13th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Portland, OR, USA
September 9-13, 2012

Accentual Transfer from Swiss-German to French. A Study of "Francais Federal"

Mathieu Avanzi (1), Pauline Dubosson (1), Sandra Schwab (2), Nicolas Obin (3)

(1) Chaire de linguistique française, University of Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
(2) École de langue et de civilisation françaises, University of Geneva, Switzerland
(3) IRCAM-CNRS UMR 9912-STMS, Paris, France

This study aims at examining the accentual and phrasing properties of a variety of L2 French commonly called “Français Fédéral”, a variety of French spoken in Switzerland by speakers who have a Swiss-German dialect as a mother tongue. For this, we compared the data of 4 groups of 4 speakers: 2 groups of 4 native French speakers from Neuchâtel and from Paris, and 2 groups of 4 Swiss-German French speakers from Bern and Zürich. The data are semi-automatically processed, and three main prosodic features relating to accentuation and phrasing are examined: prominence distribution and metrical weight of the Phonological Phrase, respect of Phonological Phrase formation constraints (Align-XP and No-clash), and realizations of sandhis phenomena within and across the Phonological Phrases boundaries. Our findings suggest that “Français Fédéral” share several features with a lexical accentuation system rather than with a supra-lexical accentuation system.

Index Terms: Accentual transfer, Phonological Phrase, “français fédéral”, Align-XP, accentual clash, sandhis

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Avanzi, Mathieu / Dubosson, Pauline / Schwab, Sandra / Obin, Nicolas (2012): "Accentual transfer from Swiss-German to French. a study of "francais federal"", In INTERSPEECH-2012, 106-109.