Pilar Prieto Vives

Pilar Prieto Vives

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

- Castillo E, Pronina M, Hübscher I & Prieto P 2023, 'Narrative Performance and Sociopragmatic Abilities in Preschool Children are Linked to Multimodal Imitation Skills' Journal of Child Language, 50, 2, 52–77.
- Florit-Pons M, Rohrer P, Vilà-Giménez I, Prieto P 2023, 'Multimodal development in children's narrative speech: A longitudinal study of referential and temporal aspects of co-speech gesture', J. Sp. Lang & Hear Res, 66.3, 888-900.
- Pronina M, Prieto P, Bischetti L & Bambini V 2023, 'Expressive Pragmatics and Prosody in Young Preschoolers are More Closely Related to Structural Language than to Mentalizing', Lang Learn and Dev,, 19, 3, 323-344.
- Pronina M, Grofulovic H, Castillo E, Prieto P & Igualada A 2023. “Narrative Abilities at Age 3 Are Associated Positively With Gesture Accuracy but Negatively With Gesture Rate”. J. Sp. Lang & Hear Res. 66(3):951-965.

Selected research activities