Edited by Irene Vogel
[Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 16] 2020
► pp. 7–18
Variability in French word-final schwa
Effects of focus and speaker
The production of schwa in French is highly variable. Some of this variability is predictable based on sociolinguistic (e.g., dialects), phonological (e.g., segments, word position), and stylistic (e.g., reading) factors. We investigate the effect of prosodic structure on the production of word-final schwa in Parisian French, while controlling for the other factors. We also investigate variability in schwa production within and between speakers of the same variety. Our findings show that prosody does affect the production of schwa: the stronger the prosodic boundary, the more probable schwa production is. While this is true for all the speakers, we also found considerable variation in the rates of schwa production, despite our controlling for dialect and style.
- 2.French schwa
- 3.Present study