Research Interests

I began my research career while an undergraduate by carrying out a short sociolinguistic study of realisational variation in the FACE and GOAT vowels in Kendal. After a six-year break to pursue a career in secondary school English teaching, I returned to academic research in 2005, when I began an MSc by Research at the UNiversity of Edinburgh. This focused on variation in the NURSE and SQUARE lexical sets in Greater Manchester, and is available on my MSc page.

The year I spent working on my MSc by Research was very useful in focusing my research interests. It soon became apparent that my research touched on several related areas including sociolinguistics, dialectology and phonological theory. I have continued to work in these areas, and my PhDtouches on all of them.

My research focuses on several related areas including sociolinguistics, dialectology and phonological theory. In my PhD, I investigate the dialectal feature of rhoticity, which is still present in East Lancashire. I consider socio-spatial factors which may influence the geographical variation in rhoticity. I also consider the distribution of intrusive-/r/, which is typically argued to be in complementary distribution with rhoticity. I show that the same speakers may have both features, and that this pattern is both compatible with existing phonological models and predicted by the socio-spatial factors in East Lancashire and Greater Manchester.