Blazhevich Yu.S. Phonetic Peculiarities of the French Language of Cameroon


Yuliya S. Blazhevich

Candidate of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Professional Communication, Belgorod National Research University

Pobedy St., 85, 308015 Belgorod, Russia

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Abstract. Phonetic peculiarities of the territorial variant of the French language in Cameroon have been considered in the article. Audio- and video recordings of French-speaking Cameroonians have been used for the study. Significant divergences between the phonetic systems of the French language of the former metropolis and its Cameroonian version have been detected in the systems of vowels and consonants as well as on the prosodic level. The analysis proves that local Cameroonian languages being L1 of the speakers interfere with the French language of Cameroon as articulation habits of mother tongues are transferred into their speech in the French language. In the vowel system we have detected the following phonological phenomena: substitution of French sounds by the L1 ones, denasalization, diphthongization of vowels, change of sound length and use of epenthesis. In the consonant system such phenomena as substitution, devoicing, voicing, palatalization, sound opposition attenuation and consonant cluster simplification have been detected. Alterations are also observed on the prosodic level where L1 interference manifests in the form of excess tone marking transferred into French which is characteristic of most indigenous African languages. Four groups of accents spoken in Cameroon are also singled out and their main characteristics are described in the article.

Key words: French language, phonetics, phonetic processes, interference, accents, Cameroon.

Citation. Blazhevich Yu.S. Phonetic Peculiarities of the French Language of Cameroon. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2019, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 221-230. (in Russian). DOI:

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Phonetic Peculiarities of the French Language of Cameroon by Blazhevich Yu.S. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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