15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

September 14-18, 2014

The Obligatory Contour Principle in African and European Varieties of French

Mathieu Avanzi (1), Guri Bordal (2), Gélase Nimbona (3)

(1) LLF (UMR 7110), France
(2) University of Oslo, Norway
(3) Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium

This study provides evidence that the role of the Obligatory Contour Principle (OCP) in substrate languages is reflected in prosodic systems of contact varieties of French. We have compared two contact varieties: Central African French, a variety of French spoken by L1 speakers of Sango a lexical tone language where the constraint is not respected, and Burundi French, which is spoken by L1 speakers of Kirundi, a lexical tone language where the OCP plays an important role in the distribution of tones. Our data indicate that clashes are permitted in the former, but avoided in the latter.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Avanzi, Mathieu / Bordal, Guri / Nimbona, Gélase (2014): "The obligatory contour principle in african and European varieties of French", In INTERSPEECH-2014, 1312-1316.