French accentual phrases (APs) are characterized by the presence of a typical final fo rise (LH*) and an optional/additional initial fo rise (LHi). This study tested whether between-speaker speech imitation influenced the realization of APs tonal patterns. The experiment was based on APs containing a function word plus a bisyllabic content word, whose tonal patterns differed in the potential placement of an optional/initial high tone (Hi). In two shadowing tasks (without/with explicit instructions to imitate the speaker's way of pronouncing the stimuli), participants produced more initial high tones when they heard a stimulus including both initial and final high tones relative to stimuli which only a final high tone was present. Thus, imitation influences the realization of APs tonal patterns in French.
Bibliographic reference. Michelas, Amandine / Nguyen, Noël (2011): "Uncovering the effect of imitation on tonal patterns of French accentual phrases", In INTERSPEECH-2011, 973-976.