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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Kerri-Ann Butcher

Photo of Kerri-Ann Butcher

College: King’s College


Supervisor: Prof Bert Vaux

Research Topic: A Sociophonological Approach to Understanding Language Variation and Change in East Anglian English



Kerri completed her BA in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Essex in 2013 where she later went on to complete an MRes in Linguistics in 2015. She started her PhD studies in Cambridge in 2017 and has since spent three months as a visiting scholar in the Department of Linguistics at Georgetown University.



Kerri’s interests broadly include the phonetics-phonology interface and sociolinguistics, but more specifically vowel mergers and instrumental/quantitative approaches to the study of sound change. Her PhD research focuses on understanding the social and linguistic factors that condition the actuation, diffusion and embedding of sound change by examining the perception and production of three vocalic mergers in East Anglian English, interrogating our assumptions on the (ir)reversibility of sound change and the phonological implications of phonetic variation for vocalic mergers.



2020: ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership Overseas Institutional Visit Competition

2017-2021: ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Social Sciences & King’s College Studentship (full award)

2015: Andrew Radford Prize: best overall performance in English Language and Linguistics, University of Essex

2014: Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Postgraduate Scholarship



Kerri has supervised both Li1 (Words and Sounds) and Li7 (Advanced Theoretical Phonology) while at Cambridge. She has also worked as an ESL teacher in South Korea.


Conference papers

Butcher, Kerri-Ann. (2020). Why do Mergers Fail? University of Essex. May 21st.

Butcher, Kerri-Ann. (2020). Production and perception of a merger in East Anglian English. Phonetics & Phonology Interface Seminar. Georgetown University. April 27th.

Butcher, Kerri-Ann. (2019). The MOAN/MOWN long-mid vowel merger in East Anglia: Exploring correlations of GOAT and GOOSE variations (poster). UK Language Variation and Change 10 (UKLVC). Queen Mary University of London. September 3rd.

Butcher, Kerri-Ann. (2019). Under Pressure: East Anglian English. The 10th International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE|10), Leeuwarden. Fryske Akademy. June 28th.

Butcher, Kerri-Ann (2019). Mapping a Merger: Accelerated Spatial and Temporal Linguistic Change in East Anglian English. The 13th Language at the University of Essex Postgraduate Conference (LangUE). University of Essex. June 13th.

Butcher, Kerri-Ann. (2019). Where Are We Now? The MOAN/MOWN Long-mid Vowel Merger in East Anglia. Newcastle University 13th Postgraduate Conference in Linguistics. Newcastle University. April 4th.

Butcher, Kerri-Ann. (2013). The Changing Face of Coronal + /ju/ in British English. The 7th Cornell Undergraduate Linguistics Colloquium. Cornell University. April 25th.



Butcher, Kerri-Ann. (2021). Revisiting the vowel mergers of East Anglia: Correlations of MOAN, MOWN and GOOSE. In Hans Van de Velde, Nanna Haug Hilton & Remco Knooihuizen (eds.), Language Variation - European Perspectives VIII. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 55-77,

Butcher, Kerri-Ann. (2020). Dialect maintenance in East Anglia: Singin’ the same old tune? English Today, 36(3), 48-58.


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