I am a Sociophonetician interested in linguistic variabilty. My research focusses on the relationship between the social and linguistic developmental trajectories of young speakers, and how these impact on patterns of variation and change.


My current project, Generation Why, is a longitudinal study of young speakers' participation in ongoing change. My findings so far indicate that, as they mature, children make adjustments which see them shift their linguistic systems in the direction of changes in progress. This process is further affected by the status of the variable; whether it is socially salient and psychologically ‘available’, and how long the change has been established in the community.

I also research the relationship between language and gender. My work on child speech investigates the developmental emergence of gendered speech. When, why, and how children begin to integrate gendered patterns within their own speech.

As well as child speech, since 2011 Erez Levon and I have made use of reality television to investigate gender and linguistic variation in adult data. Specifically, how differences between male and female discourse strategies correlate with patterns of linguistic variability and create gendered speech styles. Read more here.


In 2016 I joined the University of Southampton as a Lecturer in Linguistics in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics.

In 2017 I was appointed the director of the BA English Language and Linguistics degree programme.

I am the Thematic Pathway Coordinator for the ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Pathway Cluster in Knowledge Learning and Behaviour.

Since 2017 I have acted as the Modern Languages and Linguistics National Student Survey Coordinator.


My teaching primarily contributes to the BA English Language and Linguistics and the MA Applied Linguistics.

Courses I teach (CC= course convenor):

Autumn semester

  • LING 1001: Elements of Linguistics (Articulatory Phonetics)

  • LING 1006: Making of Modern English (CC)

  • LING 2008: Sound and Voice (Acoustic Phonetics)

  • LING 6006: Language and Society

Spring semester

  • LING 1003: Applications of Linguistics (Intro to Forensic Linguistics)

  • LING 2010: Language Attitudes and Ideologies

  • LING 2011: Variation and Change in English (CC)

  • LING 3015: Sociophonetic Project Module (CC)

I currently supervise a range of PG students, Masters and PhD.

I am happy to consider applications for Postgraduate supervision in the following areas: language change; sociolinguistics; phonetics; sociophonetics; language & gender; language & identity; regional dialect levelling; incrementation; bidialectalism