ISCA Archive Interspeech 2013
ISCA Archive Interspeech 2013

How are word-final schwas different in the north and south of france?

Rena Nemoto, Martine Adda-Decker

The aim of this paper is twofold: (i) give a large-scale description in realized word-final schwas of French lexical words for different regions (North vs. South) and different speaking styles (read vs. spontaneous speech); (ii) highlight differences in prosodic features and test these differences via automatic classification techniques. The proposed study relies on a subset of 12.5 hours of the French PFC corpus. Manually transcribed speech was segmented and labeled using automatic speech alignment and a pronunciation dictionary including optional word-final schwas for all words ending in a consonant. F0 and intensity values were extracted and averaged over segments. Our study revealed that, for both speaking styles, word-final schwas of southern French tended to keep relatively high F0 values and longer durations in comparison with northern French where F0 tends to drop on a word-final schwa. On average, spontaneous speech featured smaller F0 drops between final full vowel and subsequent word-final schwa vowel as well as longer durations. The automatic North/South classification of word-final schwas achieved better results for spontaneous speech. As for distinguishing between speaking styles, southern French obtained slightly better scores than the northern varieties.


doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2013-89

Cite as: Nemoto, R., Adda-Decker, M. (2013) How are word-final schwas different in the north and south of france? Proc. Interspeech 2013, 305-309, doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2013-89

@inproceedings{nemoto13_interspeech,
  author={Rena Nemoto and Martine Adda-Decker},
  title={{How are word-final schwas different in the north and south of france?}},
  year=2013,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2013},
  pages={305--309},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2013-89}
}