Marisa Brook

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Linguistics
University of Victoria

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I'm an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Victoria, and also a Research Associate of the Sociolinguistics Research Lab. My major research interests lie within the subfield of variationist sociolinguistics; I examine quantitative patterns of language variation and change, especially on the morphosyntactic and discourse-pragmatic levels.

I earned my Ph.D in 2016 from the Department of Linguistics at the University of Toronto, writing my dissertation on two levels of change affecting the comparative complementizers (as if, as though, like, etc.) of Canadian and British English. Then I spent 2016-17 at Michigan State University, where I taught several undergraduate linguistics classes and led a graduate seminar on morphosyntactic variation and change.

I'm spending this year jumping into the past and present of the English dialects of central/northern Vancouver Island. Watch for more!


I'm a local! There were only so many kids on southern Vancouver Island in the 1990s, but I was one of them. I knew the term 'up-Island' from an early age. After high school, I hopped around the vicinity of the Great Lakes for twelve years.

I'm interested in a whole lot of things aside from linguistics. I enjoy reading and writing, academically and otherwise. On a recreational basis, I'm also into graphic design, music composition, sewing and knitting, and a handful of semi-outdoorsy activities. There are also a few PC strategy games from the 1990s that still entertain me to no end, at least when I allow myself to play them.

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. My Erdős number is 4.

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

Pronunciation of my first name

Prescriptive: /mə'ɹisə/

Descriptive: Considerable variation. Attested alternative variants include /mə'ɹɪsə/ (exemplar effect), /'maɹsijə/ or /maɹ'sijə/ (metathesis), /'maɹʃə/ (metathesis and palatalisation), /mə'ɹizə/ (intervocalic voicing), and the impressive /'mɔnjə/ (currently inexplicable). In other words, the way you pronounced it just now did not faze me (p < 0.01).