Sam KirkhamDepartment of Linguistics and English Language
phonetics lab | my lancaster webpage
My research interests include phonetics, sociolinguistics, and language variation and change. Most of my work falls into two broad strands, which are described below.
The first strand of my research focuses on the social meanings and stylistic potential of sociolinguistic variation. My PhD was a sociophonetic ethnography of a multiethnic school in Sheffield – I looked at how different kinds of variation are used as stylistic resources and what this might tell us about the nature of sociolinguistic meaning. I have also done research on discourse and identity in multiethnic communities, as well as how social meaning operates across clusters of features that span different linguistic levels, such as phonetics, grammar and discourse (with Emma Moore, Sheffield).
My other major research interest is phonetic variation in varieties that are the product of language contact and bilingualism. I am currently working on two projects using ultrasound tongue imaging. The first is a study of tongue root vowel contrasts in Twi (Akan) and Ghanaian English (with Claire Nance, Lancaster). The second is a 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).
Other ongoing research includes a study of intonational variation in Liverpool and Manchester English (with Claire Nance, Eve Groarke & Beth Littlewood, Lancaster).
Nance, Claire, Sam Kirkham & Eve Groarke. forthcoming. Studying intonational variation in varieties of English: Gender and individual variation in Liverpool. In: Natalie Braber & Sandra Jansen (eds) Sociolinguistics in England. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Kirkham, Sam. forthcoming. Urban communities of practice. In: Beatrix Busse & Ingo H. Warnke (eds) Language in Urban Space. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. [ pre-print ]
Kirkham, Sam. 2016. Ethnicity and phonetic variation in Sheffield English liquids. Journal of the International Phonetic Association. [ doi | pdf ]
Kirkham, Sam & Emma Moore. 2016. Constructing social meaning in political discourse: Phonetic variation and verb processes in Ed Miliband's speeches. Language in Society 45(1): 87-111. [ doi | pdf ]
Kirkham, Sam. 2016. Constructing multiculturalism at school: Negotiating tensions in talk about ethnic diversity. Discourse & Society 27(4): 383-400. [ doi | pdf ]
Kirkham, Sam & Alison Mackey. 2016. Research, relationships and reflexivity: Reflections on two case studies of language and identity. In: Peter De Costa (ed.) Ethics in Applied Linguistics Research: Language Researcher Narratives. London: Routledge, pp. 103-120. [ pre-print | book ]
Kirkham, Sam. 2015. Intersectionality and the social meanings of variation: Class, ethnicity, and social practice. Language in Society 44(5): 629-652. [ doi | pdf ]
Kirkham, Sam & Jessica Wormald. 2015. Acoustic and articulatory variation in British Asian English liquids. Proceedings of the XVIII International Congress of Phonetic Sciences 1-5. [ pdf ]
Nance, Claire, Sam Kirkham & Eve Groarke. 2015. Intonational variation in Liverpool English. Proceedings of the XVIII International Congress of Phonetic Sciences 1-5. [ pdf ]
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 | pre-print ]
Kirkham, Sam. 2013. Ethnicity, social practice and phonetic variation in a Sheffield secondary school. University of Sheffield PhD dissertation. [ link | pdf ]
Kirkham, Sam. 2011. Personal style and epistemic stance in classroom discussion. Language and Literature 20(3): 201-217. [ doi | 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 ]
Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my partner Claire and our two lovely cats, as well as running, cycling, swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, exploring the local countryside, and playing music (drums, guitar, mandolin). You can check out some of the people/bands I've played with here, here and here.