The Effects of Prosody on French V-to-V Coarticulation: A Corpus-Based Study

Giuseppina Turco, Cécile Fougeron, Nicolas Audibert


This study examines whether the degree of vowel-to-vowel coarticulation in French (better known as “vowel height harmony”, V2-to-V1 henceforth) varies as a function of position in prosodic domain (i.e. IP initial vs. word-medial) and duration of V1 (i.e. short vs. long). Following the literature on the phonetics-prosody interface, segments at stronger edges are more resistant to coarticulatory effects induced by their neighboring vowel. While previous studies have mainly looked at non-local V-to-V coarticulation across prosodic boundaries/domains (e.g.,V#(C)V), here we look at V2-to-V1 coarticulation within an Intonational Phrase according to whether target V1 is in absolute initial position (#V1C(C)V2, e.g., #essaie [esε]/[εsε] – ‘try’) or not (word-medial, e.g., épaissit [epεsi]/[epesi] – ‘thikened’). The analyses are based on 33k words presenting possible V1C(C)V2 harmonic contexts, which were extracted from a corpus of French running speech. V2-to-V1 coarticulation is measured as the lowering of the first formant of the target V1 (/e, ε, o, ɔ/) in relation to the height of the V2 trigger /+high/ (i.e. mid-high and high) vs. /-high/ (i.e. mid-low and low). Results show an effect of prosodic position (but no effect of V1 duration) on V2-to-V1 coarticulation: V1 is more resistant to coarticulation when initial in an IP.


DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2016-1323

Cite as

Turco, G., Fougeron, C., Audibert, N. (2016) The Effects of Prosody on French V-to-V Coarticulation: A Corpus-Based Study. Proc. Interspeech 2016, 998-1001.

Bibtex
@inproceedings{Turco+2016,
author={Giuseppina Turco and Cécile Fougeron and Nicolas Audibert},
title={The Effects of Prosody on French V-to-V Coarticulation: A Corpus-Based Study},
year=2016,
booktitle={Interspeech 2016},
doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2016-1323},
url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2016-1323},
pages={998--1001}
}