Pilar Prieto

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 and Gesture 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

- Rohrer P, Florit-Pons M, Vilà-Giménez I & Prieto P, 2022. “Children use non-referential gestures in narrative speech to mark discourse elements which update common ground”. Frontiers in Psychology 12:661339.

- Baills F, Alazard-Guiu C & Prieto P 2022, 'Embodied Prosodic Training Helps Improve Accentedness and Suprasegmental Accuracy', Applied Linguistics, 43, 4, 776–804.

- Ozakin AS, Xi X, Li P & Prieto P 2022, 'Thanks or Tanks: Training with Tactile Cues Improves Learners' Accuracy of English Interdental Consonants in an Oral Reading Task', Language Learning And Development.

- Valls-Rates I, Niebuhr O & Prieto P 2022, 'Unguided virtual-reality training can enhance the oral presentation skills of high-school students', Frontiers In Communication, 7, 910952. 

- Lloret MR & Prieto P 2022. “Catalan”. In: C. Gabriel, R. Gess & T. Meisenburg (Eds.), Manual of Romance Phonetics and Phonology, 743-778. Berlin: De Gruyter.

Selected research activities

May 23-26, 2022. Co-organizer of two special sessions at "Speech Prosody 2022". May 23-26, 2022.