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Department of Modern Languages

Dr. Earl Brown


Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of Graduate Studies


Leasure Hall 9D, (785) 532-6539

Personal Webpage


Dr. Brown has taught: intro to Spanish linguistics, Spanish phonetics and phonology, advanced Spanish grammar, intermediate Spanish grammar, intro to Spanish-English translation, the history of the Spanish language, Spanish writing and conversation, Senior Thesis for Spanish majors, Spanish for Heritage Speakers, and Spanish language courses. He enjoys working with students of various linguistic backgrounds and strives to take advantage of and build upon the strengths of all students, whether they are native- or heritage-speakers of Spanish or second-language learners. Watch a three-minute video of Dr. Brown teaching and commenting on his Spanish phonetics and phonology course at a previous institution.


Dr. Brown's research centers on language variation and change in Spanish, especially its sound system. In most of this research he employs the phonetics software Praat (praat.org) and uses corpus linguistics techniques of text manipulation and searching with the programming language and environment R (r-project.org). Additionally, Dr. Brown has recently created a corpus of sociolinguistic interviews of native speakers of Mexican Spanish living in Salinas, California: the Corpus of Mexican Spanish in Salinas, California.

Recent publications

Brown, Earl K. In press. "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.

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: 213-241.

Brown, Earl K., and Esther L. Brown. 2012. "Syllable-final and syllable-initial /s/ reduction in Cali, Colombia: One variable or two?" Colombian Varieties of Spanish, ed. by Richard File-Muriel and Rafael Orozco, 89-106. Madrid: Iberoamericana.

File-Muriel, Richard, and Earl K. Brown. 2011. "The gradient nature of s-lenition in Caleño Spanish." Language Variation and Change, 23: 223-243.


PhD, Hispanic Linguistics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, 2008
MA, Spanish Linguistics, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 2003
BA, Spanish, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 2001