters of reference required