Segmental intonation information in French fricatives

Abstract : We examined the "segmental intonation" hypothesis (Niebuhr, 2012), according to which voiceless consonants contain spectral information that may contribute to the percept of high or low pitch in the absence of fundamental frequency (F0). French speakers read target words embedded in a carrier phrase and containing fricatives in accentual phrase-initial,-medial or-final position (e.g. sidéré 'stunned', nécessite 'require', ressaisisse 'seize again'), expected to correspond to regions of low, intermediate or high F0, respectively, as well as control words containing only sonorants (e.g. laminé 'rolled'). Analyses show lower center of gravity (CoG) for word-initial (low F0 region) than for word-final (high F0 region) fricatives. For word-final fricatives, CoG is higher at the end than in the beginning of the fricative, which may contribute to the percept of the continuation of the F0 rise across the preceding vowel. Reference Niebuhr, Oliver. 2012. At the edge of intonation – The interplay of utterance-final F0 movements and voiceless fricative sounds. Phonetica 69, 7–27.
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Pauline Welby, Oliver Niebuhr. Segmental intonation information in French fricatives. International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Aug 2019, Melbourne, Australia. ⟨hal-02106625⟩

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