Dr Sam Kirkham


Research Overview

My research investigates how people coordinate the movements of their vocal tract in order to produce speech, and how this varies between languages, dialects and speakers. My interests include acoustic and articulatory phonetics, speech production in adults and children, sociophonetics, bilingualism, language contact, and dialect variation. My PhD and much of my previous research examined the social meanings of phonetic variation in ethnically diverse communities.

I also direct Lancaster University Phonetics Lab. Our research group focuses on a broad range of topics within phonetics and our lab has excellent facilities for acoustic and articulatory data collection, including electromagnetic articulography, high-speed ultrasound, electropalatography, and aerodynamics.

My current projects:

  • Phonetic variation and phonological contrast in English-Punjabi bilinguals (RA: Maya Zara)
  • Articulatory kinematics and tongue-palate contact in preaspirated stops (with Míša Hejná)
  • Tongue root vowel harmony and the articulation of cross-linguistic contrasts (with Claire Nance)

An acoustic-articulatory study of bilingual vowel production: advanced tongue root vowels in Twi and tense/lax vowels in Ghanaian English
Kirkham, S., Nance, C. 05/2017 In: Journal of Phonetics. 62, p. 65-81. 17 p.
Journal article

Ethnicity and phonetic variation in Sheffield English liquids
Kirkham, S. 04/2017 In: Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 47, 1, p. 17-35. 19 p.
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.