I am Professor of English Linguistics in the Department of English and American Studies at the University of Salzburg, Austria. In the current academic year, I am a FRIAS Senior Fellow (2022-2023) and Marie Curie Fellow of the European Union at the University of Freiburg in Germany. 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 discourse-pragmatic and phonological 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 in the UK and the acquisition of variation; (2) Language attitudes, perception and discrimination; (3) Language, gender and sexuality; (4) Cross-cultural communication; and (5) Language standardisation in contemporary English and its history. More detail about my research and my teaching is available on my publications, projects and teaching pages.