A prosodic approach of constructed action in Belgian French

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Constructed action is a communicative strategy whereby speakers use their bodies and voices to depict referents, actions, and thoughts. By using a corpus-based study, this research analyses the use of constructed action and constructed dialogue in the production of four speakers of Belgian French. Previous research has rarely focused on the prosodic aspects of constructed action. Therefore, the aim of this study is to analyse constructed action with a special focus on prosodic components. The first goal is to understand how constructed action is prosodically marked. Prosodic elements can be assumed by the body (i.e. a head-nod that accompanies a stress). Indeed, information is not only exchanged via the auditory channel, but also via a wide range of visual cues. Therefore, the present study analyses as much as vocal than visual prosody. The results show that when speakers of Belgian French use constructed action to enact referents, they draw on a combination of multiple articulators. Speakers use different parts of their body (head, shoulders, and lips), linguistics elements (like verbs), but also fundamental frequency, intensity, and vocal quality. The results also suggest that speakers use more frequently their voice than other parts of the body to depict referents.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 4 Jul 2024
EventSpeech Prosody 2024 - Universiteit Leiden, Leiden, Netherlands
Duration: 1 Jul 20246 Jul 2024


SymposiumSpeech Prosody 2024
Abbreviated titleSP2024
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