Sam KirkhamDepartment of Linguistics and English Language
phonetics lab | my lancaster webpage
My research investigates phonetic variation in language contact varieties, speech production, and acoustic and articulatory sociophonetics.
Phonetic variation and language contact
(Funding: AHRC Doctoral Award 2009-12; Lancaster FASS 2014; Lancaster LAEL R&D Fund 2015)
One of my main interests is phonetic variation and phonological contrast in varieties that are the product of language contact. My current work investigates phonetic and phonological variation in contact varieties via ultrasound tongue imaging of bilingual speakers. This involves studies of British Asian English liquids with Jessica Wormald, and a study of Twi (Akan) and Ghanaian English with Claire Nance (RA: Ruby Miller). I'm also working on a phonetic study of Dutch Burgher English, which is an interesting contact variety that developed in Sri Lanka (with Luke Harding).
Speech production and phonetic learning
(Funding: Lancaster FASS Research Fund 2013-15; ONR-G 2014-15)
I also carry out research in speech production and aspects of speech learning. I am currently running a study looking at articulatory adaptation under different kinds of feedback (with Agnes Henson). I have previously been involved in a project on cognitive creativity and individual differences in second language production (with Alison Mackey (PI), Jen Philp & Patrick Rebuschat; funded by ONR-G).
Sociophonetic variation in English accents
(Funding: AHRC Doctoral Award 2009-12; Lancaster SPRINT award 2014; Lancaster FASS Research Fund 2015-16)
My PhD focused on adolescents in a multiethnic school and how they use variation in stops, liquids, and vowels as a form of social practice. I recently did a study with Emma Moore on how phonetic variation works in tandem with verb processes in constructing a persona in political discourse, and I am currently working on phonetic and phonological variation in intonation in North West England (with Claire Nance; RAs: Beth Littlewood, 2015; Eve Groarke, 2014).
-- forthcoming --
Kirkham, Sam. forthcoming. Ethnicity and phonetic variation in Sheffield English liquids. Journal of the International Phonetic Association. [ pre-print ]
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 45(1). [ FirstView version | pre-print ]
Kirkham, Sam & Alison Mackey. forthcoming 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.
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.-- 2015 --
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 ] *open access*
Nance, Claire, Sam Kirkham & Eve Groarke. 2015. Intonational variation in Liverpool English. Proceedings of the XVIII International Congress of Phonetic Sciences 1-5. [ pdf ] *open access*-- 2013 --
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. 2011. The acoustics of coronal stops in British Asian English. Proceedings of the XVII International Congress of Phonetic Sciences 1102-1105. [ pdf ] *open access*
Kirkham, Sam. 2015. The dance of the tongue: Using ultrasound to study tongue movements in language contact varieties. Invited talk at University of Huddersfield, UK.
Kirkham, Sam. 2015. Speech articulation and language contact: Phonetics, phonology, sociolinguistics. Invited talk at Queen Mary University of London, UK.
Mackey, Alison, Jenefer Philp, Yasser Teimorian, Alroumi Abdulla, Ting Zhao, Wenjing Li, Sam Kirkham & Patrick Rebuschat. 2015. Working memory, cognitive creativity and second language production. Sixth International Conference on Task-Based Language Teaching, Leuven, Belgium.
Kirkham, Sam & Jessica Wormald. 2015. Articulatory variation in a contact variety: Liquids in British Asian English. UKLVC10, York, UK.
Kirkham, Sam & Jessica Wormald. 2015. Acoustic and articulatory variation in British Asian English liquids. 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow, UK.
Nance, Claire, Sam Kirkham & Eve Groarke. 2015. Intonational variation in Liverpool English. 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow, UK.
Wormald, Jessica & Sam Kirkham. 2015. Articulation, audition and acoustics: An ultrasound tongue imaging study. 24th Annual Conference of the International Association for Forensic Phonetics and Acoustics, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Kirkham, Sam & Jessica Wormald. 2015. An ultrasound study of language contact in Bradford English liquids. ICLaVE8, Leipzig, Germany.
Kirkham, Sam. 2015. Boundaries and intersections: Class, ethnicity and identity in a multiethnic school. 8th International Conference on Language Variation in Europe, Germany [invited talk in panel on communities of practice].
I am happy to supervise students who would like to do interesting research in sociophonetics, sociolinguistics, and/or phonetics, particularly in the areas covered by my current research interests. My PhD students include:
- Roy Alderton: Language variation, speech perception and the construction of identity in East Hampshire (funded by Faculty scholarship; co-supervised with Claire Nance)
- Ozgur Parlak: Acquisition of L2 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)
I am a musician and mainly play drum kit and percussion. I spend a lot of my time working on solo percussion in the contemporary classical tradition, but I'm more generally fascinated by percussion from across the world.
In terms of bands, I currently play organ in Sheffield-based The Hobo Conspiracy, which is a rootsy folk-rock band, and I'm involved in a couple of studio-based projects, including a prog-metal group and an electronic duo. I also play gamelan whenever the opportunity arises.