Dr Sam Kirkham


Research Overview

My current research investigates phonetic variation and phonological contrast in varieties that are the product of language contact and bilingualism. This typically involves a combination of acoustic phonetics, ultrasound tongue imaging, and fieldwork. I am currently working on an ultrasound study of liquids in British Asian English (with Jessica Wormald, York and JP French Associates), and an acoustic-articulatory study of tongue root vowel contrasts in Akan and Ghanaian English (with Claire Nance, Lancaster). I am also involved in a phonetic description of Dutch Burgher English, which is a contact variety that developed in what is now modern-day Sri Lanka (with Luke Harding & Claire Nance, Lancaster).

I also work on the social meanings of phonetic variation, particularly in multiethnic and high-contact communities. My PhD was a sociolinguistic ethnography of a multiethnic school in the UK, focusing on how adolescents use phonetic variation as a form of social practice. As part of the same project, I also looked at discourses of multiculturalism and diversity in talk by secondary school students. In subsequent research with Emma Moore (Sheffield), I have analysed the 'linguistically-layered' nature of sociolinguistic style, which involved charting the relationship between phonetics, grammar and discourse strategies in constructing a persona in political discourse.

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

Constructing multiculturalism at school: negotiating tensions in talk about ethnic diversity
Kirkham, S. 7/01/2016 In: Discourse and Society.
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)

Intersectionality and the social meanings of variation: class, ethnicity, and social practice
Kirkham, S. 11/2015 In: Language in Society. 44, 5, p. 629-652. 24 p.
Journal article

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