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I need some help understanding the following extract from The Pronunciation of Canadian French, Douglas Walker:

One can hear the sound [h] in Standard French, as an emphatic, interjected sound (1). We also find glottal stop occurring between vowels (2). In fact, the Robert dictionary uses [’] (glottal stop) as a symbol to indicate “h-aspiré” words. The problem with this approach is that neither [h] nor [’] occurs consistently with such words (3). Depending on style or on context, either of these sounds may occur word-initially or as a hiatus breaker where there is no “h-aspiré” involved (4). There is no consistent connection between h and [h] or [’]; attempts to use either of these as a phonetic correlate of h are seriously deficient.

(1) What would be an example of this? I tried googling it, but couldn't find anything.

(2) I found this example: maintenance /mɛ̃tənɑ̃s/ --> [mɛ̃ʔənɑ̃s], is that okay? Why does this happen, why does glottal stop occur between vowels?

(3) What does it mean: that neither [h] nor [’] occurs consistently with such words?

(4) Can you think of an example for this?

Merci beaucoup pour votre aide !

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  1. What would be an example of "[h] [...] as an emphatic, interjected sound"

They mean interjections like a laughing "haha" as [ɦaɦa] or [ʕaʕa], or [ha:ʁ] as an expression of frustration.

  1. I found this example: maintenance /mɛ̃tənɑ̃s/ --> [mɛ̃ʔənɑ̃s], is that okay? Why does this happen, why does glottal stop occur between vowels?

They meant a glottal stop occurring between two vowel phonemes, to break the hiatus. Something like aorte /aɔʀt/ pronounced as [a.ʔɔχt̪]. This can also happen between an article and words beginning with an "aspirated" h: la haute /lao:t/ [la.ʔoːt̪].

This isn't a very common way to break a hiatus in contemporary French, and mostly occurs in overenunciated speech (try listening for it in a dictation).

  1. What does it mean: that neither [h] nor [’] occurs consistently with such words?

"Such word" refers to the "“h-aspiré” words" in the previous sentence. The author means that no speaker(*) will consistently realise all the words that begin with an aspirate h (and no other word) with either [h] or [ʔ].

What actually happens is that French has a variety of strategies to break a hiatus, and that every speaker will use all of them, somewhat randomly, whether this hiatus occurs because of an aspirate h or no: We can leave the onset empty and the vowels remain in hiatus; we can insert a glottal stop; we can insert a glottal fricative; or we can insert a glide.

Thus, any speaker might pronounce "l'aorte" or "la haute" in any of the following ways:

[la.ɔχt̪] [la.oːt̪] (vowels in hiatus)

[la.ʔɔχt̪] [la.ʔoːt̪] (glottal stop insertion)

[la.ɦɔχt̪] [la.ɦoːt̪] (glottal fricative insertion)

[la.wɔχt̪] [la.woːt̪] (glide insertion)

And chances are that any French speaker that listened to any of those would hear the same sound between /a/ and /ɔ/ or /o/: nothing.

(*) There are actually some French varieties whose substrate possessed a /h/ phoneme. Some speakers of those varieties might consistently realise aspirate h words with a [h], for example speakers from Liège in Belgium influenced by Eastern Walloon, a language with /h/. The vast majority of French speakers don't speak that way.

  1. Can you think of an example for "Depending on style or on context, either of these sounds ([h] or [ʔ]) may occur word-initially or as a hiatus breaker where there is no “h-aspiré” involved"

I just gave you some with "l'aorte". [h] or [ʔ] can also occur at the beginning of any word that starts with a vowel, especially if it's at the beginning of an utterance or said insistently.

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    /ʒ/ is also realized [h] in the areas in and around Saguenay in Quebec: aujourd’hui [ohʉʁd͡zɥi], jamais [hamæ] – ﺪﺪﺪ Nov 23 '18 at 18:54

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