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Studying Vowel Variation in French-Algerian Arabic Code-switched Speech

Abstract : Algerian Arabic-French bilinguals show phonetic variation with respect to vowel timber in both their languages. Our study aims to automatically identify vowel variants frequently produced by such bilinguals. To that end, the speech corpus FACST, containing French and Algerian Arabic code-switched speech, was analyzed. A second corpus with native French speakers (NCCFr) was used to provide a reference baseline and to compare vowel variants across the two speaker groups. Three experiments were carried out: first, the French speech of both corpora was aligned with a French acoustic model including parallel nearest-neighbor vowel variants in its pronunciation dictionary. Second, the Arabic speech was aligned using the same acoustic model with parallel vowel variants in its dictionary. Finally, we tested whether peripheral vowels in Al-gerian Arabic-French bilinguals are more often centralized than in French native speech by allowing schwa as a competing variant. The results show that French natives and Algerian Arabic-French bilinguals globally have a comparable amount of vowel variation in French. However, French natives have stable high vowels whereas bilinguals tend to produce stable low and back vowels. In the centralization experiment, Algerian bilinguals favor the centralization of mid, open and back vowels.
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 3, 2019 - 5:12:14 PM
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Djegdjiga Amazouz, Jane Wottawa, Martine Adda-Decker, Lori Lamel. Studying Vowel Variation in French-Algerian Arabic Code-switched Speech. Interspeech 2018, Sep 2018, Hyderabad,, India. ⟨10.21437/interspeech.2018-2381⟩. ⟨halshs-01969143⟩



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