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I am a linguist based in Manchester (UK) involved primarily in sociolinguistic variation (especially at the level of sound), urban adolescent speech, dialects, and linguistic ethnography.  I am currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Languages at Manchester Metropolitan University, where I teach sociolinguistics and phonetics to final year undergraduates and MA students. I am also Associate Head of the Manchester Centre for Youth Studies, based at MMU.

I was recently awarded a Leverhulme Trust project grant for a project entitled Expressing inner city youth identity through Multicultural Urban British English. This will allow me to continue the work I started last year when I looked at the speech of 14-16 year olds in two non-mainstream learning centres in Manchester. The new project will run for two years and has involved the appointment of a post-doctoral research associate (Dr Susan Dray) who will join me in collecting and analysing ethnographic and speech data from two Pupil Referral Units and one mainstream school in the city. The project is now known as the UrBEn-ID project, details here. 

In 2010 I was awarded a PhD in Linguistics from the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures at The University of Manchester. My thesis is a sociophonetic study into variation in L2 phonological acquisition entitled ‘Sociolinguistic variation in a second language: the influence of local accent on the pronunciation of non-native English speakers living in Manchester’. More details here.

I undertake (and supervise) research in sociolinguistics, with a special focus on the following areas:

  • Language variation and change (particularly phonetic and phonological variation)
  • Urban youth language
  • Dialect acquisition
  • Sociolinguistic variation in a second language
  • Language and identity
  • The acquisition of linguistic variation
  • Usage based models of phonetics and phonology
  • Sociolinguistics and language teaching