I am a lecturer in Linguistics, specialising in sociolinguistics. I am particularly interested in the ways in which spoken language varies between speakers and groups of speakers, and the way it changes over time. This involves the study of accents and dialects, and the ability to measure fine phonetic differences in people's speech. I look at ways in which identities are performed through linguistic variables so as to better understand how we construct and negotiate our place in everyday social contexts.
Having spent a number of years looking at the patterns of such sociolinguistic variation in a second language, my current focus is on the speech of adolescents in multicultural urban environments such as inner-city Manchester.
Teaching and research go hand in hand; they inform and improve each other. Explaining complex ideas to students is the best way to fully understand the concepts yourself, and being involved in current, relevant research is the best way to keep your teaching focused and up to date.
If you are interested in sociolinguistics, then you have to start listening. Really listen to the different ways in which different people speak in different contexts. Listen to your own speech, and start noticing how you pronounce the words you use, and think about how your speech changes depending on where you are.
University of Manchester
MA Applied Linguistics (joint programme leader)
I am interested in supervising PhD students in the following areas:
I am currently Director of Studies for 4 PhD students:
Language variation and change (particularly at the level of phonetics and phonology); sociophonetics; urban youth language; English accents and dialects; dialect acquisition; dialect perception; language and identity; usage-based phonetics/phonology; the teaching of pronunciation; vowel/colour perception.
For a complete list of publications (including those under review), pdf copies of selected items, and a full list of conference papers, please visit www.robdrummond.co.uk
I am involved in two current research projects:
UrBEn-ID - Exploring the langauge and identities of urban youth.
Manchester Voices (with Dr Erin Carrie) - Exploring the language, identities and people of Greater Manchester
R. Drummond (2017). (Mis)interpreting urban youth language: white kids sounding black?. Journal of Youth Studies. 20(5), pp.640-660.
R. Drummond (2014). The role of orthography in (apparent) L2 dialect acquisition. English World-Wide. 35(3), pp.338-351.
R. Drummond (2013). The Manchester Polish STRUT. Journal of English Linguistics. 41(1), pp.65-93.
R. Drummond (2012). Aspects of identity in a second language: ING variation in the speech of Polish migrants living in Manchester, UK. Language Variation and Change. 24(01), pp.107-133.
R. Drummond (2011). Glottal variation in /t/ in non-native English speech: Patterns of acquisition. English World-Wide. 32(3), pp.280-308.
RJ. Drummond, E. Schleef (2016). Identity and Variationist Sociolinguistics. In: The Routledge Handbook of Language and Identity. Routledge,
RJ. Drummond (2015). Non-native northern English. In: Researching Northern English. John Benjamins,
RJ. Drummond, S. Dray (2015). ‘Gimme dat ting’: Word initial th-stopping among urban British youth. University of Toronto, 22/10/2015.
R. Drummond (2015). Tales of the unpredictable: researching TH-stopping in urban British English. University of York, 1/9/2015.
RJ. Drummond (2015). (Mis)interpreting urban youth language. University of Copenhagen, 30/3/2015.
R. Drummond (2010). Speaking like the locals-the acquisition of two local variants in the spoken English of native Polish speakers living in Manchester. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on the Acquisition of Second Language Speech, New Sounds 2010. Poznan, Poland, 1/5/2010. pp.106-112.
Expressing inner city youth identity through Multicultural Urban British English
I was recently awarded a research project grant by the Leverhulme Trust (£107,000) to continue my work looking into the use of what is known as ‘Multicultural Urban British English’ among young people in Manchester. The project involved the appointment of a two year full-time post doctoral research associate, Dr Susan Dray, who joined me in collecting ethnographic and speech data from Pupil Referral Units and a mainstream school in Manchester. It is hoped that the findings will raise awareness of the changing nature of young urban speech, highlighting the fact that many of its salient features are predictable results of the context in which it is used and acquired. In addition, the project will explore the ways in which particular linguistic features are used in the construction and negotiation of identity among young people, while at the same time looking at the extent to which speakers are able to code-switch between language varieties.
For more details about the project see: www.urben-id.org
Regulare appearances as a Language Expert on TV and Radio. Recent appearances include:
I have also written for mainstream publications:
(With Erin Carrie) ‘Why so many singers sound American – but British grime artists are bucking the trend’ The Conversation/The Independent/The Daily Mail [Available online here]
Leave off, will you? Britain should celebrate ‘regional’ accents’. The Conversation. 1st Nov 2016. [Available online here]
‘Skepta, grime, and urban British youth language: a guide’. The Conversation. 21st Sep 2016. [Available online here]
‘Slang shouldn’t be banned, it should be celebrated, innit’. The Conversation. 3rd May 2016. [Available online here]
‘What grammar pedants and fashion victims have in common’. The Conversation/The Independent. 3rd March 2016. [Available online here]
I am a reviewer for AHRC and ESRC funding bodies, and have been a member of the AHRC peer review college since 2015.