Wednesday, 30 November 2011

International Dissemination of Research

Research on comparing vowel formant normalisation procedures, to feature as a chapter in Nicholas's forthcoming PhD dissertation, has now (as of November 2011) been presented at two major international conferences, and formed a part of workshops given on sociophonetics by Anne Fabricius, Tyler Kendall and Dominic Watt.

In August 2011, Nicholas gave an oral presentation at the 14th Methods in Dialectology conference in London ON (Canada) which was well-received. Several conference delegates who had not attended the talk requested the accompanying handout in the days following the talk.

Also in August 2011, Nicholas attended the 17th International Congress in Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS) in Hong Kong. Nicholas gave a poster presentation, co-authored with Paul Foulkes of the University of York. The poster attracted delegates from many different countries and universities, many of whom had comments and questions about the research.

In November 2011, Nicholas was invited to collaborate with Anne Fabricius of Roskilde University (Denmark), Tyler Kendall of the University of Oregon (USA), and Dominic Watt of the University of York (UK), co-presenting at a workshop on sociophonetic methodology and normalisation at the Danish National Research Foundation Centre for Language Change in Real Time (LANCHART) at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark). Nicholas's research comparing vowel formant normalisation formed a part of the initial 2-hour presentation before the hands-on element of the workshop. Nicholas gave this part of the presentation himself. Attendees included students, postgraduate students, faculty members and members of the Copenhagen Sociolinguistics Circle.

Prior to this, Nicholas's research findings had been summarised by Anne Fabricius, Tyler Kendal and Dominic Watt in the sociophonetics workshops run at the LSA (Linguistic Society of America) Summer Institute 2011 at the University of Boulder, Colorado (USA), and at the University of York (UK) in September 2011.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Update on Publications and Conference Attendance

Spring Term 2011 saw Nicholas working hard writing articles for online conference proceedings of the conferences attended in 2010, and applying for conferences for summer 2011.

The following articles have now been published:

Flynn, N.E.J. (2010) "Gender-based variation of word-final unstressed vowels by Nottingham adolescents" in: Adachi, C., Daleszynska, A., Strycharz, A. & Meyerhoff, M. (eds.) Proceedings of the 2nd Summer School in Sociolinguistics, University of Edinburgh, 14th-20th June 2010. Online Proceedings. []

Flynn, N.E.J. (2011) "Comparing vowel formant normalisation procedures" in: York Papers in Linguistics (Series 2) 11. pp. 1-28.

Full papers are available for download at

Acceptance at conferences this summer:

14th Methods in Dialectology, University of Western Ontario, Canada
(oral presentation "A comparison of vowel formant normalisation methods")

17th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS XVII), Hong Kong
(poster presentation co-authored with Paul Foulkes "Comparing vowel formant normalisation methods")

8th UK Language Variation and Change Conference (UKLVC8), University of Edge-Hill, Ormskirk, Lancs.
(oral presentation "GOOSE-Fronting: It's happening in Nottingham too")

The ICPhS conference also includes a publication.

Teaching in the Spring Term

In the Spring Term of 2011, Nicholas undertook a substantial amount of teaching as follows:
  • Lab practicals instructor for PG module "Phonological Variation and Change" at the Univeristy of York
    - 8 sessions of 2 hours each, demonstrating use of a variety of software and techniques of instrumental analysis of linguistic data
  • Drop-in office hours for UG module "Methods of Linguistic Variation" at the University of York
    - 3 hours per week for 9 weeks, providing guidance, support and advice to students conducting sociolinguistic projects as part of the assessment for the module
  • Seminar leader for UG module "Clinical Practical Phonetics" at Leeds Metropolitan University
    - 2 seminars per week, each lasting 1 hour, for 12 weeks, teaching and demonstrating sounds of the IPA, English phonemic transcription and preparing students for the aural exam component of the module

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Public Research Profile

Nicholas Flynn is a PhD student in the Department of Language and Linguistics at the University of York. Personal webpage can be found at:

Dissertation working title is: "Levelling and diffusion at the north/south border: A sociophonetic study of Nottingham speakers". The main focus of the research is on accent changes and language variation of people living in and around the city of Nottingham in the UK. Vocalic and consonantal phonological variables are included. In addition, a chapter of the dissertation will focus on a comparison of methods and formulas of vowel formant normalisation procedures. For more information on the dissertation and ongoing research, see:

Research is supervised by Prof. Paul Foulkes, and is funded by an ESRC (UK Economic and Social Research Council) +3 studentship. Other thesis advisory panel members are Dr. Dominic Watt, Dr. Bill Haddican (up to summer 2010) and Dr. Carmen Llamas (from summer 2010).

Other research interests include sociophonetics, sociolingusitics, accents of English, forensic phonetics, vowel formant normalisation procedures, linguistic fieldwork methodology.

Recent conference attendance and poster/oral presentations include:

  • Sociophonetics: at the crossroads of speech processing, language and communication, SNS Pisa (poster)
  • 19th International Postgraduate Linguistics Conference, Univeristy of Manchester (oral)
  • Summer School of Sociolinguistics 2010, University of Edinburgh (oral)
  • 7th UK Langauge Variation and Change conference, University of Newcastle (poster)


  • Flynn, N (in press) "Comparing vowel formant normalisation procedures" York Working Papers in Linguistics (Series 2) 11.

A full list of Nicholas's papers and publications can be found at:

Nicholas Flynn can be contacted by email: nejf100 AT york DOT ac DOT uk.
The postal address of the department is:
Department of Language and Linguistics
University of York
YO10 5DD