Home > Research > Researchers > Sam Kirkham

Current Postgraduate Research Students

Sam Kirkham supervises 3 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

Student research profiles

Show all »

View graph of relations

Dr Sam Kirkham


Sam Kirkham

Lancaster University

County South



Tel: +44 1524 594577

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. I am particularly interested in speech varieties that are the product of bilingualism and language contact. 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)

PhD supervision

I am interested in supervising students who wish to carry out interesting research in phonetics, sociophonetics and speech production. I particularly welcome applications involving acoustic and/or articulatory phonetics (especially using ultrasound or EMA), sociophonetics, bilingualism, language contact, and phonetic fieldwork. Please note that I am happy to receive applications in second language acquisition but I will only consider projects in this area that have a very strong phonetic component and address interesting questions in phonetics or psycholinguistics.

Current Teaching

I teach on the following courses:

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

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.

View all (12) »