Dr Sam Kirkham


Research Overview

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:

I also work on other topics in phonetics and sociophonetics, including liquid consonants, phonetics of contact varieties, and dialect variation. Some ongoing projects include:

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.
Journal article

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.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Nance, C., Kirkham, S. 5/02/2018 In: English Language. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan p. 29-41. 13 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

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)

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.
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
Conference contribution/Paper