Speech Prosody 2002

Aix-en-Provence, France
April 11-13, 2002

Regional Variations of Sentence Intonation in French - The Continuation Contour in Parisian French

Philippe Martin

Department of French Studies, University of Toronto, Canada

Numerous studies on regional variations of French sentence intonation have been conducted for some time, even before any phonological description of intonation was available. These studies are therefore characterized by a strong phonetic bias, leading researchers to gather large sets of experimental data, which once statistically organized, would give an empirical account of intonational differences existing between varieties of French.

In contrast with these studies, we proposed a phonetic description of some intonational regional differences based on a phonological description, in which as in any classical phonetic study of, say, vowel quality, the phonological analysis precedes phonetic description of the data. In the theoretical approach chosen, stressed syllables are encoded with features such as duration and melodic variations, which in turn indicate a (prosodic) organization of the sentence.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Martin, Philippe (2002): "Regional variations of sentence intonation in French - the continuation contour in Parisian French", In SP-2002, 483-486.