9th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brisbane, Australia
September 22-26, 2008

Contrastive Utterances Make Alternatives Salient - Cross-Modal Priming Evidence

Bettina Braun, Lara Tagliapietra, Anne Cutler

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Netherlands

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.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Braun, Bettina / Tagliapietra, Lara / Cutler, Anne (2008): "Contrastive utterances make alternatives salient - cross-modal priming evidence", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 69.