Speech Prosody 2012

Shanghai, China
May 22-25, 2012

Speech Prosody of French Regional Varieties

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

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

This paper compares the prosody of 6 varieties of French spoken in three different areas: France (Paris and Lyon), Belgium (Tournai and Liège), and Switzerland (Geneva and Neuchâtel). The objective is to adress whether some regional varieties, namely those of Geneva and Tournai, are closer to standard French (i.e. the varieties spoken in France, represented here by Paris and Lyon) than others (Neuchâtel and Liège). The recordings of the same text read by 4 speakers representing each variety were semi-automatically processed in order to study accentuation, speech rate and rhythm, and 8 prosodic measures that can possibly discriminate the 6 varieties were compared. A top-down clustering supported evidence for the expected classification with regard to the “standard” varieties, while a bottom-up clustering pointed out a more contrasted configuration.

Index Terms: Prosody, regional French, standard French, Accentual Phrase, articulation rate, speech rate.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Avanzi, Mathieu / Obin, Nicolas / Bardiaux, Alice / Bordal, Guri (2012): "Speech prosody of French regional varieties", In SP-2012, 603-606.