This preliminary investigation studies variation of rhythm metrics in dialects of Acadian French spoken in New Brunswick (Canada). The aim is to determine whether regional and social factors are significant sources of this variation. Data are recordings of 140 speakers who represent five geographic regions, both genders and two age groups (20-30 and 40-55 years of age). Sound files were segmented manually; eight interval-based metrics were calculated. Mean metric scores indicate that regional varieties of Acadian French pattern with other dialects of French; these scores are similar to those of other so-called syllable-timed languages. Regional differences are found for several metrics (%V, Delta C, VarcoC, nPVI-C, rPVI-C), although the five geographic regions are not all clearly distinguished by these metrics. A major pattern that emerges is regional variation in high-vowel devoicing and/or deletion. Analyses also show that social factors are significant sources of interspeaker variability: gender (VarcoV, nPVI-C, rPVI-C) and age (DeltaV, VarcoV). These results suggest a certain amount of complementarity between regional and social factors in their effects on rhythm metrics.
Variation of rhythm metrics in regional varieties of Acadian French
Wladyslaw Cichocki, Sid-Ahmed Selouani, Alaidine B. Ayed, Catherine Boudreau, Yves Perreault; Variation of rhythm metrics in regional varieties of Acadian French. Proc. Mtgs. Acoust. 2 June 2013; 19 (1): 035082. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4800686
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