The production of French continuation contours at different prosodic boundaries by Japanese learners

Rachel Albar, Hiyon Yoo


This study investigates the realisation of continuation contours at French prosodic boundaries by Japanese learners in read speech. We asked 17 Japanese learners to read small excerpts of text and analysed their productions. Our results show that although Japanese learners are globally able to correctly produce rising contours when expected, variability remains and some of the learners produce a large percentage of low tones at prosodic boundaries usually realised with a rising contour. Furthermore, unlike native speakers, they do not differentiate prosodic levels in their production of duration and F0 prosodic cues. While native speakers produce a longer vowel and a greater F0 rise at intonational phrase (IP) than at accentual phrase (AP) boundaries, we do not observe a similar pattern in Japanese learners: they produce an equivalent continuation contour at all boundaries. Results also show that learners tend to produce less lengthening of the accented vowel and a smaller F0 rise than native speaker at the prosodic levels above the AP. This result is unexpected with regards to previous studies which have found the presence of extra-rising contours in L2 production, indicating that further research on learners’ prosodic interlanguage is still needed.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-182

Cite as: Albar, R., Yoo, H. (2020) The production of French continuation contours at different prosodic boundaries by Japanese learners. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020, 890-894, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-182.


@inproceedings{Albar2020,
  author={Rachel Albar and Hiyon Yoo},
  title={{The production of French continuation contours at different prosodic boundaries by Japanese learners}},
  year=2020,
  booktitle={Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020},
  pages={890--894},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-182},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-182}
}