Accessibility statement

Jessica Wormald

Postdoctoral Research Associate



Jessica’s research interests are in forensic speech science, phonetics, phonology and sociophonetics. Her PhD investigated the development of contact varieties in the two British cities Bradford and Leicester, analysing speech using auditory, acoustic, automatic and articulatory methods. She worked for six years as a consultant at J P French Associates where she specialised in forensic speaker comparison and transcription, before starting as as a postdoctoral research associate on the ESRC funded project Person-specifc automatic speaker recognition at the University.


  • Postdoctoral Research Associate - Person-specific Automatic Speaker Recognition
    University of York (2021 - present)
  • Forensic Consultant (Speech science)
    J P French Associates (2016 - 2021)
  • PhD in Linguistics
    University of York (2012 - 2016)
  • MSc Forensic Speech Science
    University of York (2009 - 2010)
  • BA English Language and Linguistics
    University of York (2006 - 2009)



My research interests are in forensic speech science, phonetics, phonology and sociophonetics. I am particularly interested in individual speaker variability and how our ability to characterise the whole voice and examine as wide a range of features as possible offers opportunities to better understand speakers. Having worked as a forensic speech scientist for six years I am also interested in research which leads directly to improvements in forensic practice, particularly through improved analysis methods in all areas: auditory, acoustic and automatic.

External activity

External activity


Sharma, D. & Wormald, J. (in preparation) British Asian English. Chapter to appear in Fox, S (ed.) Language in the British Isles

Harrison, P. & Wormald, J. (in preparation) Forensic transcription and questioned utterance analysis. Chapter to appear in McDougall, K., Hudson, T., & Nolan, F. (eds.) Oxford handbook of Forensic Phonetics.

Gully, A., Harrison, P., Hughes, V., Rhodes, R. and Wormald, J. (2022) How Voice Analysis Can Help Solve Crimes. Frontiers for Young Minds 10(702664), DOI: 10.3389/frym.2022.702664

Hughes, V. & Wormald, J. (2020) Sharing innovative methods, data and knowledge across sociophonetics and forensic speech science. Linguistics Vanguard: Special Issue on Innovative Methods in Sociophonetics 5(4), DOI:

Brown, G. & Wormald, J. (2017) Automatic Sociophonetics: exploring corpora with a forensic accent recognition system. JASA: Special Issue on Advancing Methods for Analyzing Dialect Variation, 142 (1), p.422-433

Kirkham, S. & Wormald, J. (2015) Acoustic and Articulatory Variation in British Asian English Liquids. Proceedings of ICPhS XVIII. Glasgow.

Wormald, J. (2015) Dynamic Variation in ‘Panjabi-English’: Analysis of F1 and F2 trajectories for face /eɪ/ and goat /əʊ/. Proceedings of ICPhS XVIII. Glasgow.

Wormald, J. (2014) Bradford Panjabi-English: the Realisation of face and goat. YPL Special Issue: Proceedings of the first PARLAY conference. Issue 1, p.118-138.

Selected presentations & invited talks

Wormald, J. (2022) Acting as an Expert Witness. Workshop on combined issues in FL & FSS: "The linguist in the witness box", Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics, UK. 26th May. [Invited]

Wormald, J. (2019) Forensic Speech Science. UCL Voice Conference, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL, UK. 29th November. [Invited - available online at]

Wormald, J. (2019) Listening to crime: working as a forensic speech analyst. CLCR Research Seminar Series. University of Cardiff, UK. 3rd April. [Invited]

Wormald, J. (2018) A Life in Headphones: Working as a Forensic Speech Analyst. Presentation given at the Institute of Acoustics: Speech and Hearing Group AGM. London, UK. 21st June. [Invited]

Hughes, V., Wormald, J., Gold, E., Kendall, T., Rose, Y. and Schilling, N. (2017) Sociolinguistics and forensic speech science: knowledge- and data-sharing. Workshop given at NWAV46. University of Wisconsin-Madison, US. 2nd November.

Rhodes, R., French, J.P., Harrison, P., Hughes, V., Kirchhübel, C. and Wormald, J. (2017) Which questions, propositions and ‘relevant populations’ should a speaker comparison expert assess? IAFPA conference. Split, Croatia. 9th July.

Hughes, V. and Wormald, J. (2017) WikiDialects: a resource for assessing typicality in forensic voice comparison. IAFPA conference. Split, Croatia. 9th July. [Poster]

Hughes, V. and Wormald, J. (2017) Assessing typicality in forensic voice comparison: How can sociophonetics help? IMS. University of Edinburgh, 19th April.

Brown, G., Jenkins, M., Wormald, J. and Watt, D. (2017) A tin ear for accents? Human vs. machine in accent classification and authentication tasks. IMS. University of Edinburgh, 19th April.

Wormald, J. (2016) Regional variation in Panjabi-English: a contact variety corpus. IAFPA conference. University of York, 24th July. [Poster]


Contact details

Jessica Wormald
Post-doctoral Research Associate
Department of Language and Linguistic Science
University of York
YO10 5DD