This paper investigates sociophonetic questions about global tendencies in contemporaneous European spoken French. The authors argue that automatic alignment allowing targeted variants can provide evidence for current hypotheses about possible ongoing sound changes or about destandardization even in formal contexts as broadcast news. This study focused on the evolution over a decade, in radio or TV news, of three enon- standardf consonantal variants: consonant cluster reduction, affrication/palatalization of dental stops and voiceless fricative epithesis. Measures obtained by this method showed that the first variant remains almost absent in journalists' speech, exactly as affrication of /d/. In contrast, affrication of /t/ is increasing and the fricative epithesis, partially unpredictable, becomes longer. Our findings support the use of automatic alignment as an aid to validate sociolinguistic hypotheses and to develop pattern-driven studies, gathering more variables.
Bibliographic reference. Candea, Maria / Adda-Decker, Martine / Lamel, Lori (2013): "Recent evolution of non-standard consonantal variants in French broadcast news", In INTERSPEECH-2013, 412-416.