- Dr. Brown's research centers on the study of phonology (sounds and sound systems) from a usage-based perspective. An understanding of actual use and usage patterns is fundamental in her work. She employs large corpora of spoken Spanish which she analyzes using methods derived principally from Variation Theory. Her work establishes significant correlations between variation and use; specifically between phonological reduction and variables such as word frequency and discourse context frequencies. This line of research has implications for theories that attempt to explain the mechanisms behind language variation and change, as well as for theories of lexical representation that attempt to account for such patterns of variability.