8th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Jeju Island, Korea
October 4-8, 2004

Pre-focal Rephrasing, Focal Enhancement and Postfocal Deaccentuation in French

Marion Dohen, Helene Loevenbruck

Univ. Stendhal, France

This study aims at better describing the acoustic correlates of contrastive focus in French. A corpus was recorded from a male native speaker of French. It consisted of sentences with a subject-verb-object (SVO) structure under four conditions: focus on each phrase (S,V,O) and broad focus. The focal, pre-focal and post-focal constituents were studied separately. The acoustic analysis showed that: a) the pitch of the focal constituent rises, b) that of the surrounding constituents decreases, c) the duration of the focal syllables and of the pre-focal syllable increases, the onset of the focal constituent increasing the most, d) the pre-focal sequence is rephrased, e) the post-focal sequence is deaccented.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Dohen, Marion / Loevenbruck, Helene (2004): "Pre-focal rephrasing, focal enhancement and postfocal deaccentuation in French", In INTERSPEECH-2004, 785-788.