Dr William Barras
MA (Hons), PGCE, MSc, PhD
Dr William Barras completed a PhD in Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh in 2011. His thesis focused on the sociophonology of rhoticity and r-sandhi in East Lancashire.
He has postdoctoral research experience as a Research Assistant at the University of Aberdeen on the Fisherspeak project, which investigated lexical attrition in Scottish fishing communities, and as a Research Associate at the University of Manchester on the Leverhulme-funded project Regional Identity and the Indexical Field.
He has taught at the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and York. Before returning to postgraduate study, he worked as a teacher of English at Dallam School in Cumbria for five years. He thinks that the teaching experience he gained as a secondary school teacher is useful for university teaching too. He was nominated in 2014 for the "Extra Mile" award in the AUSA Student Choice Awards, and in 2014 and 2015 for the College of Arts and Social Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award.
His research focuses on several related areas including sociolinguistics, dialectology and phonological theory. He is currently developing a sociophonetic research project which aims to trace phonological change across the lifespan in an individual speaker.
Dr Barras currently supervises:
- Dawn Leslie, whose PhD topic is 'Perceptions of North East Scottish Speech';
- Khursheed Ahmad, whose PhD topic is 'Pronunciation Pedagogy: EFL Teacher Cognition and Practice at Postgraduate Level in Pakistan'
Previous doctoral students:
- David Warren. Thesis title: The Scottish Vowel Length Rule in North East Scotland; Viva passed in May 2018.
- Nawal Shekar (co-supervised with Prof Hazel Hutchison). Thesis title: A mystic's path: A cognitive linguistic analysis of the short fiction of Kate Chopin; Viva passed in August 2017.
Memberships and Affiliations
LN1003 English Structure and Use
LN1501 English Past and Present
LN2509 Varieties of English
LN4002 Research Methods in Language and Linguistics
LN4501 Dissertation in Language and Linguistics
David Warren 'Vowel Duration in North East Scotland'
Dawn Leslie 'Perceptions of North East Scottish Speech'
Khursheed Ahmad 'Pronunciation Pedagogy: EFL Teacher Cognition and Practice at Postgraduate Level in Pakistan'
Nawal Shakar 'The Mystic’s Path: A Linguistic Analysis of the Short Fiction of Kate Chopin' (lead supervisor Prof Hazel Hutchison)
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Residual Rhoticity and Emergent r-sandhi in the North West and South West of England: Different Approaches to Hiatus-Resolution?Sociolinguistics in England. Braber, N., Jansen, S. (eds.). Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 363-392, 30 pagesChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)
Regional diversity in social perceptions of (ing)Language Variation and Change, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 29-56Contributions to Journals: Articles
Rural Voices: What can Borsetshire tell us about accent change?The Archers in Fact and Fiction. Courage, C., Headlam, N., Matthews, P. (eds.). Peter LangChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
LancashireResearching Northern English. Hickey, R. (ed.). John Benjamins Pub., pp. 271-292, 22 pagesChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)
Lexical Variation and Attrition in the Scottish Fishing CommunitiesEdinburgh University Press, Edinburgh. 200 pagesBooks and Reports: Books
Terms for fish in the dialects of Scotland's east coast fishing communities: Evidence for lexical attritionScottish Language, vol. 30, pp. 29-59Contributions to Journals: Articles