Speech Prosody 2002
The results of a production study of two speakers provide evidence against models of French intonation in which there is a one-to-one correspondence between a syllable and each of the L (low) and H (high) tones of a rise. The results also fail to confirm claims about the influence of the consonant or vowel status of an accentable syllable on the placement of the H of the early rise. The L tone of the early rise consistently straddled the boundary between the last function word and first content word of the phrase (e.g., for un ENfant SAGE, the L tone would be realized very late in un or very early in EN), with a low leading plateau extending leftward to the beginning of the phrase. This timing is accounted for in the current proposal by a double association of the L tone of a LH- edge tone to the left edge of the phrase and to the left edge of the first content word of a phrase, similar to the double association of phrase accents discussed in Grice et al. (2000) for a number of languages.
Bibliographic reference. Welby, Pauline (2002): "The realization of early and late rises in French intonation: a production study", In SP-2002, 695-698.