Sam KirkhamDepartment of Linguistics and English Language
phonetics lab | my lancaster webpage
My current research investigates phonetic variation and phonological contrast in varieties that are the product of language contact and bilingualism. This typically involves a combination of acoustic phonetics, ultrasound tongue imaging, and fieldwork. I am currently working on an ultrasound study of liquids in British Asian English (with Jessica Wormald, York and JP French Associates), and an acoustic-articulatory study of tongue root vowel contrasts in Akan and Ghanaian English (with Claire Nance, Lancaster). I am also involved in a phonetic description of Dutch Burgher English, which is a contact variety that developed in what is now modern-day Sri Lanka (with Luke Harding & Claire Nance, Lancaster).
I also do research on the social meanings of phonetic variation in multiethnic and high-contact communities. My PhD was a sociophonetic ethnography of a multiethnic school in the UK, focusing on how adolescents use phonetic variation as a form of social practice. As part of the same project, I also looked at discourses of multiculturalism and diversity amongst high school students. In subsequent research with Emma Moore (Sheffield), I have analysed the 'linguistically-layered' nature of sociolinguistic style, which involved charting the relationship between phonetics, grammar and discourse strategies in constructing a persona in political discourse.
Kirkham, Sam. forthcoming. Ethnicity and phonetic variation in Sheffield English liquids. Journal of the International Phonetic Association. [ pre-print ]
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.
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). [ 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 & 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. 2015. Intersectionality and the social meanings of variation: Class, ethnicity, and social practice. Language in Society 44(5): 629-652. [ doi | 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. 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 ]
Roy Alderton: Language, identity and speech perception (funded by Lancaster FASS Postgraduate Scholarship; co-supervised with Claire Nance)
Ozgur Parlak: An interactionist approach to the acquisition of prosody (co-supervised with Alison Mackey & Jen Philp)
Max Topps: Tongue dynamics in speech production (funded by ESRC 1+3 scholarship; co-supervised with Claire Nance)
Outside of work I play a lot of music (drums and piano).
I am currently involved in developing a multimedia song cycle with Derek Meins (formerly of Eastern Lane and The Agitator). In addition to this, I play keyboards (organ and piano) in Sheffield-based The Hobo Conspiracy, which is an 8-piece folk-rock band that sounds a bit like a cross between Fairport Convention and Deep Purple. I also play drums in the Lancaster Linguistics Department band (The Fauxnemes).