arantzain (arantzain) wrote in little_details,

Modern French Accents, Toulouse; Pronouncationese

Setting: Present-day United States, except where otherwise noted.

Searches and Researches:
Preliminary Googling and consultations with a friend who specializes in modern and 16th century French, and my own limited experiences with written Langue d'Oc, Occitan, and Provencal. The real problem is that the bulk of my experience is in a language no longer spoken.

Scenario: Character A is a bilingual English/French speaker. She learned French in school until eleven, then moved to Toulouse and lived in a bilingual household until eighteen.

The Question!
A introduces herself to another character in French. She retains a slight accent from her time in Toulouse.

ETA: Her audience is a native speaker of the Langue d'Oc --someone who grew up speaking the French of Bernart de Ventadorn and Bertrand de Born --this is the sticky wicket, I realize.

However, the fellow in question also understand and speaks (less fluently) modern Parisian French. So he could perceive the departures of her accent from either of those points.

1) What is characteristic of French spoken in Toulouse? (Toulousian French?) Qualitative description of the sound difference would be wonderful because while preliminary Googling turned up some of the answers I need, I can't interpret them.

What I found:
"In Toulouse the vowel sound at the end of the suffix [e:n] is a diphthong gliding from /I/ to /ε/. This means that the start of this sound is more fronted than the Parisian version [iεn]."

Also: Toulouse is more 'fronted' and 'closed'; Parisian French 'open-mid.'

I could copy this analysis but it isn't how my characters would hear those differences, and my readers don't understand pronunciationese any better than I do.


Thank you to anyone who can help, in advance.
Tags: ~languages: french

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