Dr Sam Kirkham


Research Overview

My research takes place at the intersection between sociolinguistics, phonetics, and language variation and change. My main interest is language variation and identity in English dialects, but I also work on a range of topics within sociolinguistics and phonetics more broadly.

My PhD was a sociolinguistic ethnography of a multiethnic school in Sheffield — I looked at how different kinds of sociophonetic variation are used as stylistic resources and what this might tell us about the nature of sociolinguistic meaning. In recent research with Emma Moore (Sheffield) I have investigated how social meaning operates across clusters of features that span different linguistic levels, such as phonetics, grammar and discourse. I'm currently carrying out research on sociophonetic variation in North West England (with Claire Nance, Eve Groarke & Beth Littlewood, Lancaster).

I am also interested in varieties that are the product of language contact and bilingualism. I have previously worked on British Asian English and I'm currently continuing this work in an ultrasound study of liquids in Bradford Asian English (with Jessica Wormald, York and JP French Associates). I am also carrying out acoustic-articulatory research on tongue root vowel contrasts in Twi and Ghanaian English (with Claire Nance, Lancaster), as well phonetic and sociolinguistic research on Dutch Burgher English (with Luke Harding & Claire Nance, Lancaster).

Constructing multiculturalism at school: negotiating tensions in talk about ethnic diversity
Kirkham, S. 22/03/2016 In: Discourse and Society.
Journal article

Constructing social meaning in political discourse: phonetic variation and verb processes in Ed Miliband's speeches
Kirkham, S., Moore, E. 02/2016 In: Language in Society. 45, 1, p. 87-111. 25 p.
Journal article

Research, relationships and reflexivity: two case studies of language and identity
Kirkham, S., Mackey, A. 2016 In: Ethics in applied linguistics research. London : Routledge p. 103-120. 18 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Ethnicity and phonetic variation in Sheffield English liquids
Kirkham, S. 26/10/2015 In: Journal of the International Phonetic Association.
Journal article

Intersectionality and the social meanings of variation: class, ethnicity, and social practice
Kirkham, S. 15/10/2015 In: Language in Society. 44, 5, p. 629-652. 24 p.
Journal article

Acoustic and articulatory variation in British Asian English liquids
Kirkham, S., Wormald, J. 2015 In: Proceedings of the XVIII International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. Glasgow : University of Glasgow p. 1-5. 5 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Intonational variation in Liverpool English
Nance, C., Kirkham, S., Groarke, E. 2015 In: Proceedings of the XVIII International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. Glasgow : University of Glasgow 5 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Kirkham, S., Moore, E. 2013 In: The Handbook of Language Variation and Change. Oxford : Wiley-Blackwell p. 277-296. 20 p. ISBN: 9780470659946.

Ethnicity, social practice and phonetic variation in a Sheffield secondary school
Kirkham, S. 2013 University of Sheffield. 323 p.
Doctoral Thesis

Personal style and epistemic stance in classroom discussion
Kirkham, S. 08/2011 In: Language and Literature. 20, 3, p. 201-217. 17 p.
Journal article

The acoustics of coronal stops in British Asian English
Kirkham, S. 2011 In: Proceedings of the XVII International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. p. 1102-1105. 4 p.