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Sam Kirkham supervises 2 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Sam Kirkham


Sam Kirkham

Lancaster University

County South



Tel: +44 1524 5 94577

Research overview

My research investigates the socially-situated nature of language use, drawing upon methods and perspectives from sociolinguistics, phonetics, discourse studies and ethnography. Most of my current work falls into the following two areas:

Acoustic and articulatory sociophonetics 
One of my main interests is sociophonetic variation in bilingual and language contact contexts. I am currently working on 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, a variety spoken by English-Panjabi bilinguals in the UK (with Jessica Wormald, JP French Associates). I am also involved in 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), as well as a study of intonational variation in Liverpool and Manchester English (with Claire Nance, Eve Groarke & Beth Littlewood, Lancaster).

Language and identity 
My other major interest is language and identity, especially in multiethnic and high-contact communities. My PhD was a sociolinguistic ethnography of a multiethnic school in Sheffield, which looked at how teenagers use language (including phonetic variation and discourse strategies) to construct group identities. I have also worked on classroom discourse and political discourse.

PhD supervision

I am happy to consider students who would like to do interesting research in sociolinguistics and/or phonetics, particularly in the areas covered by my research interests (i.e. contact varieties, bilingualism, acoustic and articulatory sociophonetics, speech production, etc).

Current Teaching

I teach on the following courses:

  • LING102 English Language
  • LING223 English Phonetics
  • LING327 Advanced English Phonetics
  • LING416 Sociophonetics

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