The Prosody of Discourse Markers alors and et in French. A Speech Production Study

Ivana Didirkova, George Christodoulides, Anne Catherine Simon


We study the prosodic features of two French discourse markers (DMs), alors and et, in connection with the discourse relation they convey. Twenty adult native speakers of French were asked to prepare and to read aloud 64 sequences (32 per DM) consisting of a first segment, the target DM and a second segment; all first segments were extracted from a natural speech corpus. The sequences were constructed in order to convey one of six predefined discourse relations. The prosodic characteristics of the resulting 1280 recorded utterances are analysed based on the DM and the discourse relation. Results suggest that the silent pause duration before the DM, as well as the absolute duration of the DM itself are used by the speaker to differentiate between the core meaning of the DM and its less predictable meanings. Moreover, prosodic cues were not used redundantly and the DMs did not systematically constitute a separate prosodic unit.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-102

Cite as: Didirkova, I., Christodoulides, G., Simon, A.C. (2018) The Prosody of Discourse Markers alors and et in French. A Speech Production Study. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 503-507, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-102.


@inproceedings{Didirkova2018,
  author={Ivana Didirkova and George Christodoulides and Anne Catherine Simon},
  title={The Prosody of Discourse Markers alors and et in French. A Speech Production Study},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},
  pages={503--507},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-102},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-102}
}