ASA 128th Meeting - Austin, Texas - 1994 Nov 28 .. Dec 02

5pSP12. Prosodic characteristics of register variation in the read speech of adult native speakers of French.

Andrea G. Levitt

Jeannine Geoffrion

Wellesley College, 106 Central St., Wellesley, MA 02181-8289

Ten female native speakers of French were asked to read two paragraphs in each of three register styles: to a friend (native), to a nonnative speaker (foreigner talk), and to a 1-year-old child (child-directed speech). There were significant differences in the speech rate, number and length of pauses, and mean F0 and F0 range among the three speech styles. Speech rate was significantly different for each of the registers, with foreigner talk the slowest, native speech the fastest, and child-directed speech in between the other two. A similar pattern of significant differences emerged for pause length and number of pauses, again with foreigner talk showing the most pauses and the longest average pause length, native speech showing the fewest and shortest pauses, and child-directed speech in between the other two. Mean F0 was significantly higher for child-directed speech than for the other two registers, which did not differ from one another. The three registers did differ significantly from one another in terms of F0 range, with child-directed speech showing the greatest F0 range, native speech the smallest, and foreigner talk in between the other two. [Work supported by NIH Grant No. 1 R15 HD28173-01.]