Pausing preceding and following que in the production of native speakers of French


Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, vol.14, no.1, pp.144-154, 2011 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Title of Journal : Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics
  • Page Numbers: pp.144-154


Pausing strategies in read and spontaneous speech have been of significant interest for researchers since in literature it was observed that read speech and spontaneous speech pausing patterns do display some considerable differences. This, at least, is the case in the English language as it was produced by native speakers. As to what may be the case in French, this study was conducted with a specific focus on the que particle. The study reports on the audio recordings produced by native speakers of French (NSF), and aims to identify different silent pausing strategies as they were employed by these speakers. The audio recordings were provided in a twofold procedure: while 17 NSF watched the French version of the animated cartoon, Scrooge, and then commented on its various themes, 10 of these participants read a short story, Les Jumeaux aloud to a digital audio recorder. Considerable attention was given to pausing preceding (PP) and following (PF) the que particle in que phrases as well as to the duration of this particle.
Obtained results display significant differences between pausing preceding and following que both in spontaneous and read speech. Pausing preceding que was observed to be significantly longer than the following position in read speech, in spontaneous speech, however, it was just the opposite.