I am currently a PhD student in the Department of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh, supervised by Graeme Trousdale and Patrick Honeybone. The draft title of my PhD thesis is 'Historical Sociophonology: rhoticity, r-sandhi and vowel-r interaction in Lancashire English' and there is more detail about my research on the research page of this site.
I graduated with an MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Edinburgh in 1999, going on to take a PGCE in Secondary School English, Drama and Media Studies at St Martin's College, Lancaster, in 2000. I then taught at Dallam School in Milnthorpe, Cumbria from 2000 to 2005. As well as teaching my subject during this time, I also saw my form group all the way through from Year 7 (age 11) to Year 11 (age 16). This experience was challenging but very rewarding and it is still nice to hear from my form from time to time: some of them are starting university this year. I gained a lot from my time as an English teacher, and the teaching of the school subject 'English' continues to be an interest of mine: I help to run the website for the Committee for Language Awareness in Scottish Schools (CLASS). However, after working as a secondary school teacher for five years, I decided to return to university.
I took an MSc by Research in English Language in 2005-6 which focused on the NURSE-SQUARE merger in southern Lancashire speech and also considered the potential spread of linguistic influence of urban Manchester on neighbouring more outlying parts of Greater Manchester and southern Lancashire. This combination of sociolinguistic investigation with phonological theory continues to be my main research interest.
As well as carrying out my research, I am involved in teaching in the Linguistics and English Language Department here in Edinburgh, and attend the English Language Research Group, the Language in Context Research Group and the Historical Phonology Reading Group. This year I was one of the organisers of the annual Linguistics and English Language Postgraduate Conference in April, and created its website. I also helped to organise the postgraduate training session at the second Northern Englishes Workshop in March. I created and now maintain the website for the 23rd Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop.