I am an academic linguist based in Manchester UK, involved primarily in sociolinguistic variation (especially at the level of sound), urban adolescent speech, dialects, linguistic ethnography, and identity. I am Professor of Sociolinguistics at Manchester Metropolitan University, where I supervise PhD students and teach sociolinguistics and phonetics to undergraduates and MA students. I am also a member of the Manchester Centre for Youth Studies. As well as my academic work I do a lot of public-facing linguistics, working with the media and with schools. I have a mainstream book coming out in October 2023 called You’re All Talk: Why we are what we speak, published by Scribe.
From May 2019 to January 2023 I was working on the Manchester Voices project – a series of studies exploring the accents, dialects and identities of people in Greater Manchester. The research was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. I also run the Accentism Project, with Dr Amanda Cole from the University of Essex. The project explores and shares stories of language-based discrimination, prejudice, and stereotyping.
Prior to Manchester Voices and Accentism, my main research revolved around youth language, working with young people in Pupil Referral Units. This became the UrBEn-ID project, funded by The Leverhulme Trust (2014-2016). I worked on this research with Dr Susan Dray.