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About Me

I am a Lecturer in Sociolinguistics in Linguistics and English Language in the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. My interests within linguistics are sociolinguistics, variation and change, phonetics, and phonology.


phone: +44/(0) 131 650 3983

Linguistics and English Language

The University of Edinburgh

Dugald Stewart Building

3 Charles Street

Edinburgh, EH8 9AD

United Kingdom

office: Dugald Steward Building 2.11


Speech Across Dialects of English (SPADE)

I am part of the UK team, along with PI Jane Stuart-Smith, working on the SPADE project, funded by the Digging into Data challenge.

Edinburgh Speaks

The Edinburgh Speaks project is still in the early planning stages. Our goal is to learn about how people communicate in Edinburgh.

For more information about the project, see the website. If you'd like to contribute your own knowledge to the project as a researcher or as an Edinburgh local, please get in touch!

Forced Alignment and Vowel Extraction

I help maintain the active development of the Forced Alignment and Vowel Extraction (FAVE) suite.

You can download the code from Github, where we also maintain a wiki to help new users get set up. There's also a nice users group.

Sound Change and the Phonology-Phonetics Interface

My dissertation investigated how phonetic and phonological factors influence language change in progress. So far, my research in this area has mostly utilized data from the Philadelphia Neighborhood Corpus.

On the basis of my investigation of the data it appears that categorical (phonological) factors play a crucial role in sound changes much earlier than it is sometimes realized.




The Study of Variation
Published To appear in the Oxford Handbook of the History of Phonology


Generations, lifespans, and the zeitgeist
Published Language Variation and Change 29.1 pp 1-27


The Role of Phonology in Phonetic Change
Published Annual Review of Linguistics 3 pp 25-42


Filled Pause Choice as a Sociolinguistic Variable
Published Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 22.2 pp 41-49


The early influence of phonology on a phonetic change
Published Language 92.2 pp 376-410


Cross Derivational Feeding is Epiphenomenal
Josef Fruehwald and Kyle Gorman
Presented at NAPhC 6,  ILLS 2 [PDF] 
Published Studies in the Linguistic Sciences 2011:36-50


Redevelopment of a Morphological Class
Presented at PLC 35, 2011 
Published PWPL 18.1
Handout ; Paper


The Spread of Raising: Opacity, Lexicalization, and diffusion
Presented at NWAV 36, 2008 
Published Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 14.2


Conference Talks and Presentations


Is it really, um, informative?
Presented at Edinburgh Language Variation and Change Research Group and Edinburgh Disfluency Research Group
HTML5 Slides


/Vwl/ Systems
Presented at NWAV 43 
Slides [html]

Invited Talks


Big Data and Sociolinguistics
Presented at Penn Linguistics Conference 39
HTML5 Slides


How Phonetic Changes Happen
Presented at Newcastle University
HTML5 Slides


The Phonological Influence on Phonetic Change
Presented at University of York
HTML5 Slides



I am usually the course organizer for the following courses

LEL2B: Phonetic Analysis and Empirical Methods

This is a second year pre-honours course being taught in the first semester. For more information, its DRPS entry. If you are a student on the course, all relevant information about the course can be found in the course handbook, and on Learn.

Intro to Sociolinguistics

This postgraduate course taught in the first semester serves as a foundational introduction to Sociolinguistics. It is a compulsory course for the MSc in Applied linguistics. For more information, see its DRPS entry.

Language Variation and Change

This honours course taught in the second semester will focus on how quantiative probabilities and grammatical theory can be brought together to be mutually informative. There is also a practical component involving learning how to use R.


Val Systems

My linguistics and everything else blog called Val Systems.

In Philadelphia, where I'm from, /aw/ is monopthongized before /l/, and I like to study vowels, hence the name "Val Systems."


I've also started blogging here on github.

So far it has no name, and will be devoted to more techy things that are of less general interest than what I post to Val Systems.