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Tone and Accent in Oklahoma Cherokee$

Hiroto Uchihara

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198739449

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198739449.001.0001

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(p.271) Appendix A On tonicity

(p.271) Appendix A On tonicity

Source:
Tone and Accent in Oklahoma Cherokee
Author(s):

Hiroto Uchihara

Publisher:
Oxford University Press

Tonicity, which was briefly introduced in §1.7.4.2, is an extremely complicated but nonetheless crucial concept. In this appendix, §A.1 redefines “tonicity,” and §A.2 discusses the various morphosyntactic categories that are tonic and atonic, as well as other factors that determine the tonicity of a word.

A.1 Defining tonicity

Since the study of Cook (1979: 92), it has been assumed that Cherokee distinguishes two verbal forms: tonic forms, which exhibit lexical tones, and atonic forms, which lack lexical tones and instead carry a superhigh accent (Lindsey 1985). However, the tonic/atonic distinction is not always isomorphic with the absence or presence of a superhigh accent; there are forms which are “atonic” but do not have a superhigh accent, and there are tonic forms with a superhigh accent (§11.2). For instance, (A.1), an imperative form, is “atonic” because Pronominal Tonic Lowering (§5.2) does not apply (recall that Pronominal Tonic Lowering assigns a lowfall tone to the vowel-initial pronominal prefix in tonic forms), but it is nonetheless lacking the superhigh accent.

(A.1)

Appendix A On tonicity

On the other hand, (A.2) is “tonic”; Pronominal Tonic Lowering does apply, but it has a superhigh accent on the penultimate syllable:

(A.2)

Appendix A On tonicity

Thus, defining tonicity in terms of the presence or absence of the superhigh accent should be abandoned, and a new redefinition of tonicity is called for. In this study, I define tonicity in terms of two parameters: Pronominal Tonic Lowering and H1.

(p.272) The first parameter is whether or not Pronominal Tonic Lowering (§5.2) applies; Pronominal Tonic Lowering assigns a lowfall tone to vowel-initial pronominal prefixes:

(A.3)

Appendix A On tonicity

Pronominal Tonic Lowering applies to tonic forms (A.4a) but not to atonic forms (A.4b). The second parameter is the presence versus absence of H1: in (A.4a) the antepenultimate syllable has H1 before the glottal stop, while (A.4b) lacks it (in Chapter 7 it is suggested that H1 has been induced by a glottal stop):

(A.4)

Appendix A On tonicity

1

Table A.1 summarizes the two defining parameters of tonicity (PTL is an abbreviation of Pronominal Tonic Lowering):

With this definition of tonicity in mind, we can now classify verb forms according to the following two parameters: tonicity and the presence or absence of a superhigh accent.

Table A.2 lists the morphosyntactic categories of Oklahoma Cherokee, along with their tonicity and presence or absence of a superhigh accent. For (d) and (e), the presence of H1 is subject to complex phonological environments (§7.2.2.1), and for (i) and (j), H1 is not always predictable (§7.2.2.2). More prototypical tonic categories are listed first.

As can be seen from Table A.2, tonicity itself is not a discreet category; the applicability of Pronominal Tonic Lowering and the presence of H1 correlate in most cases, but not always. Thus, INF ((d) and (e)) is atonic in the sense that Pronominal Tonic Lowering does not apply to such forms, but they may or may not have H1. However, such forms are small in number, and my definition of tonicity as in Table A.1 should not be abandoned because of the existence of these forms.

In the following section, we will look at the morphosyntactic categories that are tonic/atonic, as well as other factors which determine the tonicity of the verb.

Table A.1. Manifestations of tonicity

PTL

H1

Tonic

YES

YES

Atonic

NO

NO

(p.273)

Table A.2. Classification of verb forms

Forms

Tonicity

Superhigh

PTL

H1

Tonicity

(a)

Indicative verb

yes

yes

Tonic

no

(b)

A verb in a subordinate clause

yes

yes

Tonic

yes

(c)

Nominalization with ASR -vvʔia

yes

yes

Tonic

yes

(d)

INF (action/state noun)

no

yes/no

Atonic?

no

(e)

INF (instrumental, predicate)

no

yes/no

Atonic?

yes

(f)

Agentive nominalization (not referring to the original argument)

no

no

Atonic

no

(g)

Agentive nominalization (referring to the original argument)

no

no

Atonic

yes

(h)

Imperative

no

no

Atonic

no

(i)

Nouns

no

yes/no

Atonic?

yes/no

(j)

Adjectives

no

no

Atonic

yes

(a) ASR requires the verb to be in the tonic form (§A.2.3).

A.2 Factors determining the tonicity

Any verb can be in the tonic form or in the atonic form. Whether a verb takes the tonic or the atonic form is determined by complex morphosyntactic factors. This section looks at such factors. Tonicity is determined by the morphosyntactic categories (§A.2.1). Tonicity is also determined by pre-pronominal prefixes (§A.2.2) and the modal suffix (§A.2.3).

A.2.1 Morphosyntactic categories

First, morphosyntactic categories are divided into tonic forms and atonic forms, as can be seen from Table A.2 above: indicative verbs take the tonic form, while imperative, infinitive, and agentive nominalization take the atonic form (cf. Table A.2). The (a) and (b) forms below are built on the same verb stem forms, but the (a) forms are indicative and thus tonic, while the (b) forms are atonic: imperative (A.5b), infinitive (A.6b), and agentive nominalization (A.7b). Note that in the tonic forms in (a) we observe both Pronominal Tonic Lowering and H1, while this is not the case in the atonic forms in (b):

(A.5)

Appendix A On tonicity

(p.274) (A.6)

Appendix A On tonicity

(A.7)

Appendix A On tonicity

Adjectives are always atonic, whether derived or not, in the sense that Pronominal Tonic Lowering never applies and H1 is not found (note also that adjectives always carry a superhigh accent):

(A.8)

Appendix A On tonicity

Pronominal Tonic Lowering never applies to root nouns:

(A.9)

Appendix A On tonicity

H1 may or may not be found in root nouns. See §7.2.2.2 for a detail.

(p.275) A.2.2 Pre-pronominal prefixes

Second, pre-pronominal prefixes determine the tonicity of the form, which may override the tonicity to which the morphosyntactic category belongs to (§1.7.1.6, Chapter 10): some prefixes (IRR, TRNSL, nonlexicalized PART, CISL, and NEG) require the verb to be in the atonic form, while the ITER, REL, and some lexicalized PART require the verb to be in the tonic form.

The following forms show examples with pre-pronominal prefixes which require the verb to be in the atonic form: (A.10) IRR, (A.11) TRNSL, (A.12) PART, (A.13) CISL, and (A.14) NEG. Observe that neither Pronominal Tonic Lowering nor H1 is observed with these forms. Note also that some pre-pronominal prefixes assign a floating high tone to the verb stem (Chapter 10), which is represented with Ⓗ (but this is orthogonal to the discussion here):

(A.10)

Appendix A On tonicity

(A.11)

Appendix A On tonicity

(A.12)

Appendix A On tonicity

(A.13)

Appendix A On tonicity

(p.276)

(A.14)

Appendix A On tonicity

The following forms show examples with pre-pronominal prefixes which require the verb to be in the tonic form: (A.15) REL, (A.16) ITER, and (A.17) PART.2 Here, both Pronominal Tonic Lowering and H1 are observed:

(A.15)

Appendix A On tonicity

(A.16)

Appendix A On tonicity

3

(A.17)

Appendix A On tonicity

The remaining pre-pronominal prefix, the distributive (DIST), does not determine the tonicity of the verb, but rather its alternation is conditioned by the tonicity of the verb; the allomorph t(ee-) (DIST (i)) is selected by the tonic form of the verb, while the allomorph t(i)- ~ c- (DIST (ii)) is selected by the atonic form of the verb. Compare the (a) and (b) forms in (A.18) and (A.19); (a) is in the tonic form and (b) in the atonic form due to their morphosyntactic categories (indicative vs imperative/infinitive). The fact that (a) is in the tonic form is evident from Pronominal Tonic (p.277) Lowering on the 3SG.A a- in (A.18) and the presence of H1; the fact that (b) is in the atonic form is clear from the lack of lowfall tone on 3SG.B uu- in (A.19b) and the lack of H1. In (a), the verb takes the allomorph (i) of the DIST, t(ee-), while (b) takes the allomorph (ii) of the DIST, t(i)- ~ c-:

(A.18)

Appendix A On tonicity

4

(A.19)

Appendix A On tonicity

(A.20) summarizes the effects of pre-pronominal prefixes on the tonicity of the verb:

(A.20)

Appendix A On tonicity

When a verb has more than one pre-pronominal prefix, the tonicity of the verb is determined by the last pre-pronominal prefix. Thus, when the last pre-pronominal prefix is the ITER, which requires the verb to be in the tonic form (A.16), the verb is in the tonic form (A.21). Observe that H1 is found with these forms:

(A.21)

Appendix A On tonicity

(p.278) If the last pre-pronominal prefix is either the TRNSL or the PART (but not the CISL; cf. (A.23)), which require the verb to be in the atonic form, the verb is in the atonic form, and thus Pronominal Tonic Lowering does not apply and H1 is not found:

(A.22)

Appendix A On tonicity

When the CISL occurs by itself, the CISL requires the verb to be in the atonic form (A.13). However, when the CISL is combined with another pre-pronominal prefix, the resulting sequence requires the verb to be in the tonic form and thus H1 is found. This is illustrated by the forms below. The (a) forms only have the CISL, and thus the verb is in the atonic form and H1 is not found. In (b), on the other hand, the CISL is preceded by another pre-pronominal prefix and thus the verb is in the tonic form, and H1 is found:

(A.23)

Appendix A On tonicity

(A.24)

Appendix A On tonicity

Recall also from §10.2.5.1 that the CISL shows an idiosyncratic property with regard to H3 assignment when preceded by another pre-pronominal prefix.

As was mentioned above, the DIST does not determine the tonicity of the verb, but its alternation itself is dependent on the tonicity of the verb. Thus, the DIST takes the allomorph (ii) ti-/c- after the IRR, TRNSL, and PART, which requires the verb to be in the atonic form. This is illustrated by comparing (a) and (b) forms in (A.25) and (A.26). The (a) forms only have the DIST, and since the verbs are in the indicative forms, the verbs are in the tonic form according to the morphosyntactic condition (§A.2.1) and thus the DIST takes the allomorph (i). In (b), on (p.279) the other hand, the DIST is preceded by another pre-pronominal prefix which requires the verb to be in the atonic form, and thus the DIST takes the allomorph (ii):

(A.25)

Appendix A On tonicity

(A.26)

Appendix A On tonicity

As expected, the DIST takes the allomorph (i) t(ee)- after the REL, which requires the verb to be in the tonic form:6

(A.27)

Appendix A On tonicity

(p.280) A.2.3 Assertive modal suffix

Finally, the assertive modal suffix (ASR) -vv́ʔi always requires the verb to be in the tonic form and overrides all the conditioning factors we saw in §A.2.1 and §A.2.2, while other modal suffixes are not marked for the feature of tonicity. This is evident by comparing forms with the ASR (a) and those without it in (b) in (A.28) and (A.29). Both the (a) and (b) forms share the same pre-pronominal prefix, person, and aspect. The (a) forms have the ASR and thus the verb is in the tonic form despite the presence of the TRNSL pre-pronominal prefix which requires the atonic forms, and thus Pronominal Tonic Lowering applies and H1 is found. On the other hand, the (b) forms do not have the ASR and thus Pronominal Tonic Lowering does not apply, and H1 is not found. The (b) forms have H3 due to the translocative pre-pronominal prefix, represented as Ⓗ, which is blocked in (a) due to Pronominal Tonic Lowering (§10.3.2), but again this is orthogonal to the discussion on tonicity here.

(A.28)

Appendix A On tonicity

(A.29)

Appendix A On tonicity

As we saw above, the allomorph of the DIST is determined by the tonicity of the verb. Since the ASR requires the verb to be in the tonic form, the DIST selects the allomorph (i) t(ee)-, which occurs with the tonic form, whenever the verb takes the ASR. This condition overrides other factors that determine the tonicity of the verb. Thus, in (A.30) the verb takes the translocative pre-pronominal prefix, which requires the verb to be in the atonic form and thus we would expect the DIST to take the allomorph (ii) t(i)-. However, this verb takes the ASR, and thus the verb is in the tonic form and thus the DIST takes the allomorph (i) t(ee)-.

(A.30)

Appendix A On tonicity

(p.281) A.2.4 Summary

In this section, we have seen three morphosyntactic factors which are relevant for the tonicity of the verb: the morphosyntactic category (§A.2.1), the pre-pronominal prefixes (§A.2.2), and the modal suffix (§A.2.3). These factors can be summarized as follows. Each morpheme and morphosyntactic category can be classified according to whether it requires the tonic form of the verb, atonic form of the verb, or remain unmarked as to tonicity:

Table A.3. Factors determining the tonicity of a verb

Tonic

Atonic

Not marked

Morphosyntactic categories

Indicative verb

Infinitive

Imperative

Nominalized verb

Nouns

Adjectives

Modal suffixes

ASR -vvʔi

other modal suffixes

Pre-pronominal prefixes

REL

IRR

DIST

ITER

TRNSL

some PART

some PART

CISL

NEG

When the tonicity of each of the factors does not match, the tonicity of the verb is determined according to the following ranking:

(A.31)

Appendix A On tonicity

Thus, as we saw in (A.28) and (A.29), when the ASR occurs with a pre-pronominal prefix which requires the verb to be in the atonic form, the ASR wins out and the resulting verb is in the tonic form. When the verb is in the indicative form but when it has a pre-pronominal prefix which requires the atonic form of the verb, the result is the atonic form. Lastly, when a verb is nominalized but has the ASR, the nominalized form is in the tonic form:

(A.32)

Appendix A On tonicity

Some morphosyntactic categories might override other factors. First, in the punctual forms (but not imperative forms, which are segmentally identical to the punctual forms; see §9.2.2), Pronominal Tonic Lowering applies in some cases even when there is a pre-pronominal prefix which generally requires the verb to be in the atonic form:

(p.282) (A.33)

Appendix A On tonicity

Adjectives appear to always be in the atonic form, even in the presence of the ASR, and thus Pronominal Tonic Lowering is not observed:

(A.34)

Appendix A On tonicity

A.3 Conclusion

This appendix redefined “tonicity” in Oklahoma Cherokee and laid out the morphosyntactic phenomena which are relevant to the tonicity of the forms. Tonicity is a mysterious phenomenon, both for its idiosyncratic functions and for the conditioning factors which determine the tonicity. Tonicity may not have any function besides being “morphomic” (Aronoff 1994), in the sense that they serve purely morphological functions, and do not have any morphosyntactic functions, just like conjugation classes in Romance languages.

Diachronically, the tonic forms could have been the “strong” form, while atonic forms could have been the “weak” form; as we saw in §7.1.7, in order for a glottal stop to induce a high tone, (p.283) both the thyroarytenoid and the cricothyroid muscles have to be contracted at the same time, while in order for a glottal stop to induce a lowfall tone, only the thyroarytenoid muscle has to be contracted (Kingston 2007: 425). Pronominal Tonic Lowering in the tonic form might also be some indication of this “strengthening” effect. However, it still does not explain why some forms are marked as “stronger” than others. (p.284)

Notes:

(1) The high tone on the penultimate syllable is not explained; it may be H2 (Chapter 9).

(2) Note that some PART requires the verb to be in the atonic form, as in (A.12), while some others in the tonic form, as in (A.17). The difference appears to be that the PART which occurs with the verbs which lexically take the PART (A.17) requires the tonic form of the verb, while the PART which is not lexical requires the atonic form (A.12).

(3) Pronominal Tonic Lowering fails to apply to this form, since the ITER fuses with the first vowel of the pronominal prefix and carries H3 (§12.2.1).

(4) The combination of the DIST (i) t(ee)- plus the 3SG.A pronominal prefix a- yields taa-, while the combination of the DIST (ii) t(i)- plus the the 3SG.A pronominal prefix a- yields tii-. Thus, the allomorph of the DIST here is the DIST (i).

(6) The other pre-pronominal prefix which requires the verb to be in the tonic form, ITER (as well as CISL), occurs after DIST in the template and requires a special allomorph of DIST, too-.