I'm a lecturer in phonetics and phonology at the University of York, in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science. My research lies at the intersection between variationist linguistics, sociophonetics, phonological theory and language change, with a particular interest in northern varieties of British English.

My doctoral research took place at the University of Manchester, where I was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. I submitted my thesis, 'Variation and change in Northern English velar nasals: Production and perception', in October of 2018. In this work I pursue a number of research questions regarding the synchronic and diachronic behaviour of /ŋg/ clusters in the North of England and how their variability is represented in speakers' grammars, which speaks to a number of theoretical issues relating to pathways of sound change and the architecture of grammar.

Research interests

Variationist linguistics and phonological theory

Much of my research deals with the variability inherent in language. I am particularly interested in how language-internal factors influence sound change and what this tells us about how variation is represented in speakers' grammars. Alongside my doctoral research into northern English velar nasals, I am involved in a project investigating diachronic and synchronic frequency effects in Manchester /t/-glottalling, conducted alongside Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero, Maciej Baranowski and Danielle Turton, which engages with important issues of phonological representation.

The relationship between acoustics and articulation

I'm also interested in articulatory phonetics, and in particular the mapping between acoustics and articulation. For example, I am currently involved in an ongoing research project (alongside Stephen Nichols) using ultrasound tongue imaging to investigate /s/-retraction in British English, which explores how different articulatory mechanisms are used to hit similar acoustic targets. Read about it here and here!

Using Twitter in sociolinguistic research

I also work a lot with large corpora of Twitter data to investigate regional variation and to explore innovative methods in variationist linguistics. I've already collected and analysed a 16 million tweet corpus of geotagged tweets, which you can read about here, and I've also organised a workshop on how to collect and analyse Twitter data for linguistic research (the materials are accessible here).

Dialectology and geospatial data visualisation

I love data visualisation, and this goes hand in hand with my interest in dialectology and regional variation. I've been involved in a cool project with Laurel MacKenzie and Danielle Turton mapping regional variation throughout the UK, which you can see here. The project has also been used in a promotional video for the department.

Forced alignment software

As a keen user of Forced Alignment software like FAVE, I have looked into the possibility of using such methodological tools to automate the detection of sociolinguistic variation. I've presented on this topic at NWAV (read about it here and here!) and I'm currently pursuing further ways to increase efficiency in variationist analysis and improve the accuracy of speech~text alignment.