The Realiziation of French Rising Intonation by Native Speakers of American English

Scott Lee


This study examines the acquisition of French intonational rises by adult native speakers of American English. Production data were gathered using a discourse completion task and a storytelling task from eight American college students beginning a semester-long study abroad program in Southern France. Results suggest that speakers struggled with two particular aspects of French intonation: the grouping of words into Accentual Phrases, and the phonetic realization of phrase-final rises. In particular, the probability distribution for the alignment of the late L elbow was bimodal for L2 speakers but unimodal for L1 speakers, suggesting the use in the learner speech of two distinct tonal patterns instead of the single French LH*. Mean values for overall pitch range and the scaling of continuative rises were significantly lower and less variable than French L1 values as well.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-140

Cite as: Lee, S. (2014) The Realiziation of French Rising Intonation by Native Speakers of American English. Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014, 762-766, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-140.


@inproceedings{Lee2014,
  author={Scott Lee},
  title={{The Realiziation of French Rising Intonation by Native Speakers of American English}},
  year=2014,
  booktitle={Proc. 7th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2014},
  pages={762--766},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-140},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2014-140}
}