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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Sophie Holmes-Elliott, PhD (Glasgow)


Lecturer in Sociolinguistics

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8289
Room Number: Arts One 1.20
Office Hours: On zoom by appointment


I am a Sociolinguist focussing on the on the quantitative analysis of linguistic variation and change. I am especially interested in the relationship between children and language variation - both their acquisition of systemic variability, and their role in the propagation of change. My work combines real and apparent time approaches to track young speakers’ developmental shifts which I examine within the context of ongoing community trends.

My work also investigates the relationship between language and gender. Again, from a developmental perspective looking at the emergence of gendered patterns of variation between childhood and adolescence. I am also interested in the use of gendered speech patterns in adult language and how these develop into recognisable styles of speech or personae.


  • English in Use (UG)
  • Sex, Gender, and Language (UG/PG)
  • Sociolinguistic Theory (PG)
  • Research Methods in Sociolinguistics (PG)



Research Interests:

  • Language variation and change
  • Sociophonetics
  • Child language
  • Gender (particularly development of gendered language)
  • Stance and style
  • Bidialectalism


Browse a publication list by Dr Sophie Holmes-Elliott.

Holmes-Elliott, S. (2020). Calibrate to innovate: community age vectors and the real time incrementation of language change. Language in Society.

Smith, J., and Holmes-Elliott, S. (2020). They never did nothing: negation and the sociolinguistic monitor. In T.K. Christensen, and J. Jensen (eds.), Explanations in Sociosyntax: Dialogue across Paradigms. Cambridge University Press.

Holmes-Elliott, S., and Turner, J. (2019). The emergence of gendered production between childhood and adolescence: A real time analysis of /s/ in Southern British English. Proceedings from the XVIV International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Melbourne, Australia

Holmes-Elliott, S., and Smith, J. (2018). Dressing down up north: DRESS-lowering and /l/ allophony in a Scottish dialect. Language Variation and Change 30(1), 23-50.

Holmes-Elliott, S., and Levon, E. (2017). The substance of style: Gender, social class and interactional stance in southeast England. Linguistics 55(5), 1045-1072.

Smith, J., and Holmes-Elliott, S. (2017). The unstoppable glottal: tracking rapid change in an iconic British variable. English Language and Linguistics 22(3), 323-355.

Holmes-Elliott, S. (2016). Ladies first? Adolescent peaks in a male-led change: TH-fronting in southeast England. Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 22(2), Selected Papers from NWAV 44.

Holmes-Elliott, S. and Smith, J. (2015). DRESS-down: /e/-lowering in apparent time in a rural Scottish community. Proceedings from the XVIII International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow, UK. 

Smith, R., Holmes-Elliott, S., Pettinato, P., and Knight, R. (2013). Cross accent intelligibility of speech in noise: Long-term familiarity and short-term familiarization. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 67(3), 590-608.

Levon, E., and Holmes-Elliott, S. (2013). East end boys and west end girls: /s/-fronting in southeast England. Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 19(2), Selected Papers from NWAV 41.

Stuart-Smith, J., Smith, R., Rathke, T., Li Santi, F., and Holmes, S. (2011). Responding to accents after experiencing interactive or mediated speech. Proceedings of the XVII International Congress of the Phonetic Sciences, Hong Kong.

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