An articulatory study of rhotic vowels in Canadian French


  • Jeff Mielke Dept. of Linguistics, University of Ottawa, Arts 401, 70 Laurier Ave E, Ottawa, ON K1N6N5, Canada


Acoustic analysis, Canadian french, Word lists


Variability in English raises the question of whether French rhotic vowels are also produced with more than one categorically different tongue posture. To investigate this, ultrasound was used to image the tongues of three Canadian French speakers during production of these vowels. The word list was randomized and presented on a monitor and the subjects advanced through the prompts at their own pace with a remote control. Acoustic analysis of vowels categorized as rhotic- and non-rhotic-sounding reveals that sounding rhotic is associated with low F3, which is an important acoustic cue for English. While the similarities with the English sound are striking, and while Canadian French is obviously in contact with English, it is not clear that the rhotic variant is borrowed from English. Rhotic vowels are also found in a wider range of segmental contexts than had previously been reported.

Additional Files



How to Cite

Mielke J. An articulatory study of rhotic vowels in Canadian French. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2011 Sep. 1 [cited 2024 Apr. 15];39(3):164-5. Available from:



Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada

Most read articles by the same author(s)