Variation in Articulation Rate in New Brunswick French
AbstractThis study examines articulation rate (AR) in French spoken in five regions of New Brunswick. French is a minority language in this province, and the demographic concentrations of French speakers vary across regions, suggesting that the regions have different degrees of French–English contact. The main research question explored in this paper is how the different language contact situations are related to AR. Earlier research on contact varieties of various languages has shown that AR tends to be slower in regions where there are greater degrees of language contact ([1–4]). The present study also includes consideration of other factors that can affect AR variation: speaker gender and age, and length of inter-pause intervals (IPIs) ([5–7]).Speech data are from the RACAD speech corpus of New Brunswick Acadian French, originally designed for speech recognition applications. Analyzed in this study are two ‘calibration’ sentences that were read by all 136 participants. The sample size is well-balanced with a good distribution of gender and age for all five regions. Acoustic labeling – phones, syllables, pauses – was carried out with Praat (). AR was calculated – locally per speaker – as the number of syllables in an IPI (and measured in syllables per second).Linear mixed-effects modeling shows that the region factor is not significant, that is, ARs did not differ across the different contact situations. This result is discussed in terms of earlier research on prosodic variation in contact varieties. Nevertheless, the effects of other factors are significant and are consistent with previous research. With respect to gender, males read the sentences faster than females. In the case of the age factor, AR decreased with speaker age. These findings contribute to a description of the temporal properties of contact varieties of Canadian French, an area that remains relatively under-documented.
How to Cite
Copyright on articles is held by the author(s). The corresponding author has the right to grant on behalf of all authors and does grant on behalf of all authors, a worldwide exclusive licence (or non-exclusive license for government employees) to the Publishers and its licensees in perpetuity, in all forms, formats and media (whether known now or created in the future)
i) to publish, reproduce, distribute, display and store the Contribution;
ii) to translate the Contribution into other languages, create adaptations, reprints, include within collections and create summaries, extracts and/or, abstracts of the Contribution;
iii) to exploit all subsidiary rights in the Contribution,
iv) to provide the inclusion of electronic links from the Contribution to third party material where-ever it may be located;
v) to licence any third party to do any or all of the above.