School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Dr Hannah Leach

Lecturer in Phonetics & Phonology


I'm a sociophonetician and phonologist working on linguistic variation and change in the dialect of Stoke-on-Trent, with particular focus on the influence of industrial and social factors on language and identity in the local pottery industry. I got my BA from Lancaster University, my MA from the University of York, and my PhD from the University of Sheffield. I'm also interested in perceptual dialectology, researching and combating language and prejudice and accent-based discrimination, and utilising oral history recordings in linguistic work.


My thesis was entitled Sociophonetic variation in Stoke-on-Trent's pottery industry, and combined quantitative and qualitative methods to examine linguistic variation in an oral history archive comprised of speakers employed in various roles in the pottery industry. I combine detailed acoustic analysis of unstressed vowels in Stoke-on-Trent English with examination of levels of /h/-dropping, before investigating the varied and burgeoning social meanings of both variables by examining their use in context.

I also conduct research in perceptual dialectology, and hope that all my work contributes to lessening linguistic prejudice.


SEL3094 - Accents of English

SEL1032 - Language Variation and Change: Dealing with Data

SEL8163 - The Sociolinguistics of Language and Society

SEL2091 - Sociolinguistics and the Sociology of Language