Intonation and (re)syllabification in L2 French interrogatives produced by L1 German learners: Comparing different proficiency levels

Christoph Gabriel, Trudel Meisenburg, Bénédict Wocker


The study investigates the prosody of French interrogatives produced by L1 German learners of three different proficiency levels. Control data from French native speakers are taken into account. The materials analyzed were recorded using two dif-ferent versions of a Discourse Completion Task (DCT) for the advanced learners and the native controls and a scripted version thereof in the form of a screenplay for the beginners. It is shown that despite the general difference between the intonation systems of (phrase-based) French and (word-based) German the learners mostly produce well identifiable interrogative contours, and their data do not differ significantly from the na-tive control data regarding the use of F0, measured in terms of pitch range and variability (Pitch Dynamism Quotient, PDQ). However, the learners differ significantly from the native speakers in presenting a lower speech rate and in their way of (re)syllabifying their utterances: they produce less target-like instances of liaison and enchaînement and more word-initial glottalizations. This suggests that, at least for short speech acts such as we analyzed, the learners’ challenge to produce the prosody of French interrogatives in a target-like way rather re-fers to the syllabic than to the intonational level.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-168

Cite as: Gabriel, C., Meisenburg, T., Wocker, B. (2018) Intonation and (re)syllabification in L2 French interrogatives produced by L1 German learners: Comparing different proficiency levels. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 833-837, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-168.


@inproceedings{Gabriel2018,
  author={Christoph Gabriel and Trudel Meisenburg and Bénédict Wocker},
  title={Intonation and (re)syllabification in L2 French interrogatives produced by L1 German learners: Comparing different proficiency levels},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},
  pages={833--837},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-168},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-168}
}