“ Gra[f] e!” Word-Final Devoicing of Obstruents in Standard French: An Acoustic Study Based on Large Corpora

Adèle Jatteau, Ioana Vasilescu, Lori Lamel, Martine Adda-Decker, Nicolas Audibert


This study investigates the tendency towards word-final devoicing of voiced obstruents in Standard French, and how devoicing is influenced by domain, speech style, manner and place of articulation. Three large corpora with automatic segmentations produced by forced alignment are used: ESTER, ETAPE and NCCFr. A voicing-ratio is established for each obstruent via F0 extraction in Praat, and the percentage of fully voiced segments is computed. We find a salient pattern of devoicing before pause, with no clear effect of speech style. Fricatives devoice more than stops, and posterior fricatives devoice more than anterior ones. Since voicing plays a central role in the cross-linguistic pattern of word-final [voice] neutralisation, this study gives insight into the potential phonetic precursors of this process.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2329

Cite as: Jatteau, A., Vasilescu, I., Lamel, L., Adda-Decker, M., Audibert, N. (2019) “ Gra[f] e!” Word-Final Devoicing of Obstruents in Standard French: An Acoustic Study Based on Large Corpora. Proc. Interspeech 2019, 1726-1730, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2329.


@inproceedings{Jatteau2019,
  author={Adèle Jatteau and Ioana Vasilescu and Lori Lamel and Martine Adda-Decker and Nicolas Audibert},
  title={{“ Gra[f] e!” Word-Final Devoicing of Obstruents in Standard French: An Acoustic Study Based on Large Corpora}},
  year=2019,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2019},
  pages={1726--1730},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2329},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2329}
}