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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Liaisons in French: A Corpus-Based Study Using Morpho-Syntactic Information

Philippe Boula de Mareüil, Martine Adda-Decker, Véronique Gendner


French liaison consists in producing a normally mute consonant before a word starting with a vowel. Whereas the general context for liaison is relatively straightforward to describe, actual occurrences are difficult to predict. In the present work, we quantitatively examine the productivity of 20 liaison rules or so described in the literature, such as the rule which states that after a determiner, liaison is compulsory. To do so, we used the French BREF corpus of read newspaper speech (100 hours), automatically tagged with morpho-syntactic information. The speech corpus has been automatically aligned using a pronunciation dictionary which includes liaisons. There are 90k liaison contexts in the corpus, about half of which (45%) are realised. A better knowledge of liaison production is of particular interest for pronunciation modelling in automatic speech recognition, for text-to-speech synthesis, descriptive phonetics and second language acquisition.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Boula de Mareüil, Philippe / Adda-Decker, Martine / Gendner, Véronique (2003): "Liaisons in French: a corpus-based study using morpho-syntactic information", In ICPhS-15, 1329-1332.