Acoustic Analysis of high vowels in the Louisiana French of Terrebonne Parish

Kelly Kasper-Cushman, Daniel Dakota


This study aims to provide a rst acoustic analysis of the phenomenon of high-vowel laxing in an understudied variety of Louisiana French (Papen &
Rottet, 1997), that of Terrebonne Parish. High vowels in conditions in which the tense/lax distinction is noted (word-final syllables) were collected from a
preexisting corpus of Louisiana French speakers from Terrebonne Parish, and their formant values were measured and plotted, and the results were analyzed
with regard to whether the analyses from previous work on the Louisiana French of the Lafourche Basin were supported acoustically. It was found that there
may be some evidence to suggest a distinction in height in the production of the target vowels between open and closed syllables, but whether this is truly a
tense/lax distinction, and for which vowels this holds, remains unclear. Although the results are not fully conclusive, the study lays a foundation for further work on a topic with little previous research.


acoustic analysis; Louisiana French; Lafourche Basin; Terrebonne Parish; Lafourche Parish; high-vowel laxing

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