I am currently working with a colleague, Rob Drummond, on a research project investigating and celebrating the accents and dialects of Greater Manchester. It seeks to help us understand the ways in which our use of language makes us who we are, and to uncover the underlying perceptions of accents and dialects from across the ten boroughs of the region. More details can be found on our website and on our Facebook page.
The Accentism Project
Rob and I have also established a project with the aim of uncovering and challenging linguistic discrimination in everyday life. Our site offers information, resources, and current research on topics around the issue of accentism in an attempt to raise awareness of what is, in some ways, the last socially acceptable form of prejudice. Most importantly, it provides the opportunity for people to share their own stories and experiences of language-based bias, prejudice, and discrimination. Information and stories are available on our website and Twitter feed.
My PhD thesis, entitled A Social-Psychological Study of Foreign Learners’ Attitudes and Behaviours towards Model Varieties of English Speech, explored the relationship between language attitudes and language use amongst second-language (L2) learners of English. In particular, I looked at how Spanish learners of English perceived and produced accent variation in the L2. I adopted and adapted a social-psychological model for attitude-behaviour relations to examine whether learners’ pronunciation could be predicted from direct and indirect measures of their language attitudes. A copy of my PhD thesis is available here.
Undergraduate and Master’s Research
During my undergraduate and taught postgraduate studies, I did a number of research projects on various topics, ranging from macro-sociolinguistic research on language and nation in the Iberian peninsula and Spain’s language academies and minority languages to micro-sociolinguistic research on grammatical gender in French, Gujarati-English bilingualism in the UK, TH-fronting in East Central Scotland and the acquisition of lexical variation amongst Spanish learners of English.