12th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Florence, Italy
August 27-31. 2011

In Search of Cues Discriminating West-African Accents in French

Philippe Boula de Mareüil, Jean-Luc Rouas, Manuela Yapomo

LIMSI, France

This study investigates to what extent West-African French accents can be distinguished, based on recordings made in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal. First, a perceptual experiment was conducted, suggesting that these accents are well identified by West-African listeners (especially the Senegal and Ivory Coast accents). Second, prosodic and segmental cues were studied by using speech processing methods such as automatic phoneme alignment. Results show that the Senegal accent (with a tendency toward word-initial stress followed by a falling pitch movement) and the Ivory Coast accent (with a tendency to delete/vocalise the /R/ consonant) are most distinct from standard French and among the West-African accents under investigation.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Boula de Mareüil, Philippe / Rouas, Jean-Luc / Yapomo, Manuela (2011): "In search of cues discriminating West-african accents in French", In INTERSPEECH-2011, 725-728.