Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

An acoustic study of English vowels produced by French learners

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

An acoustic study of English vowels produced by French learners

Abstract

Like every late L2 - learner, French native speakers are characterized by a foreign accent. The literature emphasizes that the vowels / ɪ /, / ʌ / and / æ / in particular are pronounced “à la française”. This study presents the acoustic parameters of the English vowels / ɪ /, /i:/, / æ /, / ʌ / and / ɑ: / produced by 38 native English speakers and 48 French learners of English compared to those of the French vowels / a /, / e /, / i / et / œ / produced by the same learners. The results first show more variability in the L2 compared to L1 productions. Furthermore, we observe a great confusion between categories in L2 for the /i: - ɪ / contrast and the opposite effect in the region of the [a]. We show that L2 learners did produce duration contrasts but not to the same extent as the natives . Finally, the formant dynamic analysis of / i: / and / i / may suggest that the English native speakers do not all produce a diphthongal / i: /.

Publication
Journées d’Etudes sur la Parole, JEP 2018

This article is in French.