11th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Makuhari, Chiba, Japan
September 26-30. 2010

Phrase-Medial Vowel Devoicing in Spontaneous French

Francisco Torreira, Mirjam Ernestus

Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, The Netherlands

This study investigates phrase-medial vowel devoicing in European French (e.g. /ty po/ [typo] 'you can'). Our spontaneous speech data confirm that French phrase-medial devoicing is a frequent phenomenon affecting high vowels preceded by voiceless consonants. We also found that devoicing is more frequent in temporally reduced and coarticulated vowels. Complete and partial devoicing were conditioned by the same variables (speech rate, consonant type and distance from the end of the AP). Given these results, we propose that phrase-medial vowel devoicing in French arises mainly from the temporal compression of vocalic gestures and the aerodynamic conditions imposed by high vowels.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Torreira, Francisco / Ernestus, Mirjam (2010): "Phrase-medial vowel devoicing in spontaneous French", In INTERSPEECH-2010, 2006-2009.