Phonetic prominence in French : Comparing L1 and L2 speakers

Caroline Smith (Univ. of New Mexico)
16 mars 2018, 14h0015h30

This study investigates how L1 and L2 speakers of French produce phonetic correlates of French prosodic structure, specifically the properties of Accentual Phrases that are evidenced in dimensions other than f0. The L2 speakers had English L1, with varying levels of proficiency in French. Differences in prosodic structure between English and French lead us to expect differences between these speakers and L1 French speakers. Our study measured jaw and tongue displacement in electromagnetic articulography, as well as acoustic duration and vowel formant values. We found that despite substantial individual variation, the L1 speakers generally show expanded articulation (greater jaw displacement, and F1 values corresponding to this), and longer durations on syllables that are final in an Accentual Phrase (identified using f0 cues). The most obvious differences in the L2 speakersΓÇÖ productions were seen in polysyllabic words, particularly cognates, where less advanced speakers tended to produce expanded articulations on syllables that would receive lexical stress in English but no accentuation in French.

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