Language, Sexuality and Nation

I have a longstanding interesting in the relationship between sexuality and nationalism. This was the subject of my previous work in Israel, and is also the focus of a new comparative ethnography I am planning of lesbian/gay communities in Israel/Palestine, South Africa and Northern Ireland.

Recently, I have also been doing collaborative research with both Tommaso Milani and Roey Gafter on sexuality, citizenship and discourses of belonging in Israel. I also currently have a British Academy funded project (with Tommaso Milani and Quentin Williams) looking at representations of gender and sexuality in the English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa print media. I have also conducted research in collaboration with Ian Bekker on language and gender ideologies among White English- and Afrikaans-speaking South Africans. See my publications for further details.

Perception and Social Meaning

I am very interested in how variation comes to be associated with social meaning, and what these perceptual patterns can tell us about the mechanism of social cognition. This was the topic of my NWAV plenary in October 2018. I have recently published a number of studies on this topic, including work on the role of stereotypes in sociolinguistic processing, on the functioning of the sociolinguistic monitor (with Sue Fox), and on salience across different levels of linguistic structure (with Isa Buchstaller). See my publications for further details.

Variation in Southeast England

In recent work, I have been examining patterns of phonological change in the London area. This research has included an examination of the spread of “uptalk” in London, and how the use of this feature is perceived in the region. I have also been conducting research with Sophie Holmes-Elliott on /s/-variation in London and on the changing shape of the London vowel system. See my publications for further details.