Earl Brown

Associate Professor of Linguistics, Linguistic Computing Minor Coordinator, Linguistics

4052 JFSB


Curriculum Vitae

Research Areas: , , ,

Teaching Experience

I strive to help students feel the fascination I feel for human languages and the joy of discovering and describing language variation in all its social, situational, geographic and temporal diversity. Additionally, I enjoy helping students to become dexterous with using computers to analyze language. I love it when I hear students comment: “Wait, what?! You can actually automate [SOME REPETITIVE, TEDIOUS TASK] with a computer?!”


My research agenda centers on the quantification of language variation, especially in Spanish and in English. In much of my research I utilize the acoustic software Praat to perform fine-grained analyses of sounds. In nearly all of my research I employ corpus linguistics techniques, such as searching for linguistic phenomena in large amounts of text, manipulating and visualizing data, and performing statistical analyses with the programming languages Python, R, and Julia.

Selected Publications

Eddington, David Ellingson & Earl Kjar Brown. 2021. A production and perception study of /t/ glottalization and oral releases following glottals in the US. American Speech. https://doi.org/10.1215/00031283-8620501.
Brown, Earl Kjar. 2020. The Effect of Forms’ Ratio of Conditioning on Word-Final /s/ Voicing in Mexican Spanish. Languages (Special Issue: Revisiting Language Variation and Change: Looking at Metalinguistic Categories Through a Usage-Based Lens) 5(4). No. 61. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5040061.
Valentín-Rivera, Laura & Earl K. Brown. 2020. Systematizing the Use of the Aspectual Distinction by Level of Proficiency: A Case of Spanish as a Heritage Language. In Scott M. Alvord & Gregory L. Thompson (eds.), Spanish in the United States: Attitudes and Variation, 163–181. New York: Routledge.
Brown, Earl K. & Mary T. Copple. 2018. Constructing two phonological systems: A phonetic analysis of /p/, /t/, /k/ among early Spanish–English bilingual speakers. International Journal of Bilingualism 22(1). 51–68. https://doi.org/10.1177/1367006916651983.
Brown, Earl K. 2018. The company that word-boundary sounds keep: The effect of contextual ratio frequency on word-final /s/ in a sample of Mexican Spanish. In K. Aaron Smith & Dawn Nordquist (eds.), Functionalist and Usage-based Approaches to the Study of Language: In honor of Joan L. Bybee (Studies in Language Companion Series 192), 107–125. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. https://doi.org/10.1075/slcs.192.05bro.
Brown, Earl K. & Matthew C. Alba. 2017. The role of contextual frequency in the articulation of initial /f/ in Modern Spanish: The same effect as in the reduction of Latin /f/? Language Variation and Change 29(1). 57–78. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954394517000059.
Brown, Earl K. 2015. On the utility of combining production data and perceptual data to investigate regional linguistic variation: The case of Spanish experiential gustar “to like, to please” on Twitter and in an online survey. Journal of Linguistic Geography 3(2). 47–59. https://doi.org/10.1017/jlg.2016.1.
Gradoville, Michael S., Earl K. Brown & Richard J. File-Muriel. 2015. The effect of varying intercepts on findings in sociophonetic data: Some observations from Caleño Spanish. Journal of Research Design and Statistics in Linguistics and Communication Science 2(2). 105–130. http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/jrds.v2i2.27203.
Brown, Earl K., Michael S. Gradoville & Richard J. File-Muriel. 2014. The variable effect of form and lemma frequencies on phonetic variation: Evidence from /s/ realization in two varieties of Colombian Spanish. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory 10(2). 213–241. https://doi.org/10.1515/cllt-2013-0025.


With other committee members, recently I worked to revive the Linguistic Computing minor, which will be beneficial not only to the students who matriculate through, but also to the university as technologically-trained linguists will represent BYU well. Service is important to me because it is a way of life. I feel that being willing to serve in the university is an additional way to help students and model the kind of lifestyle that will help lead them to “lifelong … service.”

Citizenship assignments

Graduate Coordinator, Master’s program in Linguistics, Dept. of Linguistics
Advisor, minor program in Linguistic Computing, Dept. of Linguistics
Guest Speaker Coordinator, Dept. of Linguistics
Ad-hoc peer-reviewer: (journals) Language Variation and Change, Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, PLOS ONE, Cognitive Linguistics, Review of Cognitive Linguistics, Lingua, Glossa, BYU Studies, Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship; (edited volumes) Recent Advances in the Study of Spanish Sociophonetic Perception, New Directions in Spanish Linguistics, Selected Proceedings of Hispanic Linguistics Symposium, Selected Proceedings of Laboratory Approaches to Romance Phonology; (grant application) National Science Foundation (USA), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; research dossier of tenure and promotion application at large public university in USA.

Professional Website