Sentences with contrastive intonation are assumed to presuppose contextual alternatives to the accented elements. Two cross-modal priming experiments tested in Dutch whether such contextual alternatives are automatically available to listeners. Contrastive associates - but not non-contrastive associates - were facilitated only when primes were produced in sentences with contrastive intonation, indicating that contrastive intonation makes unmentioned contextual alternatives immediately available. Possibly, contrastive contours trigger a "presupposition resolution mechanism" by which these alternatives become salient.
Bibliographic reference. Braun, Bettina / Tagliapietra, Lara / Cutler, Anne (2008): "Contrastive utterances make alternatives salient - cross-modal priming evidence", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 69.