Can prosody meet pragmatics? Case of discourse particles in French

Abstract : The goal of this study is to investigate how prosodic parameters can contribute to retrieving the pragmatic meaning of words with considerably diminished semantic content. The paper focuses on six French words used as discourse particles (DP): ‘alors’ (so), ‘bon’ (well), ‘donc’ (thus), ‘enfin’ (finally/anyway), ‘quoi’ (what), ‘voilà’ (there you go). Prosodic properties of DPs are analysed with respect to their pragmatic functions, using occurrences of these words extracted from a large speech corpus, and manually annotated with pragmatic labels. It was found that occurrences with the same pragmatic value have a great tendency to share the same prosodic pattern; hence, the question of their commutability arises. An auditory test has thus been conducted to find out whether DPs of uniform pragmatic functions are perceived as commutable and how prosodic features help listeners in identifying considered DPs. The results are analysed and discussed with respect to pragmatic functions and prosodic patterns.
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Lou Lee, Katarina Bartkova, Denis Jouvet, Mathilde Dargnat, Yvon Keromnes. Can prosody meet pragmatics? Case of discourse particles in French. ICPhS 2019 - International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Aug 2019, Melbourne, Australia. ⟨hal-02177202⟩

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