Dr Joshua Brown

BA (Hons), BEc, PhD, FHEA
Lecturer and Convener, Italian Studies
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Italian Language 200309
  • Language In Culture And Society (Sociolinguistics) 200405
  • Language In Time And Space (Incl. Historical Linguistics, Dialectology) 200406
  • Linguistics Not Elsewhere Classified 200499

Research interests

Language history, philology, historical sociolinguistics, language variation and change, Romance linguistics, language contact, language pedagogy


After completing my PhD in history of the Italian language, I held a two-year position as Cassamarca Assistant Professor in Italian at The University of Western Australia. My dissertation looked at early evidence for tuscanisation in non-literary texts sent from Milan in the late fourteenth century. I was lucky enough to make use of documents in the Datini Archive, Prato whose more than 150,000 documents are almost all available for viewing online. In addition to the history of the Italian language, my research interests have widened to include broader questions of dialect contact, language change, and koineization.

From 2016-17, I was a postdoctoral fellow in Italian Studies at Romanska och klassiska institutionen, Stockholm University. I took up my position in Italian at ANU in 2018. I am the Convenor for the Italian Studies program, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a member of the Outreach and Engagement Reference Group in the School of Literature, Linguistics and Languages. I am an affiliate of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, the Centre for Digital Humanities Research, and an Honorary Research Associate of the Australasian Centre for Italian Studies.

Researcher's projects

  • Koineization in Renaissance Italy
  • Linguistic convergence
  • Vector space mapping

Organizer of 2018 Australian Linguistic Society workshop (with Dr Manuel Delicado Cantero) on Romance linguistics in Australasia: Current models and new trends:


Available student projects

Proposals are welcome for Honours, MPhil, and PhD research in any of the areas listed in the research interests section above. 


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Updated:  17 February 2019 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers