Dr Sam KirkhamSenior Lecturer
My research aims to understand structure and variability in the sound systems of human language. I am particularly interested in laboratory phonology, sound change, and the mathematics of dynamical systems. The majority of my work investigates speech production using electromagnetic articulography, ultrasound tongue imaging, and computational modelling.
I have previously done research on the phonetics of bilingualism, language contact, sociophonetic variation, minority languages, and phonetic typology. For more information please see my personal website.
I am currently working on the following projects:
- Modelling the dynamics of phonetic variation & phonological change (AHRC fellowship, 2024-25)
- Targets and dynamics in speech (with Patrycja Strycharczuk, AHRC standard grant, 2019-23)
Our Phonetics Laboratory has a wide range of facilities, including 24-channel electromagnetic articulography, 4 ultrasound systems, electropalatography, aerodynamics, nasalance, 3D printers, soundproof booth, etc.
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 in the following areas: (1) articulatory phonetics / vocal tract imaging / sound change; (2) laboratory phonology / articulatory phonology / task dynamics; (3) computational/mathematical modelling of articulation, sound change, language dynamics, etc; (4) creative approaches to interesting questions in speech research.
Targets and Dynamics in Speech - TARDIS
01/09/2019 → 31/08/2022
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
Modelling the dynamics of phonetic variation and phonological change
01/01/1900 → …
- Phonetics Lab