Quels liens entre accentuation et niveaux de constituance en français ? : une analyse perceptive et acoustique

Abstract : In French, accentuation is said to be post-lexical, marking the phrase rather than the word. That is, the primary final accent (FA) is considered to be perceptively weakened when co-occurring with a major prosodic boundary, while the Initial Accent (IA), regarded as a secondary and optional accent, is thought to hold merely a rhythmic function in balancing longer constituents. Consequently, only two levels of prosodic constituency are accounted for in French: the Intonational Phrase (IP), and the Accentual Phrase (AP). The existence of a third level, the Intermediate Phrase (ip), while advanced by some authors, remains controversial. Moreover, the Prosodic Word (PW) (i.e. lexical word) as a phonological unit, or as the domain of accentual rules, is disregarded altogether. The aim of our study is to investigate the organization of prosodic phrasing in French. We propose a perception study on a corpus in which syntactically ambiguous structures were manipulated, and asked 80 participants to perform 3 distinct perception tasks: a prominence, boundary and grouping task. The perceived prosodic events were then related to their acoustic realization. Taken together, our results indicate that listeners are able to distinguish finer-grained grouping levels than those predicted in traditional French descriptions. Moreover, lexical words are systematically realized by an accentual bipolarization (IA+FA), with each accent carrying the same metrical weight. The function of IA is shown to be more one of structuration than rhythmic balancing, with IA even marking structure more readily than FA. Finally, our results indicate that FA is not perceptively weakened when co-occurring with major prosodic boundaries, but instead remains a metrical mark at the level of the lexical word, in a manner independent from the level of constituency.
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Laury Garnier. Quels liens entre accentuation et niveaux de constituance en français ? : une analyse perceptive et acoustique. Linguistique. Université Toulouse le Mirail - Toulouse II, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018TOU20010⟩. ⟨tel-02130477⟩

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