Dr Sam Kirkham

Lecturer

Research Overview

My research investigates phonetic variation in language contact varieties and multiethnic communities. This typically involves a combination of acoustic phonetics, fieldwork, ultrasound tongue imaging, and sociophonetics.

The majority of my ongoing research investigates phonetic variation, phonological contrast and speech production in varieties that are the product of language contact and bilingualism. I am currently working on two projects using ultrasound tongue imaging. The first is a study of tongue root vowel contrasts in Twi (Akan) and Ghanaian English (with Claire Nance, Lancaster). The second is a study of liquids in British Asian English, a variety spoken by English-Panjabi bilinguals in the UK (with Jessica Wormald, JP French Associates). I am also involved in phonetic and sociolinguistic research on Dutch Burgher English, which is a contact variety that originally developed in Sri Lanka, then Ceylon (with Luke Harding & Claire Nance, Lancaster).

I have also worked on the social meanings and stylistic potential of sociolinguistic variation. My PhD was a sociophonetic ethnography of a multiethnic school in Sheffield – I looked at how different kinds of variation are used as stylistic resources and what this might tell us about the nature of sociolinguistic meaning. I have also done research on discourse and identity in multiethnic communities, as well as how social meaning operates across clusters of features that span different linguistic levels, such as phonetics, grammar and discourse (with Emma Moore, Sheffield).

Other ongoing research includes a study of intonational variation in Liverpool and Manchester English (with Claire Nance, Eve Groarke & Beth Littlewood, Lancaster), as well as a study of articulatory adaptation in response to different kinds of auditory feedback (with Max Topps, Lancaster & Agnes Henson, Leeds Beckett).

Constructing multiculturalism at school: negotiating tensions in talk about ethnic diversity
Kirkham, S. 07/2016 In: Discourse and Society. 27, 4, p. 383-400. 18 p.
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)

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

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.
Paper