Devin Casenhiser, Ph.D.

Field Specialty

Language Development; Autism

Research Interests

Dr. Casenhiser’s research explores functional (i.e., communicative) and cognitive factors that affect language learning in neurotypical and autistic populations. He has published research investigating the effects of homonymy on lexical acquisition, how the distribution of lexical input affects children’s ability to learn grammatical constructions, and together with colleagues in Canada, Dr. Casenhiser has developed and tested a social-interaction based intervention designed to improve the social-communication abilities of children diagnose with autism spectrum disorders.


  • B.A. Kent State University (1994)
  • M.A. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (1999, 2001)
  • Ph.D. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2004)

Recent Honors and Awards

  • 2006-2009 – Unicorn Children’s Foundation Grant to study Intensive Interventions for Autism (Co-Investigator; $60,000)

Representative Publications

  • Devin M. Casenhiser, Stuart G. Shanker, & Jim Stieben (forthcoming). “Learning through interaction in children with autism: Preliminary data from a parent-mediated model of autism intervention,” Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice
  • James Stieben, Stuart Shanker, & Devin Casenhiser (in prep). “Neurophysiological correlates of treatment outcomes in children undergoing a social-interaction based treatment for autism spectrum disorders.”
  • Adele E. Goldberg, Devin M. Casenhiser & Tiffani R. White (2007). “Constructions as categories.” New Ideas in Psychology.
  • Adele E. Goldberg & Devin M. Casenhiser (2007). “English constructions” in Aarts, Bas & McMahon, April (eds.) The Blackwell Handbook of English Linguistics.
  • Adele E. Goldberg & Devin M. Casenhiser (2006). “Learning argument structure constructions.” In Clark, Eve (ed.) Constructions in Acquisition. CSLI Publications
  • Devin M. Casenhiser. (2005). “Children's resistance to homonymy: An experimental study of pseudohomonyms.” Journal of Child Language.
  • Devin M. Casenhiser & Adele E. Goldberg (2005). “Fast-mapping between phrasal form and meaning.” Developmental Science.
  • Devin M. Casenhiser (2005). “Homophones and functional mappings in language acquisition.” in A. Tyler, M. Takada, Y. Kim & D. Marinova (eds.) Cognitive and Discourse Perspectives on Language and Language Learning. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.
  • Adele E. Goldberg, Devin M. Casenhiser, & Nitya Sethuraman (2005). “The role of prediction in construction learning.” Journal of Child Language.
  • Adele E. Goldberg, Devin M. Casenhiser, & Nitya Sethuraman (2005). “Learning argument structure generalizations.” Cognitive Linguistics.
  • Adele E. Goldberg, Devin M. Casenhiser, & Nitya Sethuraman (2004). “A lexically based proposal of argument structure meaning.” Proceedings of the Chicago Linguistics Society.

Courses Taught

  • ASP 320/509 Speech/Language Development

devin casenhiser

Contact Information

Devin Casenhiser, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology
University of Tennessee

Phone: 865-974-1808