Dr. Daniela O'Neill

Professor; Director, MASc Developmental and Communication Science Program

Daniela O'Neill

BSc (Toronto), PhD (Stanford)

Contact information

Children's Communication Lab

Research interests

My research investigates the development of language and cognition in early childhood (1 to 5 years) with a particular focus on children's early use of language (pragmatic language development) and how it is influenced by children's developing understanding of their own and other people's minds (e.g., adapting their communication to take into account different perspectives or knowledge states of communicative partners). My studies examine these developments in communication in a broad sense, and include the study of children's gestures as well as spoken language; the study of children's communication in naturalistic as well as laboratory settings; and the study of children's communicative abilities in many forms such as everyday talk with parents and siblings, peer-to-peer conversation, story telling and story comprehension. My research has also led to the development of the Language Use Inventory (LUI), a standardized parent-report measure assessing pragmatic language development in children 18 to 47 months of age, now used internationally by speech-language professionals and researchers.

Much more detailed information about my research, my publications, and the Language Use Inventory is available at the website for my research lab, the Children's Communication Lab.

I welcome inquiries from undergraduate, doctoral, and postdoctoral students wishing to study in my lab. Inquiries from researchers or clinicians interested in using the LUI are also welcome. I also welcome inquiries from the media regarding my research or related topics.


For a full listing of all my published and in press papers, visit my Children's Communication Lab website where this listing is kept up to date.