9th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brisbane, Australia
September 22-26, 2008

A Corpus-Based Prosodic Study of Alsatian, Belgian and Swiss French

Cécile Woehrling, Philippe Boula de Mareüil, Martine Adda-Decker, Lori Lamel

LIMSI, France

The object of this paper is a prosodic study of the French language as it is spoken in Alsace, Belgium and Switzerland, also compared with standard French through large corpora (over 100 hours) of scripted and spontaneous speech. The data were segmented into phones by automatic alignment; pitch values were extracted and averaged over segments. Two features are addressed: initial stress (through pitch and duration correlates) and penultimate lengthening. Different patterns enable us to distinguish the three varieties under investigation. Swiss speakers exhibit pitch rise and polysyllabic word onset lengthening in clitic.nonclitic sequences, while Alsatians tend to lengthen the initial vowel of nonclitic words. Belgians show prepausal penultimate lengthening whereas the Swiss tend to lengthen the last two prepausal vowels.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Woehrling, Cécile / Boula de Mareüil, Philippe / Adda-Decker, Martine / Lamel, Lori (2008): "A corpus-based prosodic study of Alsatian, Belgian and Swiss French", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 780-783.