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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 primary research interest is acoustic and articulatory sociophonetics. Most of my current research focuses on phonetic variation and phonological contrast in varieties that are the product of language contact and bilingualism. 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).

I also work on various topics in sociophonetics and speech production. Ongoing research in this area includes a study of intonational variation in Liverpool and Manchester English (with Claire Nance, Eve Groarke & Beth Littlewood, Lancaster), acoustic and articulatory research on obstruents in English dialects, as well as a study of articulatory adaptation in response to different kinds of auditory feedback (with Max Topps, Lancaster & Agnes Henson, Leeds Beckett).

In terms of previous research, my PhD was a sociophonetic study of a multiethnic school in Sheffield. This project looked at how teenagers use phonetic variation in socially meaningful ways, but also involved acoustic phonetic research on British Asian English, as well as a study of discourse and identity in multiethnic communities.

PhD supervision

I am happy to consider students who would like to do interesting research in sociophonetics 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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