Sam KirkhamDepartment of Linguistics and English Language
phonetics lab | my lancaster webpage
My research investigates the socially-situated nature of language use, drawing upon methods and perspectives from sociolinguistics, phonetics, discourse studies and ethnography. Most of my current work falls into the following two areas:
Acoustic and articulatory sociophonetics
One of my main interests is sociophonetic variation in bilingual and language contact contexts. I am currently working on an acoustic-articulatory study of tongue root vowel contrasts in Twi (Akan) and Ghanaian English (with Claire Nance, Lancaster), as well as an ultrasound 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), as well as a study of intonational variation in Liverpool and Manchester English (with Claire Nance, Eve Groarke & Beth Littlewood, Lancaster).
Language and identity
My other major interest is language and identity, especially in multiethnic and high-contact communities. My PhD was a sociolinguistic ethnography of a multiethnic school in Sheffield, which looked at how teenagers use language (including phonetic variation and discourse strategies) to construct group identities. I have also worked on classroom discourse and political discourse.
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 triathlon, mountain biking, stand-up paddleboarding, exploring the local countryside, and playing music (drums, guitar). You can check out some of the people/bands I've played with here, here and here.