Lectureship for Danielle Turton!

Posted on June 27, 2014 by

Manchester’s postgrads have scored an amazing hat-trick on the academic job front this week: following the appointment of James Murphy to a lectureship at the University of the West of England, and of Jon Morris to a lectureship at Cardiff University, Manchet is delighted to announce that Danielle Turton has accepted a permanent position as Lecturer in Phonology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Danielle’s doctoral dissertation, entitled Variation in English /l/: synchronic reflections of the life cycle of phonological processes, is due to be submitted this summer, and has been supervised by Maciej Baranowski, Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero, and Yuni Kim, with Erik Schleef as advisor.

Danielle’s appointment comes as no surprise: she received The University of Manchester Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement when she graduated with a BA in English Language in 2009, and she has never stopped accumulating honours and accolades since. Manchet has dutifully recorded these feats, which include BAAP’s Eugénie Henderson Prize and this year’s Faculty Award for Distinguished Achievement. While crisscrossing the globe from conference to conference, and taking time to appear as an expert on radio and television, Danielle has also pioneered the use of ultrasound at the Manchester Phonetics Lab and served her fellow postgrads through great initiatives such as Postgridiots and through her work for mFiL.

Most importantly, Danielle has changed our understanding of that staple of introductory phonetics and phonology courses: English /l/-darkening. Her work settles the controversy over the discrete or continuous nature of /l/-darkening, showing that the phenomenon involves the interaction of categorical and gradient processes overlaid in the synchronic grammar. Danielle’s research has also revealed that dialectal variation in the morphosyntactic conditioning of /l/-darkening is far wider than previously realized. In both cases, Danielle has been able to deliver a compelling global understanding of her results by showing how the facts of present-day English /l/ emerge as a natural consequence of the diachronic life cycle of phonological processes.

Danielle’s success continues a trend of prestigious appointments for Manchester’s postgraduate phonologists, following Michael Ramsammy’s lectureship at the University of Edinburgh and Patrycja Strycharczuk’s British Academy postdoctoral fellowship at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Hearing the news, a fellow phonologist at the University of Edinburgh (not Ramsammy) commented, "The East Coast Main Line will be slowly but surely turned into the Phonology Railway at this rate."

Featured image: Danielle teaching. (It is important to note that this shot is in no way staged. Honest.)