Dr Sam Kirkham


Research Overview

My research investigates phonetic variation and phonological contrast in bilingual and language contact contexts. Recent research in this area includes an acoustic-articulatory study of tongue root vowel contrasts in Twi (Akan) and Ghanaian English (with Claire Nance, Lancaster), as well as an ultrasound study of liquids in British Asian English (with Jessica Wormald, JP French Associates). I am also conducting 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 also work on the relationship between sociolinguistic variation and identity. My PhD was a sociolinguistic ethnography of a multiethnic school in Sheffield, which looked at how teenagers use phonetic variation to construct dynamic styles, meanings and identities. More recently, I have worked on sociolinguistic style and the linguistically-layered nature of social meaning (with Emma Moore, Sheffield). I am also interested in language and identity within multiethnic communities – recent work in this area includes a study on the discursive construction of multiculturalism in British secondary schools.

Finally, I do research in sociophonetics more generally. Ongoing research in this area includes a project on intonational variation in Liverpool and Manchester English (with Claire Nance, Eve Groarke & Beth Littlewood, Lancaster).

Ethnicity and phonetic variation in Sheffield English liquids
Kirkham, S. 8/07/2016 In: Journal of the International Phonetic Association.
Journal article

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)

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.