Pilar Prieto

Universitat Pompeu Fabra


Pilar Prieto is an ICREA Research Professor at the Department of Translation and Language Sciences at UPF (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Barcelona, Catalunya.  After obtaining her doctoral degree in Romance Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Bell Laboratories (Murray Hill, New Jersey), where she continued working on the linguistic meaning of prosody across languages. Since 2008 she coordinates the "Prosodic Studies Group" at the Department of Translation and Language Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

Research interests

My main research goal is to understand the role of prosody and co-speech gestures in human communication from a crosslinguistic, developmental, and cognitive perspective. Three important strands of this research include: (a) to incorporate this knowledge into semantic models of language that model the interface areas with other components; (b) to empirically investigate how humans process prosodic and gestural patterns in combination with speech; and (c) to investigate the cognitive and developmental benefits of prosody and gesture in different areas, such as first and second language acquisition, as well as communication training for language impaired and non-impaired populations. The social significance of this research topic is high, as ICT training procedures based on prosodic and gestural awareness can be proven valuable to improve language abilities in populations with neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by impaired social interaction.  

Selected publications

- Esteve-Gibert N, Borràs-Comes J, Asor E, Swerts M & Prieto P 2017, 'The timing of head movements: The role of prosodic heads and edges', Journal Of The Acoustical Society Of America, 141, 6, 4727 - 4739.

- Esteve-Gibert N, Prieto P & Liszkowski U 2017, 'Twelve-Month-Olds Understand Social Intentions Based on Prosody and Gesture Shape', Infancy, 22, 1, 108 - 129.

- González M, Roseano P, Borràs-Comes J, Prieto P 2017, 'Epistemic and evidential marking in discourse: effects of register and debatability'. Lingua 186 (7): 68-87.

- Gluhareva D & Prieto P 2017, “Training with rhythmic beat gestures favors L2 pronunciation in discourse-demanding situations”, Language Teaching Research. 21, 5, 609 - 631.

- Hubscher I,Borras-Comes J & Prieto P 2017, 'Prosodic mitigation characterizes Catalan formal speech: The Frequency Code reassessed', Journal Of Phonetics, 65, 145 - 159.

- Hübscher I, Esteve-Gibert N, Igualada A, Prieto P 2017, 'Intonation and gesture as bootstrapping devices in speaker uncertainty', First Language, 37 (1): 24-41.

- Igualada A, Esteve-Gibert N & Prieto P 2017, 'Beat gestures improve word recall in 3- to 5- year- old children', Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 156: 99-112. 

- Rodero E, Potter RF & Prieto P 2017, 'Pitch Range Variations Improve Cognitive Processing of Audio Messages', Human Communication Research, 43, 3, 397 - 413.

- Vanrell MM, Armstrong ME & Prieto P 2017, 'Experimental Evidence for the Role of Intonation in Evidential Marking', Language And Speech, 60, 2, 242 - 259.

- Brown L & Prieto P 2017, '(Im)politeness: Prosody and gesture', Michael Haugh, Dániel Kádár, and J. Culpeper. Palgrave Handbook of Linguistic Politeness. New York: Palgrave, pp. 357-379.

- Prieto P 2017, 'Taller d'expressió oral. Altaveu. L