Non-native perception of final boundary tones in French interrogatives

Fabian Santiago, Paolo Mairano, Elisabeth Delais-Roussarie


In this paper, we report a perception experiment in which native and non-native listeners judged resynthesized questions varying in respect to two aspects: their morphosyntactic structure (presence/absence of an interrogative marker) and the form of their final tonal contour (falling, rising and extra rising). The goal of the experiment was to exanimate how non-native listeners of French did perceive the extra-rising final contour that was observed in learners’ productions. Do they consider it as unmarked form during the acquisition process? By and large, the results of the experiment show that native listeners preferred rising contours over falling ones in all question types, whereas non-native listeners rated the extra rising contours higher than French natives in stimuli having a morphosyntactic structure that differs from the one used in their L1. These results suggest that rising contours represent a default tonal form associated with the interrogative modality at the beginning of the L2 acquisition process.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-100

Cite as: Santiago, F., Mairano, P., Delais-Roussarie, E. (2014) Non-native perception of final boundary tones in French interrogatives. Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014, 563-567, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-100.


@inproceedings{Santiago2014,
  author={Fabian Santiago and Paolo Mairano and Elisabeth Delais-Roussarie},
  title={{Non-native perception of final boundary tones in French interrogatives}},
  year=2014,
  booktitle={Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014},
  pages={563--567},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-100},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-100}
}