Perception and Production of Word-Final /ʁ/ in French

Cedric Gendrot


Variability of (French) /ʁ/ is a frequently studied phenomenon showing that /ʁ/ can have multiple realizations. In French, all these studies were undertaken using small read corpora and we have reason to believe that these corpora don’t allow to look at the full picture. Indeed factors such as local word frequency, as well as speech rate can have almost as much influence as phonemic context in the realization of /ʁ/.

According to Ohala’s Aerodynamic Voicing principle, /ʁ/ would tend to be either an unvoiced fricative or a voiced approximant. We chose to analyze word final /ʁ/s as they tend to embrace the largest spectrum of variation. The study realized here is two-fold: a perception study in a specific phonemic context, between /a/ and /l/, where /ʁ/ is realized as an approximant, so as to better understand the parameters and their thresholds necessary for /ʁ/ identification, and provide a measure of rhoticity.

In a second step, keeping the rhoticity measurement in mind, we analyzed the realizations of word final /ʁ/s in two continuous speech corpora and modelled the realization of /ʁ/ using predictors such as diphone and digram frequency, phonemic context and speech rate.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-990

Cite as: Gendrot, C. (2017) Perception and Production of Word-Final /ʁ/ in French. Proc. Interspeech 2017, 3926-3930, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-990.


@inproceedings{Gendrot2017,
  author={Cedric Gendrot},
  title={Perception and Production of Word-Final /ʁ/ in French},
  year=2017,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2017},
  pages={3926--3930},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2017-990},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2017-990}
}