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Acoustic measurement of Canadian English-Accented French

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(Thesis) M.A.
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This study examined the speech of female Canadian English learners of French at three proficiency levels in an effort to quantify Canadian English-accented French. Five segmental and two suprasegmental cues were measured on a corpus of delayed-repetition and spontaneous speech: voiceless stop VOT; F2 – F1 acoustic space for / u/ and /y/; F2-shifting for /u/, /o/, and /i/; F2 – F1 acoustic space for /o/ and / /; F1 of unstressed /a/; temporal reduction of /u/, /y/, and /a/; and a rhythmic Variability Index. Hypotheses predicted more experienced learners would perform more comparably with native speakers, and display less variation, than less-experienced learners. F2 – F1 acoustic space of /u/ – /y/ and /o/ – / /, and rhythmic variability index values patterned most closely with hypotheses. Results were discussed in terms of acoustic measurement, cue variability, and speaker task performance. Findings provide preliminary data on Canadian English-accented French linking spontaneous and elicited speech.
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