Sixth European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology
The present analysis examined the interactive effects of articulation rate and position in phrases and utterances on the duration of syllables, consonants, and vowels in read French speech. Three major tendencies emerged. 1) Rate changes primarily affected vocalic segments. 2) Non-prominent (penultimate) syllables, consonants and vowels were more stable than their prominent (final) counterparts. This finding, which differs from that obtained for lexical-stress languages, is consistent with the claim that French is not a stress language but a boundary language. 3) At the normal rate, there was no significant difference in mean final-syllable, consonant and vowel duration in the utterance-internal and utterance-final positions. This finding suggests that utterance-final lengthening varies with articulation rate, speech style and speaker, and points out the need for a more comprehensive study of lengthening effects.
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Bibliographic reference. Duez, Danielle (1999): "Effects of articulation rate on duration in read French speech", In EUROSPEECH'99, 715-718.