Dr Jason Brown

BA (CSU Fresno), MA (CSU Fresno), PhD (British Columbia)


I received my MA in linguistics from California State University, Fresno in 2002, and my PhD in linguistics from the University of British Columbia in 2008. Before coming to The University of Auckland I spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at UBC.

Research | Current

  • Phonology
  • Morphology
  • Syntax
  • Language Documentation

My research specialisation is in phonology. I’m interested in all aspects of phonology, and I am currently working on assimilation and laryngeal phenomena.  I’m also interested in phonetics and laboratory phonology, and in experimental linguistics generally. Many of the issues that I deal with straddle the boundaries between phonetics and phonology.

I’m particularly interested in endangered and under-studied languages.  I’ve been engaged in fieldwork with Gitksan (Tsimshianic) for several years (here's my Ph.D. dissertation), and I worked on Upriver Halkomelem (Salish) for part of my graduate education. I've spend the last few years working on Urama (Kiwaian); here is a recently published grammar of the language that I wrote with my colleagues.  I’m motivated by the patterns and lessons to be learned from these valuable resources, and I’m interested in revitalisation and maintenance efforts.

My current large research project involves the Naasioi language of Bougainville. 

Teaching | Current

LINGUIST 201 Phonetics and Phonology

LINGUIST 301 Advanced Phonology

LINGUIST 722 Phonology

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome enquiries from prospective students who are interested in topics related to my general research interests, as well as from students who wish to conduct research in the Phonology Laboratory.

Here are some current and past postgraduate projects that I have supervised:


  • Mandal, Sam. 2013. Place assimilation in Bangla: Interactions among adjacent coronal obstruents. MA dissertation. (High Honours)
  • Craig, Kimberley. 2014. Evidentiality in Urama. MA thesis. (High Honours)
  • Brown, Andrew. 2015. Miscommunication matters. MA dissertation. (High Honours)
  • Muir, Alex. 2017. Recycled morphology in Urama verbs. MA dissertation.
  • Cervinkova, Julie. 2017. Causatives in Nasioi. MA thesis.


  • Altairi, Hamed. 2018. The emphatic sounds of Arabic: An ultrasound study. PhD thesis.
  • Chapman-Richards, Brett. An assessment of the uses of the present perfect and simple past in New Zealand English. PhD thesis (co-supervisor).
  • Irvine, Melissa. In progress.
  • Muir, Alex. In progress.
  • Zhu, Wenhui. 2018. The perception and production of Mandarin vowels. PhD thesis.
  • Yang, Shuxia. 2017. Mandarin compounds at the interface. PhD thesis.


Faculty of Arts Research Excellence Award - 2020

Emerging Research Excellence Fellowship - 2013

Academic Leaders Programme - 2017


Assistant Dean (Academic) - Faculty of Arts

Postgraduate Adviser: Linguistics

Areas of expertise

Phonology, Phonetics, Language Documentation

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Academic Programs Committee, Education Committee

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.

Contact details

Office hours

Tuesday 11-12

Primary office location

ARTS 2 - Bldg 207
Level 3, Room 328
New Zealand