• Who am I?

    Who am I?

    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.

    Why do I teach?

    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. 

    Words of wisdom

    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.

  • Academic Biography

    Academic and professional qualifications

    • PhD in Lingusitics (2010). University of Manchester.
    • MA in Applied Linguistics (2003). University of Manchester.
    • Trinity DipTESOL (2001). City College Manchester.
    • Trinity CertTESOL (1997). Universal Language Training.
    • BA Hons American Studies and English (1995). University of Central Lancashire.

    Previous Employment

    University of Manchester

    Other academic service (administration and management)

    • Joint programme leader for the MA in Applied Linguistics.
    • Associate Head of the netre for Research in English, Language and Linguistics (CELL)
    • Founding member of the Manchester Centre for Youth Studies (MCYS)
  • Teaching & Research Supervision

    Undergraduate courses


    • Final year - TESOL-Linguistics 3: Language variation (unit leader) 
    • Second year - Guest lecturer on Forensic Linguistics (forensic phonetics)

    Postgraduate teaching


    MA Applied Linguistics (joint programme leader)

    • Sociolinguistics (unit leader)
    • Research Methods (unit leader)
    • Principles of Language and Linguistics



    • Research Methods (unit leader)
    • Principles of Language and Linguistics

    Postgraduate supervision (completed/in progress)

    I am interested in supervising PhD students in the following areas:

    • Language variation and change (particularly phonetic and phonological variation)
    • Urban youth language
    • Dialect acquisition
    • Sociolinguistic variation in a second language
    • Language and identity
    • The acquisition of linguistic variation
    • Usage based models of phonetics and phonology
    • Sociolinguistics and language teaching

    I am currently Director of Studies for 4 PhD students:

    • Warda Rashed
    • Hanan Ben Nafa
    • Amal Alhamazany
    • Chahla Lamri
  • Research Expertise, Publications & Grants

    Research expertise

    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


    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 

  • Engagement & Knowledge Exchange
  • Awards, Honours & Distinctions

    Expert reviewer for external funding bodies

    I am a reviewer for AHRC and ESRC funding bodies, and have been a member of the AHRC peer review college since 2015.