Browser does not support script.

Staff Profile

Nikki Swift

Associate Head: Language

Nikki Swift

BA (Leeds), MA (York), Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (York St John), SFHEA

I have been teaching linguistics at York St John since 2000.  Between 2007 and 2014 I was Head of Programme for the undergraduate BA English Language and Linguistics. I then spent two years as Head of Learning and Teaching in the Business School.  In September 2016 I returned to leading the Linguistics programmes as Director of Linguistics.  In December 2019 I was appointed as Associate Head: Language, a role I share with Dr Becky Muradás-Taylor.  This involves overseeing curriculum development, quality assurance and the student experience in both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Languages and Linguistics.  These programmes include the BA English Language and Linguistics, TESOL and languages programmes at undergraduate level, and our postgraduate programmes in Language and Social Justice, TESOL and Languages.  I teach articulatory and practical phonetics, phonetics and phonology, and child language acquisition.

I am a member of the School of Education, Language and Psychology Academic Leadership Team, a validation panel chair, Chair of the School Quality Panel, and a member of the University Quality committee.


I teach on the undergraduate linguistics modules.

I specialise in Phonetics and Phonology; my interests in are in the phonetic/phonological interface, sociophonetics and child phonology.  I teach first year Phonetics (articulatory and practical phonetics), my second year courses include Applied Phonetics and Phonology, and I teach Language Acquisition to third years. 

I have also contributed to the University’s Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (Bahrain) in the areas of assessment and e-learning.

Professional Activities

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a mentor and assessor for members of staff seeking fellowship of the HEA through the University’s dialogic route.

Research & Publications


My PhD research looks at the phonological acquisition of children growing up in multi-dialectal environments.  I am particularly interested in how having parents who speak a different variety from the local dialect manifests itself in a child’s accent, and how this changes over time.

Conference Papers:

2012 Technology to support the transition from paper based to electronic modes of feedback and assessment. (With Mark Dransfield) e-Assessment Scotland, University of Dundee.

2006 Sound FX in Writing: Representing speech in online discourse. (With Dr. A Goddard) World Congress on the Power of Language.

2006 TH-fronting in Hull: Investigating the Inland Revenue! (With K Whisker & Dr. AJ Merrison)

Sociolinguistics Symposium 16.

2005 Getting a Voice: Perceptions of the use of technology in learning and teaching phonology. (With Dr. A. Goddard) ALT-C (Association of Learning Technology).


2007 Working With Texts. 3rd edn. London: Routledge

Co-Authors: R Carter, A Goddard, D Reah, K Sanger & N Swift Edited by Adrian Beard

2007  TH-fronting in Hull: Investigating the Inland Revenue. In York Papers in Linguistics. Co-Authors: K Whisker, AJ Merrison & N Swift

Cookie Settings