Sam Kirkham

Sam Kirkham

Department of Linguistics and English Language
Lancaster University
LVC group  |  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 was awarded my PhD in 2014 from the University of Sheffield, where I was supervised by Emma Moore and Gareth Walker.

My research interests include sociolinguistics, phonetics, and language variation and change. I work on language, identity and the social meanings of linguistic variation, often in multiethnic communities. My research draws upon methods from variationist and interactional sociolinguistics, acoustic and articulatory phonetics, discourse analysis, and ethnography.


Kirkham, Sam. resubmitted. Ethnicity and phonetic variation in Sheffield English liquids.

Kirkham, Sam & Emma Moore. forthcoming 2016. Constructing social meaning in political discourse: Phonetic variation and verb processes in Ed Miliband's speeches. Language in Society.

Kirkham, Sam. forthcoming 2015. Intersectionality and the social meanings of variation: Class, ethnicity and social practice. Language in Society 44(5).

Kirkham, Sam & Jessica Wormald. forthcoming 2015. Acoustic and articulatory variation in British Asian English liquids. Proceedings of the XVIII International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. [ pdf ]

Nance, Claire, Sam Kirkham & Eve Groarke. forthcoming 2015. Intonational variation in Liverpool English. Proceedings of the XVIII International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. [ pdf ]

Nance, Claire, Sam Kirkham & Eve Groarke. forthcoming. Sociophonetic variation in intonation: Phonetics and phonology of Liverpool English. In: Natalie Braber & Sandra Jansen (eds) Sociolinguistics in England. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

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 | 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. 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 am happy to supervise students who would like to do interesting research in sociolinguistics or sociophonetics. I'm particularly interested in topics that involve language variation and identity, language and ethnicity, sociolinguistic ethnography, youth language, or articulatory sociophonetics.

My current PhD students include:


I am a musician and play drums, keyboards, and guitar. My main band at the moment is Sheffield-based The Hobo Conspiracy, in which I play organ. We play Americana/folk rock and sound a bit like a mix of The Band, Fairport Convention and Deep Purple. I also play drums in a progressive metal duo, as well as drums in The Fauxnemes – the Lancaster Linguistics Department band. I previously played drums and accordion with Who Killed The Cranks?, piano with Rebecca Watson, percussion with Just Jodi, and percussion with Sam Browse.