Reference : Une étude acoustique et comparative sur les voyelles du luxembourgeois
Dissertations and theses : Doctoral thesis
Arts & humanities : Languages & linguistics
Une étude acoustique et comparative sur les voyelles du luxembourgeois
[en] An acoustic and comparative study of Luxembourgish vowels
Thill, Tina mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
University of Luxembourg, ​​Luxembourg
Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3, ​​France
Docteur en Sciences du Langage
Gilles, Peter mailto
Adda-Decker, Martine mailto
[en] Acoustic phonetics ; vowels ; Luxembourgish ; native and non-native speech ; French speakers
[en] This thesis is part of a descriptive work in acoustic phonetics, with the aim of studying the productions of Luxembourgish vowels in native and non-native speech. Its objective is to conciliate the variation of Luxembourgish, mainly a spoken language, composed of many regional varieties, evolving in a multilingual context, and the learning of Luxembourgish as a foreign language in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. As we assume the fact that language acquisition implies knowledge of sound contrast in speech, we investigate the productions of speakers whose mother tongues have different features than Luxembourgish, such as French, to see whether if the contrast are reproduced in non-native speech. Productions of French speakers are compared to those of native speakers from the region around the capital city of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, whose variety serves as a reference to the teaching of Luxembourgish as a foreign language. The purpose of the study is the following :

- to extend the descriptions on the acoustic properties of vowels produced in a regional variety of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg,
- to highlight the specific difficulties of productions by French learners of Luxembourgish,
- to interpret the results regarding the teaching of Luxembourgish as a foreign language.

Fieldwork and the creation of a corpus through recordings of 10 Luxembourg speakers and 10 French speakers are an important part of the empirical work. We obtained a corpus of 12 hours and a half of spoken and spontaneous speech, including native speech and not native of Luxembourgish and also native speech of French. This corpus represents a first corpus containing native and non-native speech of Luxembourgish and enables to conduct different comparative studies. In our thesis, we did comparative analyses of the data in read speech. The methodology we used made it possible to compare data of native and non-native speech and also data of the L1 and L2 of French speakers.

The results gave information about native and non-native productions of vowels. They showed that, on the one hand, vowel productions vary among speakers, even if these speak the same regional variety and, on the other hand, French speakers who learn Luxembourgish at B1/B2 level have difficulties producing contrasts in Luxembourgish. This concerns:

- the quantity of the long vowels [iː], [eː], [aː], [oː], [uː] and short vowels [i], [e], [ɑ], [ɔ]. [u],
- the quality of the long vowel [aː] and the two short vowels [æ] and [ɑ],
- the quality of the beginning of the diphthongs [æi], [æu], [ɑi], [ɑu].

These results as well as thorough descriptions of the vowels in native speech, extend knowledge not only of Luxembourgish, but also of the variety which serves as the reference for Luxembourgish as a foreign language. In addition, they open up prospects for studying Luxembourgish by problematizing the introduction of rules for this type of education, despite the absence of language instruction in schools and the evolution of regional varieties in a concentrated geographical area.
Fonds National de la Recherche - FnR

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