• Mathieu AVANZI (Neuchâtel, Suisse)
    Prosody and language contact: the case of federal French in Switzerland
    2013, Vol. XVIII-2, pp. 77-90

    This study aims at examining the accentual properties of a variety of L2 French commonly called “Français Fédéral”, a variety of French spoken in Switzerland by speakers who have a Swiss-German dialect as their mother tongue. We compared the data of 4 groups of 4 speakers: 2 groups of 4 native French speakers from Neuchâtel and from Paris, and 2 groups of 4 Swiss-German French speakers from Bern and Zürich. The data were semi-automatically processed, and three main prosodic features relating to accentuation were examined: metrical weight of the Accentual Phrase, respect of Accentual Phrase formation constraints (ALIGN-XHEAD and *CLASH), and proportion of secondary accents. Our findings regarding the two first parameters suggest that speakers of “Français Fédéral” share several features with a lexical accentuation system rather than with a supra-lexical accentuation system, albeit that the hypothesis of transfer fails to explain the high proportion of secondary accents encountered in the production of non-native speakers.

  • Guri BORDAL (Oslo, Norvège)
    The influence of the Sango tonal system on French in the Central African Republic
    2013, Vol. XVIII-2, pp. 91-102

    In this article, I present the tonal system of Central African French (CAF), which is the variety of French spoken in Bangui in the Central African Republic. The study is based on a corpus of recordings of spontaneous speech produced by twelve multilingual speakers, using mainly the African language Sango and French in their every-day communication. I show that the tonal system of CAF is to a great extent influenced by the phonological system of Sango.

  • Philippe BOULA DE MAREÜIL (Paris Sud)
    Characterisation of speaking styles and foreign accent through imitation: comparison between French and Brazilian Portuguese
    2018, Vol. XXIII-1, pp. 31-44

    In the reported study, we asked French and Brazilian Portuguese native speakers to read a text in a neutral way (in both languages), imitating a broadcast news style and imitating a Brazilian/French foreign accent. The main goal was to analyze which salient features imitators reinforce as indicative of a speaking style or a foreign accent, in terms of prosody (initial accentuation, melody and silent pause duration) especially, as well as at the segmental level of the /R/ pronunciation for Brazilian/French accents. In French as in Brazilian Portuguese, results highlight that initial prominence is an essential characteristic of the broadcaster style, whereas /R/ pronunciation is one of the most important parameters signaling a foreign accent.

  • Philippe BOULA DE MAREÜIL (Paris Sud)
    Diachronic variation in the prosody of French news announcer speech: changes in word initial accent
    2012, Vol. XVII-1, pp. 97-111

    This study addresses prosodic evolution in the French news announcer style, based on acoustic analysis of French audiovisual archives. A 10-hour corpus covering six decades of broadcast news is investigated automatically, focusing on word-initial stress, which may give an impression of emphatic style. Objective measurements suggest that the following features have decreased since the forties: mean pitch, pitch rise associated with initial stress, and vowel duration characterising an emphatic initial stress. The onsets of stressed initial syllables have become longer while speech rate (measured at the phonemic level) has not changed. This puzzling outcome raises interesting questions for research on French prosody, suggesting that the durational correlates of word-initial stress have changed over time, in the French news announcer style.

  • Geneviève CAELEN-HAUMONT (CNRS-Grenoble)
    Lexicon, melodic indices and auto-interpretation
    1996, Vol. I-1, pp. 25-40

    This article aims to investigate experimentally the links between prosody and the various domains of linguistics (syntax, semantics, pragmatics). Since the function of prosody is to convey the interpretation of the meaning the speaker wants to give to his utterance, the method that is proposed is to define linguistic models that can be quantified in such a way as to both yield an interpretive strategy of the linguistic contents and to predict a melodic structuring of the lexical framework. Experimental evidence shows links between on the one hand constraints related to the text and the context, and on the other the distribution of models and melodical indices, and allows us to define prosody and more in particular melody, as a subjective locus, where whatever belongs to the linguistic realm enters the realm of pragmatics.

  • Sophie HERMENT (Aix-Marseille Université)
    Learning and teaching suprasegmentals: the importance of visualisation
    2018, Vol. XXIII-1, pp. 73-88

    Using research tools like PRAAT, a tool for doing phonetics, SPPAS, which performs automatic annotation, and the AixOx learners’ corpus, this article gives examples of possible pedagogical applications to help the learning and teaching of English prosody for French learners in secondary schools. The theoretical framework is the British school of intonation and the illustrations concern the three types of decision the speaker has to take, namely tonality, tonicity and tone.It is argued that visualising and comparing natives and learners’ productions can induce a better comprehension and apprehension of prosodic phenomena for ESL.

  • Rasmus PERSSON (Université de Linköping & Université d’York)
    Prosody as a resource for the organisation of interaction: a review and some illustrations
    2017, Vol. XXII-2, pp. 33-52

    This article takes stock of the current state of research on the connections between prosody and the organisation of social interaction. An overview is given of central studies of prosodic and phonetic design and its procedural relevance for interaction, along three lines of inquiry: the management of turns, sequence organisation, and action formation. For each of these issues, illustrative analyses based on French data are also presented.

  • Shirley VINTER (Besançon)
    Prosody and its importance in acquiring language skills by hearing impaired children
    2001, Vol. VI-1, pp. 21-34

    Through analysis of adult-deaf child and adult-SLI child interaction, and after the presentation of the theoretical frame and aims of Interactive Developmental Intonology, we try to better understand the importance of prosody in early language acquisition. Our research focuses on suprasegmental development - rhythmical and melodic organization in the interaction -, and its effects on conversational and linguistic competences of handicapped children. Which are the conditions for sounds to become a canonical sentence? How a prelinguistic utterance, without words, can nevertheless have a linguistic modality?

  • Brigitte ZELLNER (Lausanne, Suisse)
    Temporal and prosodic structures in French reading
    1996, Vol. I-1, pp. 7-23

    Although the prosodic component has been integrated in speech synthesis systems for many years, one temporal dimension, namely fluency of speech, has much less been considered. Fluent speech is characterized by easy verbal production, smooth onsets and transitions, and an adequate speech rate. It will be argued that for French, the current lack of fluency in speech synthesis can be explained by the fact that temporal structuring is inadequate for achieving this, as this structure is considered to be congruent with the accent structure. In this article a new approach of temporal organisation will be presented.