5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

Differential Lengthening Of Syllabic Constituents In French: The Effect Of Accent Type And Speaking Style

Daniel Hirst, Corine Astesano, Albert Di Cristo

CNRS, Université de Provence, France

This paper presents results from the analysis of segmental duration in French in three different speaking styles, (a) 'reading'; (b) 'news broadcast' ; (c) 'spontaneous interview'. A ten minute corpus was hand segmented and labelled using six accent categories (i) unstressed (ii) word-initial (iii) emphatic word-initial (iv) word-final (v) intonation unit final before non-terminal boundary (vi) intonation unit final before terminal boundary. Results show that when different accent types and different speaking styles are taken into account there is no uniform lengthening of prosodic constituents in French, whether the syllable or some other suprasegmental unit is taken as the domain for lengthening. Instead differential lengthening is observed consistently with essentially greater lengthening towards the beginning of the syllable for initial prominence and greater lengthening towards the end of the syllable for final prominence. The degree of the different types of lengthening was moreover significantly different across the speaking styles.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hirst, Daniel / Astesano, Corine / Cristo, Albert Di (1998): "Differential lengthening of syllabic constituents in French: the effect of accent type and speaking style", In ICSLP-1998, paper 0733.