Mabel Rice

Mabel L. Rice, Ph.D.

Fred and Virginia Merrill Distinguished Professor of Advanced Studies
Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences & Disorders
Lawrence Campus

Director, Child Language Doctoral Program
Director, Merrill Advanced Studies Center
Director, Biobehavioral Neurosciences in Communication Disorders Center

Phone: (785) 864-4570
FAX: (785) 864-4571

Personal Bio

B.A., University of Northern Iowa (highest honors), 1966
M.A. University of Northern Iowa, 1967
Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1978

Director, Language Acquisition Studies Lab

Research Interests:

Mabel L. Rice is an international authority on language disorders in children and the genetics of language acquisition. In 2001, she was a Japan Society Fellow. In 2000, she was recognized as a Haydn Williams Fellow in Australia. She has been a visiting scientist at the Center for Cognitive Science at MIT, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Institut fur Linguistik at the University of Potsdam in Germany, and the Hopital de la Salpetriere in Paris. She is the former editor of the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. At the University of Kansas, she directs the Child Language Doctoral Program, one of the first interdisciplinary programs in the country to train child-language specialists. She also directs the Merrill Advanced Studies Center and the Biobehavioral Neurosciences in Communications Disorders Center. She maintains an active research lab where students address fundamental questions about young children's language acquisition and language impairments. With Ken Wexler from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she developed the first test to successfully diagnose Specific Language Impairment (SLI) in children ages 3 to 8. The Rice/Wexler Test of Early Grammatical Impairment was released by the Psychological Corporation in 2001 and is being used by school districts and speech language professionals. Dr. Rice has investigated the disorder SLI and other language impairments with research funding from the National Institutes of Health. Currently, in collaboration with Ken Wexler, she directs a longitudinal study of a grammatical marker in children with SLI and their family members. This study includes a subcontract for genetics analyses with Jeff Murray at the University of Iowa. She also leads a collaborative team with investigators Steve Zubrick and Kate Taylor at Curtin University in Perth Australia, in a large-scale study of the language acquisition of twins compared to single-born children, and their families.

Selected Publications:

Rice, M. (2002). A unified model of specific and general language delay: Grammatical tense as a clinical marker of unexpected variation. In Y. Levy & J. Schaeffer (Eds.), Language competence across populations: Toward a definition of Specific Language Impairment. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Rice, M. (2000). Grammatical symptoms of specific language impairment. In D. V. M. Bishop & L. B. Leonard (Eds.), Speech and language impairments in children: Causes, characteristics, intervention and outcome (pp. 17-34). East Susex, England: Psychology Press.

Rice, M. L. (1999). Specific grammatical limitations in children with specific language impairments. In H. Tager-Flusberg (Ed.), Neurodevelopmental disorders (pp. 331-359). Cambridge: MIT Press.

Rice, M. L., Haney, K. R., & Wexler, K. (1998). Family histories of children with SLI who show extended optional infinitives. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 41, 419-432.

Rice, M. L., & Wexler, K. (1996). Toward tense as a clinical marker of specific language impairment in English-speaking children. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 39, 1239-1257.

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