Tone and accent in Oklahoma Cherokee
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This dissertation is a study of the tonal and accentual system of Oklahoma Cherokee, which has six possible pitch patterns occurring on a syllable: low, high, low-high, high-low, lowfall and superhigh. This study attempts to provide a comprehensive description and analyses of these patterns: their distribution, their source, the principles which determine their positions, and the nature of tonal alternations. The tonal and accentual system of Oklahoma Cherokee manifests some typologically outstanding features, such as glottal stop as the historical source for both high and lowfall tones, coexistence of both rightward and leftward spreading of a tone, coexistence of tonal and accentual systems, existence of multiple accentual systems, and morphosyntactic use of accents. Studies on tones in general have focused mainly on analytical languages or languages with little morphology, but Cherokee is unique in that it is polysynthetic at the same time as tonal. Emergence of tones in Oklahoma Cherokee is recent and its source is easily traceable, but it has already developed a complex tonal alignment and tonal phonology. Description of the tonal and accentual system of Oklahoma Cherokee will contribute to the deeper understanding of not only the sound system of Cherokee, but also of the historical study of Iroquoian in general, and to the typological study of tonal and accentual systems more generally.