Positions

Research Areas research areas

Overview

  • How do children acquire language? My research focuses on the perception and production of prosody (i.e., the melody and rhythm of speech) at different stages in development, and how these early language processes impact successful communication. The goal of my work is to provide a better understanding of how the complex interaction between prosody and meaning develops over infancy and early childhood in both typical and atypical developing populations. My current work focuses on how to naturally assess prosodic abilities across the lifespan. Past work has also explored how prosody impacts early word learning as well as how the acoustic correlates of prosody are realized in the speech of minimally verbal school-aged children with autism. Additionally, I am interested in the role of prosody in the diagnosis and treatment of motor speech disorders. These lines of research not only inform how we classify language and learning difficulties across disorders but also offer insight into intervention, treatment, and earlier diagnosis.

    I direct the Communication, Acquisition, and Translational Studies Laboratory (CAT Lab). See above for link to website.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    2023 Role of pitch in toddler looking to new and given referents in American English.Language Learning and Development.  19:458-479. 2023
    2021 Prosodic realizations of new, given, and corrective referents in the spontaneous speech of toddlers.Journal of Child Language.  48:541-568. 2021
    2018 The Prosodic Marionette: a method to visualize speech prosody and assess perceptual and expressive prosodic abilitiesSpeech Communication.  104:95-105. 2018
    2015 The acquisition of melodic form and meaning in yes-no interrogatives by Catalan and Spanish speaking childrenProbus.  27:73-99. 2015
    2012 Is prosodic development correlated with grammatical and lexical development? Evidence from emerging intonation in Catalan and Spanish.Journal of Child Language.  39:221-257. 2012
    2011 Early Intonational Development in Spanish: A Case StudySelected Proceedings of the 13th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium.  203-213. 2011
    2011 Entonación y pragmática en los enunciados interrogativos del español en habla dirigida a niñosOralia.  14:227-255. 2011
    Categorical Preference of the MindJournal for the Cognitive Science of Religion.  8:2-31.
    Entonación y pragmática en los enunciados interrogativos absolutos del español en un corpus de habla dirigida a niñosOralia.  14:228-256.

    Article

    Year Title
    2024 Elucidating an implicit-statistical learning brain network: Coordinate-based meta-analyses and functional connectivity profiles of artificial grammar learning in healthy adults 2024

    Book

    Year Title
    Clinical Applications of Linguistics to Speech-Language Pathology

    Chapter

    Year Title
    2019 Prosody 2019
    2018 The role of prosody in early word learning: Behavioral evidence.  60-77. 2018
    Chapter 4. The role of prosody in early word learning.  59-77.

    Conference Paper

    Year Title
    2016 Assessing prosody in minimally to nonverbal children with autismProceedings of the International Conference on Speech Prosody. 1206-1210. 2016
    2015 Acoustic correlates to information structure in child and adult speechProceedings of the 39th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. 411-423. 2015
    Acoustic analysis of prosody in spontaneous productions of minimally verbal children and adolescents with autismProceedings of the 40th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development.
    Directing toddler attention: Intonation contours and information structureProceedings of the 38th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development.
    The role of intonation in early word recognition and learningProceedings of the International Conference on Speech Prosody.

    Teaching Activities

  • Advanced Research Experience Taught course
  • Advanced Research Experience Taught course
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders Taught course
  • Clinical Phonetics Taught course
  • Language Acquisition Taught course
  • SpcTopic/Child Lang Acquistion Taught course
  • Student Research Experience Taught course
  • Advanced Research Experience Taught course 2023
  • Language Acquisition Taught course 2023
  • SpcTop/Child Lang Acquistion Taught course 2023
  • Student Research Experience Taught course 2023
  • Advanced Research Experience Taught course 2022
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders Taught course 2022
  • Clinical Phonetics Taught course 2022
  • Student Research Experience Taught course 2022
  • Advanced Research Experience Taught course 2022
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders Taught course 2022
  • Language Acquisition Taught course 2022
  • Student Research Experience Taught course 2022
  • Clinical Phonetics Taught course 2021
  • Spc Top/Child Lang Acquisition Taught course 2021
  • Student Research Experience Taught course 2021
  • Adv Rsrch Exp/Comm Sci & Dis Taught course 2021
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders Taught course 2021
  • Language Acquisition Taught course 2021
  • Clinical Phonetics Taught course 2020
  • Rsrch Exp/Comm Sci & Disorders Taught course 2020
  • Spc Top/Child Lang Acquisition Taught course 2020
  • Language Acquisition Taught course 2020
  • Rsrch Exp/Comm Sci & Disorder Taught course 2020
  • Top/Child Language Acquisition Taught course 2020
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders Taught course 2019
  • Language Acquisition Taught course 2019
  • Rsrch Exp/Comm Sci & Disorder Taught course 2019
  • Clinical Phonetics Taught course 2018
  • Motor Speech Disorders Taught course 2018
  • Rsrch Exp/Comm Sci & Disorders Taught course 2018
  • Spc Top/Child Lang Acquisition Taught course 2018
  • Acquisition of Language Taught course 2018
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders Taught course 2018
  • Rsrch Exp/Comm Sci & Disorder Taught course 2018
  • Acquisition of Language Taught course 2017
  • Education And Training

    Full Name

  • Jill Thorson
  • Mailing Address

  • University of New Hampshire

    Communication Sciences & Disorders

    4 Library Way, Hewitt Hall

    Durham, NH  03824

    United States