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. Most recently, I have 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 will not only inform how we classify language and learning difficulties across disorders but also offer insight into intervention, treatment, and earlier diagnosis.
  • Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    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. 2015
    2012 Is prosodic development correlated with grammatical and lexical development? Evidence from emerging intonation in Catalan and SpanishJournal of Child Language.  39:221-257. 2012
    2011 Entonación y pragmática en los enunciados interrogativos del español en habla dirigida a niñosOralia.  14:227-255. 2011

    Chapter

    Year Title
    2018 The role of prosody in early word learning: Behavioral evidence.  60-77. 2018

    Conference Proceeding

    Year Title
    2015 Acoustic correlates to information structure in child and adult speechProceedings of the 39th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. 411-423. 2015
    2011 Early Intonational Development in Spanish: A Case StudySelected Proceedings of the 13th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium. 203-213. 2011
    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.
    Assessing prosody in minimally to nonverbal children with autismProceedings of the International Conference on Speech Prosody.
    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

  • 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
  • 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