La perception du français oral par des apprenants suédois
Sammanfattning: Swedish learners of French often experience large difficulties in understanding spoken French. Words that the learners know very well when written or when pronounced separately are often hard to recognize in the speech flow. The aim of this study is to examine Swedish learners’ perception of French speech in order to identify the problems.The thesis consists of two parts. The first part provides an introduction to the perception of a second language. It also describes the phonological structures of Swedish and French and gives an overview of studies of the perception of spoken French.The second part of the thesis contains a presentation and an analysis of four perception experiments conducted with Swedish learners of French. The results show that the learners often confuse phonological contrasts that do not exist in Swedish. It is furthermore found that the phonological processes of schwa deletion, liaison, enchaînement and voicing assimilation contribute to the perception problems. However, although liaison may complicate word recognition the results indicate that the so-called potential liaison does so to an even greater extent. In a listening test using nonsense words, the learners seem actually to expect liaison when perceiving a word that can be linked to a following nonsense word. In fact, sequences like un navas and un avas are both perceived as un avas. Paradoxically, liaison thus seems to be most problematic when it does not occur.As to schwa deletion, the results show that word recognition is delayed when the schwa in the first syllable is deleted, as in la s’maine. In addition, the learners make a large number of errors due to schwa deletion. This phonological process sometimes completely prevents word recognition, especially when combined with a voicing assimilation. Schwa deletion thus seems to strongly complicate Swedish learners’ word recognition in spoken French.
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