Speech Prosody 2010

Chicago, IL, USA
May 10-14, 2010

Embedded Register Levels and Prosodic Phrasing in French

Mariapaola D'Imperio, Amandine Michelas

Université Aix-Marseille I et Laboratoire Parole et Langage, CNRS, Aix-en-Provence, France

Within the autosegmental-metrical theory of intonation [1,2], there is only weak evidence for the existence of the intermediate phrase (ip) for French. Our proposal is that the emergence of an intermediate prosodic level is not merely linked to a specific focus or marked syntactic structure, while predicting that an alignment constraint (ALING-XP,R; ip,R) conspires to place an ip boundary at the right edge of a maximal projection, such as at an NP/VP boundary, when the maximal projection can be parsed into at least two accentual phrases. Alos, an ip boundary appears to be signaled by prosodic cues that are stronger than the ones associated to (ipinternal) AP boundaries. The alignment between major syntactic constituents and prosodic structure appears to be signaled by a H- tone aligned at the right edge of the ip (blocking recursive downstep of ip-internal LH* rises) as well as preboundary lengthening. Finally, partial reset of the first LH* following the ip boundary is taken as evidence for an internal structuring of the Intonation Phrase.

Index Terms: intermediate phrase, prosodic phrasing, preboundary lengthening, downstep, pitch reset, embedded register levels, French.

References

  1. Pierrehumbert, J., The phonetics and phonology of English intonation. Ph.D. thesis, MIT, 1980.
  2. Ladd, D. R., Intonational Phonology. Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  D'Imperio, Mariapaola / Michelas, Amandine (2010): "Embedded register levels and prosodic phrasing in French", In SP-2010, paper 879.