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John Local
Emeritus Professor



  • Northern Counties College of Education
    Certificate of Education with distinctions in English, music and the practice of teaching (1966 - 1969)
  • University of Newcastle upon Tyne
    BA in English Language and Literature (honours, first class) (1970 - 1973)
    PhD in Linguistics: Studies towards the description of the development and functioning of children's awareness of linguistic variability (1973 - 1976)
  • Forest Hall County Secondary School (Newcastle upon Tyne)
    Teacher, music and English (1969 - 1970)
  • University of York
    Lecturer in phonetics and linguistics, Department of Language and Linguistic Science (1976 - 1991)
    Professor of Phonetics and Linguistics, Department of Language & Linguistic Science (1993 - )
  • British Academy
    Research reader in phonetics and meaning of talk-in-interaction (2000 - 2002)



My current research interests lie in articulatory and acoustic phonetics, non-linear phonology and Conversation Analysis. I am particularly interested in how Conversation Analytic methodology can inform and reshape our understanding of the functioning of phonetic detail and phonetic variation.


  • The Sequential and Linguistic-Phonetic Design of Indirectness in Talk-in-interaction
    I am currently working with Professor Paul Drew (Sociology) and Dr Traci Curl on an AHRB-funded project. We will be looking at how speakers use phonetic features and the sequential organisation of turns at talk to accomplish indirectness, and we will investigate how these phonetic and sequential features are reacted to by interlocutors.


  • Professor Paul Drew
    University of York (Sociology)
  • Dr Traci Walker
    University of York (Language and Linguistics)



First year modules
  • Introduction to phonetics
  • Introduction to phonology
  • English phonetics
  • English phonology
  • Conversation analysis
Second and final year modules
  • Non-linear phonologies
  • Firthian prosodic analysis
  • Instrumental phonetics
  • Articulatory and impressionistic phonetics
  • Phonetics of talk-in-interaction
  • Language acquisition
  • Psycholinguistics


  • Core course
  • Options in phonology
  • Dissertation supervision

External activities


  • Marie Curie Research Training Network
    Member, Sound to Sense
  • Centre for Advanced Studies in Language and Communication
  • Arts & Humanities
    Academic coordinator
  • 2008 RAE sub-panel for Linguistics

Contact details

John Local
Emeritus Professor
Department of Language and Linguistic Science