Mapping French Pronunciation

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Ever since the birth of phonology, French has been a favorite testing ground for theoretical claims concerning phonological structure. Sadly, far too many theoretical claims have just been reinterpretations of idealized data borrowed from the literature or observations taken from normative work teaching foreigners to pronounce French correctly. The PFC project (‘Phonologie du français contemporain: usages, variétés et structure’) aims at redressing the imbalance between observation and theorization. PFC involves over thirty researchers and aims at the recording, partial transcription and analysis of over 500 speakers from the francophone world on the basis of a common Labovian protocol. The aims of the paper will be to present the project, its goals, its actors, the methodology and the research tools used. Some preliminary results are presented concerning vocalic systems, the treatment of liaison and of schwa.


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