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Current Postgraduate Research Students

Sam Kirkham supervises 7 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Sam Kirkham

Senior Lecturer

Sam Kirkham

County South



Tel: +44 1524 5 94577

Research overview

I am interested in the interdisciplinary study of speech, sound and language. My research aims to understand how variation in speech is structured by the sound systems of different languages, dialects and speakers. The majority of this work investigates speech production using articulatory methods such as electromagnetic articulography, ultrasound tongue imaging, and articulatory modelling.

I have previously done research on topics including phonetics of bilingualism and language contact, sociophonetic variation, and linguistic typology.

Current research

My ongoing projects include:

  • TARDIS: Targets and dynamics in speech (with Patrycja Strycharczuk, funded by AHRC 2019-23)
  • Articulatory dynamics of palatalisation contrasts in Scottish Gaelic (with Claire Nance)
  • From variability to invariance in speech: Machine learning models for articulatory speech classification (with George Brown)

These projects involve methods such as: lab experiments, fieldwork, electromagnetic articulography, ultrasound imaging, acoustic analysis, task dynamic simulations, statistics, machine learning.

PhD supervision

I am interested in supervising students who wish to carry out research in the following areas: phonetics, sociophonetics, articulatory phonetics, speech production, dialect variation, phonetic fieldwork. I particularly welcome projects that make use of our lab's specialist instrumentation, which includes electromagnetic articulography (EMA), high-speed ultrasound, electropalatography (EPG), electroglottography (EGG), and aerodynamics systems.

Current Teaching

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.

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