4th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Philadelphia, PA, USA
October 3-6, 1996

From Segmental Duration Properties to Rhythmic Structure: A Study of Interactions Between High and Low Level Constraints

Marise Ouellet, Benoît Tardif

Ciral, Université Laval, Québec, Canada

This study deals with the temporal structure of utterances in a variety of Canadian French spoken in the Province of Quebec. In order to illustrate the way segment intrinsic durations could influence the temporal structure on which prosody takes place in Quebec French, data from read utterances and spontaneous speech were gathered and compared to results from a previous study on the variety spoken in France. The observations confirmed the preservation of a length distinction in spontaneous speech in Quebec French and showed how segmental features are apt to change the durational frame of a stress group. By so doing, the results brought up the question of the merits of using general claims about French stress patterning, segmental phonology, and syllable division for the study of Canadian French prosody. We demonstrated that the stress group, instead of the lexical units, can be used to capture segment intrinsic duration properties.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ouellet, Marise / Tardif, Benoît (1996): "From segmental duration properties to rhythmic structure: a study of interactions between high and low level", In ICSLP-1996, 1177-1180.