Prominence and accentuation in French. A corpus-based account

Jean-Philippe Goldman, Université de Genève
Antoine Auchlin, Université de Genève
Sophie Roekhaut, Université de Mons
Anne-Catherine Simon, Mathieu Avanzi, Université Catholique de Louvain

The goal of this paper is to shed new light on accentuation in French, more precisely to discuss the role of grammatical constraints and of phonetic factors implicated in the perception of French final and non-final accent. The study is based on the analysis of a 70-minute long corpus, including various speaking styles. The corpus has been annotated manually and automatically for prominence detection and tagged semi-automatically for grammatical categories. We first describe the rate of accentuation for each grammatical category (discussing the notion of “clitic” in French) and then discuss the divergences between manual and automatic prominence detection, in relation with the phonological structure. Index Terms: prominence detection, French accentuation, clitics.