School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Staff Profiles

Dr Natalia Zharkova

Teaching Fellow



I am a linguist and a phonetician working in the area of typical and disordered child speech production development, using articulatory and acoustic techniques. In 1996 I started a programme of studies at the State University of St. Petersburg, at the Department of Linguistics and the Department of Phonetics, specialising in Theoretical Linguistics, Teaching of Linguistics, and Applied Linguistics / Speech Technologies. During that time I studied for a semester at the University of Helsinki, Department of Phonetics, in 1999, and for two semesters at the Institute of General and Applied Linguistics and Phonetics, Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, in 2000. As a result of all these studies, I wrote a thesis entitled “Acquisition of phonology by children: an experimental phonetic study”, and defended my MA thesis at the State University of St. Petersburg in 2002. In 2003 I won a PhD studentship at Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh. I was awarded a PhD in 2007, upon defending my thesis entitled “An investigation of coarticulation resistance in speech production using ultrasound”. I spent the following ten years at Queen Margaret University, carrying out a research programme on speech motor development in children, funded mostly by a series of ESRC grants awarded to myself.


External interests

One of my serious interests is music. I studied music at the St. Petersburg Musical Lyceum for ten years, specialising in piano, conducting and choir singing. I also play the guitar. I travelled extensively around Europe with the Musical Lyceum’s children’s choir. By the time of leaving secondary school I was in a position to start further professional music studies at the conservatoire, but it so happened that I chose to do phonetics – I guess the two are closely related!


Undergraduate Teaching (BSc)

SPE1053: Linguistics and Phonetics I - Phonetics
SPE2042: Linguistics and Phonetics II - Phonetics

Postgraduate Teaching (MSc)

SPE8151: MSc Phonetics I
SPE8210: Phonetics II: Segment, Gesture and Prosody

Postgraduate Teaching (IPhD in Phonetics and Phonology)

SPE8011: Fundamental Elements of Phonetics and Phonology
SPE8032: Core Issues in Experimental Phonetics and Phonology


Research grants as Principal Investigator

Oct 2012 – Feb 2016         ESRC Research Grant “Coarticulation and tongue differentiation in children between three and thirteen years old”, ES/K002597/1; Co-I: Dr N. Hewlett, Dr R. Lickley, Prof F. Gibbon. £379,234 fEC

Oct 2010 – Sep 2011         ESRC Research Grant “Lingual coarticulation in preadolescents and adults: an ultrasound study”, RES-000-22-4075, Co-I: Dr N. Hewlett, Dr R. Lickley. £99,968 fEC

May 2008 – Apr 2009        ESRC Research Grant “An ultrasound study of lingual coarticulation in children and adults”, RES-000-22-2833; Co-I: Dr N. Hewlett, Prof W. Hardcastle. £97,920 fEC

Nov 2006 – Oct 2007         ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship “Studying speech variability with ultrasound and EPG”, PTA-026-27-1268, mentor Prof W. Hardcastle. £74,109 fEC

Membership of professional bodies

International Phonetic Association
British Association of Academic Phoneticians

ResearchGate profile