Anticipatory marking of (non-corrective) contrastive focus by the Initial Rise in French - Aix-Marseille Université Access content directly
Proceedings Year : 2022

Anticipatory marking of (non-corrective) contrastive focus by the Initial Rise in French

Axel Barrault
James Sneed German
Pauline Welby

Abstract

This study addresses tonal marking of non-corrective contrastive focus in French. Speakers read aloud sentences composed of two parallel clauses, where the structure of the post verbal constituent under focus was varied by the presence (i.e., Noun focus) or absence (i.e., Noun Phrase focus) in the second clause of the final adjective appearing in the first clause. This way, we were able to test whether the Initial Rise is a marker of the span of an upcoming non-corrective contrast in the second clause. We posited that French speakers mark contrast tonally in the first and/or second clause. Corroborating previous findings, we found that a faster speech rate is associated with fewer Initial Rises. More importantly, an Initial Rise occurs on the direct object of the first clause more often when narrow focus spans only the Noun. Additionally, neither the height of the Initial Rise peak nor Hi peaks scaling depend on focus structure. These results suggest that anticipatory use of the Initial Rise may signal an upcoming contrast and represents additional complexity in the tonal encoding of the left edge of a contrastively focused constituent.
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Axel Barrault, James Sneed German, Pauline Welby. Anticipatory marking of (non-corrective) contrastive focus by the Initial Rise in French. pp.357-36, 2022, Speech Prosody, ⟨10.21437/SpeechProsody.2022-73⟩. ⟨hal-03508555⟩

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