I am Professor of English Linguistics in the Department of English and American Studies at the University of Salzburg, Austria. Before I came to Salzburg, in January 2016, I had held posts at the University of Manchester, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Iowa. I received a PhD in linguistics from the University of Michigan in December 2005.
My work investigates the acquisition, use and perception of variable linguistic features, and, ultimately, what this tells us about how linguistic variation is stored by the linguistic system. I make use of quantitative and qualitative methods, and I have recently done a lot of work on the link between variable features and their social meanings: where social meanings come from and how they may vary depending on context, speaker, hearer and region.
I undertake (and supervise) research in sociolinguistics, with a special focus on (1) Language variation and change (in particular discourse, phonetic and phonological variation in dialects of the British Isles); (2) Acquisition of language variation; (3) Language attitudes, perception and discrimination; (4) Language, gender and sexuality; and (5) World Englishes and cross-cultural communication. More detail about my research and my teaching is available on my publications and teaching pages.