Eleanor Lewis - PhD completion seminar

An acoustic study of New Caledonian French vowels

The French language is generally well represented in phonetic and phonological research, including work describing regional varieties of the language (see e.g. Detey, Durand, Laks, & Lyche, 2016; Gess, Lyche, & Meisenburg, 2012). The French spoken in New Caledonia, however, has been the subject of relatively little study in these fields. Moreover, previous work on the sound systems of New Caledonian French has typically been impressionistic in nature (Hollyman, 1964, 1971; Pauleau, 2013), or has included only a small amount of acoustic data for illustrative purposes (Pauleau, 1988). In response to this situation, the PhD project reported on here uses quantitative, acoustic phonetic analysis to investigate the realisation of vowels in New Caledonian French. Three experiments were carried out as part of this study, one each focussing on the production of the oral vowels, nasal vowels, and the special oral vowel schwa. This talk gives an overview of some of the findings of this research. This study contributes to our knowledge of regional variation in French vowel systems, and – more broadly – our knowledge of the language varieties spoken in our own Pacific region.

Venue: Room 506 Babel building