Marisa Brook

Assistant Professor of Linguistics
College of Arts and Letters
Michigan State University

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I'm an Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages at Michigan State University. My major research interests lie within the subfield of variationist sociolinguistics; I examine quantitative patterns of language variation and change, especially on the morphosyntactic level.

I earned my Ph.D in 2016 from the Department of Linguistics at the University of Toronto. In my dissertation, I investigated two levels of change affecting the comparative complementizers (as if, as though, like, etc.) of Canadian and British English.

In the spring of 2017, I'm teaching two sections of LIN401 plus a graduate seminar, LIN891, which will examine the extent to which morphosyntactic variation is like phonological variation.


I was born and raised on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada – so close to the edge of the continent that it still feels weird to be able to travel west without hitting ocean.

There are so many things I find fascinating that it was a surprise to find myself getting three degrees in the same field. I'm keenly interested in a wide variety of subjects, but linguistics turned out to be in the lead by far. I can never get enough of this field, in terms of either teaching or researching.

My spare time is semi-imaginary at the moment, but I enjoy reading and writing, academically and otherwise. I'm also into web-design, music composition, sewing and knitting, and a handful of semi-outdoorsy activities. There are a few PC strategy games from the 1990s that still entertain me to no end, and I'm basically always up for a trivia game.

I've been on the staff of Damn Interesting (which is exactly what it sounds like) since mid-2006. I'm also a proud alumna of the Shad Valley program for high-school students.

I have something of an iced-tea habit. If the previous sentence is any indication, I also have something of a penchant for understatement.