15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

September 14-18, 2014

A Crosslinguistic and Acquisitional Perspective on Intonational Rises in French

Giuseppina Turco (1), Elisabeth Delais-Roussarie (2)

(1) Universität Konstanz, Germany
(2) LLF (UMR 7110), France

This study compares rising contours produced in the context of contrastive topics by French natives and by low and high proficient learners of French with German as mother tongue. Results show a systematic pattern for French natives who mostly produced a final rise LH*, and hardly ever a bridge accent on the whole phrase. Our results on French natives seem to support earlier claims that tonal patterns with late dip alignments may be recruited for encoding contrast meaning. Results on French learners show a development in the acquisition of the prosody-semantics mapping principles (shifting the accent position from the phrase-initial mon to the phrase-final image) and, not surprisingly, differences in the phonetic implementation of the final rises. Crucially, the impact of phonological and phonetic transfer is more complex than expected: text-to-tune associations are not easy to re-programme when a new accent location has to be learnt. However, once the phonology is learnt, the phonetic implementation starts being problematic.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Turco, Giuseppina / Delais-Roussarie, Elisabeth (2014): "A crosslinguistic and acquisitional perspective on intonational rises in French", In INTERSPEECH-2014, 2553-2557.