Tom Sima Staniforth

Tom Sima Staniforth


  • 1 WEST NORTH 2.17b

Personal profile

Teaching interests

Lecturer in Chinese language and translation in the Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies, University of Bath, doctoral researcher in Phonetics at UCL. I come from a background in Asian studies and translation, and my teaching is underpinned by research in speech prosody and migration patterns in China and Inner Asia.


MPhil/PhD Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
University College London (UCL), 2023-(ongoing)
MA Interpreting and Translation, University of Bath 2019
MA Religious Studies, University of Edinburgh 2011

Rajiv Gandhi Scholar, University of Cambridge (CCT) 2011
Visiting Scholar, University of Kathmandu (RYI) 2013
Associate, Chartered Institute of Linguists 2021
Fellow, Higher Education Academy 2021
Member, The Philological Society 2022
Member, Chartered Institute of Linguists 2023

Languages I work with

Mandarin Chinese

Research interests

Post Focus Compression

The majority of my research centres on a prosodic phenomena known as Post Focus Compression, particularly as a potential marker of migratory patterns in China and Inner Asia.

Chinese phonetic reform movement (切音字運動) and history of speech perception and notation

I have a personal interest in the history of phonetic writing systems and have worked with the Pitman collection at the University of Bath library and archives, exploring the history of phonetic reform in late Qing China.

Chinese tea and the tea trade

My professional translation work centres around Chinese tea culture, pottery and teaware. I am also interested in the history of the tea trade and its role as a focal point in the cultures of China, India, Tibet and Mongolia.


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