Correlation Between Prosody and Pragmatics: Case Study of Discourse Markers in French and English

Lou Lee, Denis Jouvet, Katarina Bartkova, Yvon Keromnes, Mathilde Dargnat


This paper investigates the prosodic characteristics of French and English discourse markers according to their pragmatic meaning in context. The study focusses on three French discourse markers ( alors [‘so’], bon [‘well’], and donc [‘so’]) and three English markers ( now, so, and well). Hundreds of occurrences of discourse markers were automatically extracted from French and English speech corpora and manually annotated with pragmatic functions labels. The paper compares the prosodic characteristics of discourse markers in different speech styles and in two languages. The first comparison is carried out with respect to two different speech styles in French: spontaneous speech vs. prepared speech. The other comparison of the prosodic characteristics is conducted between two languages, French vs. English, on the prepared speech. Results show that some pragmatic functions of discourse markers bring about specific prosodic behaviour in terms of presence and position of pauses, and their F0 articulation in their immediate context. Moreover, similar pragmatic functions frequently share similar prosodic characteristics, even across languages.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2020-2204

Cite as: Lee, L., Jouvet, D., Bartkova, K., Keromnes, Y., Dargnat, M. (2020) Correlation Between Prosody and Pragmatics: Case Study of Discourse Markers in French and English. Proc. Interspeech 2020, 1878-1882, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2020-2204.


@inproceedings{Lee2020,
  author={Lou Lee and Denis Jouvet and Katarina Bartkova and Yvon Keromnes and Mathilde Dargnat},
  title={{Correlation Between Prosody and Pragmatics: Case Study of Discourse Markers in French and English}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2020},
  pages={1878--1882},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2020-2204},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2020-2204}
}