Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

Regional Variations of Speech Rhythm in French: In Search of Lost Times

Nicolas Obin (1), Mathieu Avanzi (2), Guri Bordal (3,4), Alice Bardiaux (5)

(1) IRCAM-CNRS UMR 9912-STMS, Paris, France; (2) Chaire de linguistique française, Universite de Neuchâtel, Switzerland
(3) University of Oslo, Norway; (4) MoDyCo, UMR 7114, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre, France
(5) FNRS, Universite catholique de Louvain, Belgium

This paper addresses the relevance of speech rhythm acoustic measures for the description of some standard, regional and contact varieties of French. First, the limitation of conventional speech rhythm measures (e.g. %V, ĢC or PVI) for the description of French regional variations is pointed out. Then, alternative acoustic measures of speech rhythm, based on supra-segmental characteristics associated with timing (regularity of accentual phrases) and tempo (articulation rate, speech rate) are introduced and discussed. A comparison with the conventional measures proves that long-term measures provide a classification which is more consistent with the expected classification, either in terms of continuous similarities or typological differences.

Index Terms: speech rhythm, rhythm metric, regional French, in-contact French, accentual phrase, articulation rate, speech rate.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Obin, Nicolas / Avanzi, Mathieu / Bordal, Guri / Bardiaux, Alice (2012): "Regional variations of speech rhythm in French: in search of lost times", In SP-2012, 406-409.