Early Languages, Digital Philology (DigPhil)

Introducing the Graduate School Early Languages and Digital Philology (DigPhil)

We are excited to announce the launch of the National Graduate School of Early Languages and Digital Philology (DigPhil). This project will establish a cutting-edge doctoral research environment that combines the study of early languages – from pre-historical and ancient to early modern languages and their varieties up to the eighteenth century – with advancements in language technology. Our goal is to educate a new generation of philologists, grounded in the rich history of their discipline while possessing a strong proficiency in language technology. DigPhil is made possible thanks to financial support from the Swedish Research Council, 2023-27 (VR 2022-06343).

What is philology? Philology, as defined by DigPhil, refers to the integrated study of languages and texts within their historical contexts. This field traces its roots back to the Library of Alexandria in the third century BCE, encompassing a dynamic and interdisciplinary interaction between textual criticism, book history, historical linguistics, various forms of textual analysis (metrics, rhetoric, narratology, etc.), and hermeneutics.

What is digital philology? Digital philology incorporates digital methods and tools across all aspects of traditional philology. Examples include applying AI to restore fragmentary texts, utilizing computational approaches in comparative historical linguistics, conducting automated stylometry or narrative analysis, and extracting information from texts through data-mining techniques.  If you're unsure where to start, we have gathered some links to meaningful contributions to digital philology below.

Where is DigPhil? DigPhil is a national graduate school, coordinated by the Faculty of Languages, Uppsala University, in collaboration with Lund University and Stockholm University. Its organizational structure is a follows:

Coordinator and Principal Investigator:
Ingela Nilsson (Uppsala University)
Incoming Coordinator:
Eric Cullhed (Uppsala University)
Steering Committee:
Mari Bacquin (Lund University)
Elisabet Göransson (Lund University)
Christian Høgel (Lund University)
Jenny Larsson (Stockholm University)
Beáta Megyesi (Uppsala University/Stockholm University)
Joakim Nivre (Uppsala University)
Jonatan Pettersson (Stockholm University)

How can I apply? Doctoral positions will soon open at all three participating universities – Lund University, Stockholm University, and Uppsala University. The announcements can be found here:

Lund University: 3 positions in Arabic, French, Italian, Latin, Ancient Greek, Modern Greek, Nordic languages, and Literary studies (focusing on Swedish source material).

Stockholm University: 3 positions in Baltic languages, Classics, Linguistics (Computational linguistics profile), Scandinavian languages, Romance languages (with a French or Italian specialisation), or German. Please note that new deadline for application is Friday May 26, 2023!

Uppsala University: 4 positions in English, Greek, Language technology, Linguistics, or Scandinavian languages.

Please note that the languages and disciplines available for study differ between the three universities, as we strive to offer robust supervision and nurturing research environments tailored to each PhD student’s needs. We recommend reviewing the announcements from all three institutions before making a decision on where to apply. DigPhil is a unique collaboration that bridges the gap between traditional philological language disciplines and language technology. As such, candidates with a background in computational linguistics or related fields are also encouraged to apply. This interdisciplinary approach opens up new opportunities for research and collaboration, fostering the development of innovative methodologies in philology.

Do you need inspiration in developing your application? Click here for links to a wide assortment of meaningful contributions to digital philology.

For general inquiries, feel free to contact ingela.nilsson@lingfil.uu.se, eric.cullhed@lingfil.uu.se, or beata.megyesi@lingfil.uu.se.

Join us at DigPhil and be a part of an exciting new chapter in the field of early languages and digital philology!

Last modified: 2023-05-22