Sam Kirkham

Sam Kirkham

Lecturer in Sociophonetics
Lancaster University Phonetics Lab
Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University
phonetics lab  |  my lancaster webpage

I'm Lecturer in Sociophonetics at Lancaster University, based in the Department of Linguistics and English Language and Lancaster University Phonetics Lab. I'm also a member of Lancaster's Language Variation and Change Research Group and NCUB's 50 Under 30 Network.

I work in the areas of phonetics, sociolinguistics, laboratory phonology, and language variation and change. My main research interests are sociophonetic variation, articulatory phonetics, and language and identity. Much of my work focuses on modelling the social meaning of phonetic variation. Recent/current projects include:

  1. Ethnicity, social practice and phonetic variation in Sheffield (funded by AHRC Doctoral Award, 2009-12 [£50,040])
  2. Acoustic-articulatory relationships in coronal consonants (funded by Lancaster University FASS Research Fund, 2013-14 [£1800])
  3. An ultrasound tongue imaging study of ethnic variation in Bradford English (with Jessica Wormald)
  4. Sociophonetic variation in North West England (with Claire Nance & Eve Groarke; funded by Lancaster University SPRINT scheme, 2014 [£1500])


Kirkham, Sam & Alison Mackey. forthcoming. Research, relationships and reflexivity: reflections on two case studies of language and identity. In: Peter De Costa (ed.) Exploring Ethical Issues from the Ground: Language Researcher Narratives. London: Routledge.

Kirkham, Sam. forthcoming. Urban communities of practice. In: Beatrix Busse & Ingo H. Warnke (eds) Language in Urban Space. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Kirkham, Sam & Emma Moore. 2013. Adolescence. In: J.K. Chambers & Natalie Schilling (eds) The Handbook of Language Variation and Change. Second edition. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 277-296. [ doi | pdf ]

Kirkham, Sam. 2013. Ethnicity, social practice and phonetic variation in a Sheffield secondary school. University of Sheffield PhD dissertation. [ link | pdf ]

Kirkham, Sam. 2011. The acoustics of coronal stops in British Asian English. Proceedings of the XVII International Congress of Phonetic Sciences 1102-1105. [ pdf ]

Kirkham, Sam. 2011. Personal style and epistemic stance in classroom discussion. Language and Literature 20(3): 201-217. [ doi | pdf ]


I teach in the areas of phonetics and sociophonetics. Basic scripts, experiment files and resources for various classes that I teach are available here.

My current PhD students include:


I'm a musician - I currently play drums in a progressive metal band and organ in a country-rock band, as well as continuing to work on my solo percussion repertoire. I also enjoy the wonderful countryside surrounding Lancaster, such as mountain biking down hills, exploring forests, and going to the beach.