15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Stress and Accent in French Television Discourse

Primoz Vitez

University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

A perceptive analysis of a selected corpus including French spoken actualizations (oralizations) of informational TV discourse reveals that one of the two typical manifestations of prosodic marking of syllables (lexical stress) is actually in functional deviation. Affecting systematically the first syllable of the lexical unit, its use has been observed as a routine proceeding in the structuring of media messages. The routine of such utilization leads to the fact that stress no longer figures exclusively as a feature of lexical level; it becomes gradually a prosodic property of the whole accent unit. Given the orientative function of the other accentual type in French (final syntagmatic accent), the accent unit is in these conditions prosodically marked on its both limits. Stressing the first syllable of the unit could therefore be explained as redundant. Its manifestation, however, seems to function as a phatic prosodic feature of a spoken message.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Vitez, Primoz (2003): "Stress and accent in French television discourse", In ICPhS-15, 663-666.