Identification perceptive d’accents étrangers en français
Bianca Vieru-Dimulescu, Philippe Boula de Mareüil.

A perceptual experiment was designed to determine to what extent naïve French listeners are able to identify foreign accents in French: Arabic, English, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. They succeed in recognising the speaker’s mother tongue in more than 50% of cases (while rating their degree of accentedness as average). They perform best with Arabic speakers and worst with Portuguese speakers. The Spanish and Italian accents on the one hand and the English and German accents on the other hand are the most mistaken ones. Phonetic analyses were conducted; clustering and scaling techniques were applied to the results, and were related to the listeners’ reactions that were recorded during the test. Emphasis was laid on differences in the vowel realisation (especially concerning the phoneme /y/).