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Putting German [ʃ] and [c ̧] in two different boxes: native German vs L2 German of French learners

Abstract : French L2 Learners of German (FG) often replace the palatal fricative /ç/ absent in French with the post alveolar fricative /ʃ/. In our study we investigate which cues can be used to distinguish whether FG speakers produce [ʃ] or [c ̧] in words with the final syllables /ɪʃ/ or /ɪç/. In literature of German as an L2, to our knowledge, this contrast has not yetbeen studied. In this perspective, we first compared native German (GG) productionsof [ʃ] and [ç] to the FG speaker productions. Comparisons concerned the F2 of the preceding vowel, the F2 transition between the preceding vowel and the fricative, the center of gravity and intensity of the fricatives in high and low frequencies. To decide which cues are effectively choices to separate [ʃ] and [ç], the Weka interface in R (RWeka) was used. Results show that for German native speech, the F2 of the preceding vowel and the F2 transition are valid cues to distinguish between [ʃ] and [ç]. For FG speakers these cues are not valid. To distinguish between [ʃ] and [ç] in FG speakers, the intensity of high and low frequencies as well as the center of gravity of the fricatives help to decide whether [ʃ] and [c ̧] was produced. In German native speech, cues furnished only by the fricative itself can as well be used to distinguish between [ʃ] and [ç].
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Jane Wottawa, Martine Adda-Decker, Frédéric Isel. Putting German [ʃ] and [c ̧] in two different boxes: native German vs L2 German of French learners. Interspeech 2016, Sep 2016, San Francisco, United States. ⟨10.21437/Interspeech.2016-457⟩. ⟨halshs-01398574⟩

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