Dr Sam KirkhamLecturer
I am interested in the interdisciplinary study of speech, sound and language. My research focuses on how people produce the sounds of speech, including vocal tract movements, acoustic characteristics, and variation between languages and dialects. I do fieldwork and laboratory research to address descriptive and theoretical questions in these areas, using methods such as acoustic analysis, vocal tract imaging (ultrasound, electromagnetic articulography) and statistical modelling. Most of my current research is on various topics in articulatory sociophonetics, such as:
- Targets and dynamics in speech (with Patrycja Strycharczuk, Manchester; AHRC-funded 2019-22)
- Dialect variation in acoustic-articulatory dynamics (with Emily Gorman, Lancaster)
- Articulatory dynamics of palatalisation contrasts in Scottish Gaelic (with Claire Nance, Lancaster)
- Acoustics, articulation and perception of mergers in Australian English (with Chloé Diskin; Rosey Billington; Debbie Loakes, Melbourne; Hywel Stoakes, Auckland; Simon Gonzalez, ANU)
- Articulation of Danish 'soft d' (with Andrea Brink Siem, Aarhus)
I also work on other topics in phonetics and sociophonetics, including liquid consonants, phonetics of contact varieties, and dialect variation. Some ongoing projects include:
- Acquisition of liquids by Sylheti-English bilingual children (with Kathleen McCarthy, QMUL)
- Crowdsourcing regional phonetic variation across England (with Adrian Leemann, Bern; George Brown, Lancaster; David Britain, Bern; Tam Blaxter, Cambridge; Eleanor Walker, Lancaster)
- Phonetic and phonologial variation in North West England (with Claire Nance, Lancaster)
I teach on the following courses:
- LING102 English Language
- LING223 English Phonetics
- LING327 Advanced English Phonetics
- LING416 Experimental Phonetics
In 2016 I was awarded Lancaster University's Undergraduate Teaching Award, which is a university-wide prize based on student nominations and testimonials. I have also been nominated for Best Dissertation Supervisor and Best Student Advisor awards at Lancaster, as well as Postgraduate Tutor of the Year when I was a PhD student at Sheffield.
PhD Supervision Interests
I am interested in supervising students who wish to carry out research in the following areas: phonetics, sociophonetics, articulatory phonetics, speech production, dialect variation, phonetic fieldwork, sound change, langauge variation and change. I particularly welcome projects that make use of our lab's specialist instrumentation, which includes electromagnetic articulography (EMA), high-speed ultrasound, electropalatography (EPG), electroglottography (EGG), and aerodynamics systems.
Dialect variation in formant dynamics: The acoustics of lateral and vowel sequences in Manchester and Liverpool English
Kirkham, S., Nance, C., Littlewood, B., Lightfoot, K., Groarke, E. 28/02/2019 In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 145, 784, p. 784–794. 11 p.
Studying intonation in varieties of English: Gender and individual variation in Liverpool
Nance, C., Kirkham, S., Groarke, E. 6/02/2018 In: Sociolinguistics in England. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan p. 275-296. 22 p.
Nance, C., Kirkham, S. 5/02/2018 In: English Language. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan p. 29-41. 13 p.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Research, relationships and reflexitvity: two case studies of language and identity
Kirkham, S.D., Mackey, A.J. 2015 In: Ethics in Applied Linguistics Research. London : Routledge ISBN: 9780415739061.
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.
Personal style and epistemic stance in classroom discussion
Kirkham, S. 08/2011 In: Language and Literature. 20, 3, p. 201-217. 17 p.
The acoustics of coronal stops in British Asian English
Kirkham, S. 2011
Intonational variation in North West England
01/07/2014 → 30/04/2016
Ultrasound tongue imaging of language contact varieties
01/06/2014 → …
AHRC: Ethnicity, social practice and phonetic variation
01/10/2009 → 30/09/2012
- Phonetics Lab