Turkish language

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This article is about the language called Turkish. Turkish language_sentence_0

For the language family it belongs to, see Turkic languages. Turkish language_sentence_1

Turkish language_table_infobox_0

TurkishTurkish language_header_cell_0_0_0
PronunciationTurkish language_header_cell_0_1_0 Türkçe: [ˈtyɾctʃe (listen)
Türk dili: Turkish pronunciation: [ˈtyɾc 'diliTurkish language_cell_0_1_1
Native toTurkish language_header_cell_0_2_0 Turkey (official), Northern Cyprus (official), Cyprus (official), Azerbaijan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Bosnia and HerzegovinaTurkish language_cell_0_2_1
RegionTurkish language_header_cell_0_3_0 Anatolia, Balkans, Cyprus, Mesopotamia, Levant, TranscaucasiaTurkish language_cell_0_3_1
EthnicityTurkish language_header_cell_0_4_0 Turkish peopleTurkish language_cell_0_4_1
Native speakersTurkish language_header_cell_0_5_0 75.7 million (2002–2018)

88 million (L1 + L2)Turkish language_cell_0_5_1

Language familyTurkish language_header_cell_0_6_0 TurkicTurkish language_cell_0_6_1
Early formsTurkish language_header_cell_0_7_0 Old Anatolian TurkishTurkish language_cell_0_7_1
Standard formsTurkish language_header_cell_0_8_0 Istanbul TurkishTurkish language_cell_0_8_1
DialectsTurkish language_header_cell_0_9_0 Turkish language_cell_0_9_1
Writing systemTurkish language_header_cell_0_10_0 Latin (Turkish alphabet)

Turkish BrailleTurkish language_cell_0_10_1

Official statusTurkish language_header_cell_0_11_0
Official language inTurkish language_header_cell_0_12_0 Turkey

 Northern Cyprus  Cyprus

Organisations:Turkish language_cell_0_12_1

Recognised minority

language inTurkish language_header_cell_0_13_0

Bosnia and Herzegovina

 Greece  Iraq  Kosovo  North Macedonia  RomaniaTurkish language_cell_0_13_1

Regulated byTurkish language_header_cell_0_14_0 Turkish Language AssociationTurkish language_cell_0_14_1
Language codesTurkish language_header_cell_0_15_0
ISO 639-1Turkish language_header_cell_0_16_0 Turkish language_cell_0_16_1
ISO 639-2Turkish language_header_cell_0_17_0 Turkish language_cell_0_17_1
ISO 639-3Turkish language_header_cell_0_18_0 Turkish language_cell_0_18_1
GlottologTurkish language_header_cell_0_19_0 Turkish language_cell_0_19_1
LinguasphereTurkish language_header_cell_0_20_0 part of 44-AAB-aTurkish language_cell_0_20_1

Turkish (Türkçe (listen), Türk dili), also referred to as Istanbul Turkish (İstanbul Türkçesi) or Turkey Turkish (Türkiye Türkçesi), is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around 70 to 80 million speakers, the national language of Turkey. Turkish language_sentence_2

Outside its native country, significant smaller groups of speakers exist in Iraq, Syria, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Northern Cyprus, Greece, the Caucasus, and other parts of Europe and Central Asia. Turkish language_sentence_3

Cyprus has requested that the European Union add Turkish as an official language, even though Turkey is not a member state. Turkish language_sentence_4

To the west, the influence of Ottoman Turkish—the variety of the Turkish language that was used as the administrative and literary language of the Ottoman Empire—spread as the Ottoman Empire expanded. Turkish language_sentence_5

In 1928, as one of Atatürk's Reforms in the early years of the Republic of Turkey, the Ottoman Turkish alphabet was replaced with a Latin alphabet. Turkish language_sentence_6

The distinctive characteristics of the Turkish language are vowel harmony and extensive agglutination. Turkish language_sentence_7

The basic word order of Turkish is subject–object–verb. Turkish language_sentence_8

Turkish has no noun classes or grammatical gender. Turkish language_sentence_9

The language makes usage of honorifics and has a strong T–V distinction which distinguishes varying levels of politeness, social distance, age, courtesy or familiarity toward the addressee. Turkish language_sentence_10

The plural second-person pronoun and verb forms are used referring to a single person out of respect. Turkish language_sentence_11

Classification Turkish language_section_0

Main article: Turkic languages Turkish language_sentence_12

Turkish is a member of the Oghuz group of the Turkic family. Turkish language_sentence_13

Other members include Azerbaijani, spoken in Azerbaijan and north-west Iran, Gagauz of Gagauzia, Qashqai of south Iran and the Turkmen of Turkmenistan. Turkish language_sentence_14

Classification of the Turkic languages is complicated. Turkish language_sentence_15

The migrations of the Turkic peoples and their consequent intermingling with one another and with peoples who spoke non-Turkic languages, have created a linguistic situation of vast complexity. Turkish language_sentence_16

There is ongoing debate about whether the Turkic family is itself a branch of a larger Altaic family, including Korean, Japanese, Mongolian and Tungusic. Turkish language_sentence_17

The nineteenth-century Ural-Altaic theory, which grouped Turkish with Finnish, Hungarian and Altaic languages, is controversial. Turkish language_sentence_18

The theory was based mostly on the fact these languages share three features: agglutination, vowel harmony and lack of grammatical gender. Turkish language_sentence_19

History Turkish language_section_1

See also: Turkish people and Turkic peoples § History Turkish language_sentence_20

The earliest known Old Turkic inscriptions are the three monumental Orkhon inscriptions found in modern Mongolia. Turkish language_sentence_21

Erected in honour of the prince Kul Tigin and his brother Emperor Bilge Khagan, these date back to the Second Turkic Khaganate. Turkish language_sentence_22

After the discovery and excavation of these monuments and associated stone slabs by Russian archaeologists in the wider area surrounding the Orkhon Valley between 1889 and 1893, it became established that the language on the inscriptions was the Old Turkic language written using the Old Turkic alphabet, which has also been referred to as "Turkic runes" or "runiform" due to a superficial similarity to the Germanic runic alphabets. Turkish language_sentence_23

With the Turkic expansion during Early Middle Ages (c. 6th–11th centuries), peoples speaking Turkic languages spread across Central Asia, covering a vast geographical region stretching from Siberia all the way to Europe and the Mediterranean. Turkish language_sentence_24

The Seljuqs of the Oghuz Turks, in particular, brought their language, Oghuz—the direct ancestor of today's Turkish language—into Anatolia during the 11th century. Turkish language_sentence_25

Also during the 11th century, an early linguist of the Turkic languages, Mahmud al-Kashgari from the Kara-Khanid Khanate, published the first comprehensive Turkic language dictionary and map of the geographical distribution of Turkic speakers in the Compendium of the Turkic Dialects (Ottoman Turkish: Divânü Lügati't-Türk). Turkish language_sentence_26

Ottoman Turkish Turkish language_section_2

Main article: Ottoman Turkish language Turkish language_sentence_27

See also: Old Anatolian Turkish Turkish language_sentence_28

Following the adoption of Islam c. 950 by the Kara-Khanid Khanate and the Seljuq Turks, who are both regarded as the ethnic and cultural ancestors of the Ottomans, the administrative language of these states acquired a large collection of loanwords from Arabic and Persian. Turkish language_sentence_29

Turkish literature during the Ottoman period, particularly Divan poetry, was heavily influenced by Persian, including the adoption of poetic meters and a great quantity of imported words. Turkish language_sentence_30

The literary and official language during the Ottoman Empire period (c. 1299–1922) is termed Ottoman Turkish, which was a mixture of Turkish, Persian, and Arabic that differed considerably and was largely unintelligible to the period's everyday Turkish. Turkish language_sentence_31

The everyday Turkish, known as kaba Türkçe or "rough Turkish", spoken by the less-educated lower and also rural members of society, contained a higher percentage of native vocabulary and served as basis for the modern Turkish language. Turkish language_sentence_32

Language reform and modern Turkish Turkish language_section_3

See also: Turkish alphabet reform and Replacement of loanwords in Turkish Turkish language_sentence_33

After the foundation of the modern state of Turkey and the script reform, the Turkish Language Association (TDK) was established in 1932 under the patronage of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, with the aim of conducting research on Turkish. Turkish language_sentence_34

One of the tasks of the newly established association was to initiate a language reform to replace loanwords of Arabic and Persian origin with Turkish equivalents. Turkish language_sentence_35

By banning the usage of imported words in the press, the association succeeded in removing several hundred foreign words from the language. Turkish language_sentence_36

While most of the words introduced to the language by the TDK were newly derived from Turkic roots, it also opted for reviving Old Turkish words which had not been used for centuries. Turkish language_sentence_37

Owing to this sudden change in the language, older and younger people in Turkey started to differ in their vocabularies. Turkish language_sentence_38

While the generations born before the 1940s tend to use the older terms of Arabic or Persian origin, the younger generations favor new expressions. Turkish language_sentence_39

It is considered particularly ironic that Atatürk himself, in his lengthy speech to the new Parliament in 1927, used a style of Ottoman which sounded so alien to later listeners that it had to be "translated" three times into modern Turkish: first in 1963, again in 1986, and most recently in 1995. Turkish language_sentence_40

The past few decades have seen the continuing work of the TDK to coin new Turkish words to express new concepts and technologies as they enter the language, mostly from English. Turkish language_sentence_41

Many of these new words, particularly information technology terms, have received widespread acceptance. Turkish language_sentence_42

However, the TDK is occasionally criticized for coining words which sound contrived and artificial. Turkish language_sentence_43

Some earlier changes—such as bölem to replace fırka, "political party"—also failed to meet with popular approval (fırka has been replaced by the French loanword parti). Turkish language_sentence_44

Some words restored from Old Turkic have taken on specialized meanings; for example betik (originally meaning "book") is now used to mean "script" in computer science. Turkish language_sentence_45

Some examples of modern Turkish words and the old loanwords are: Turkish language_sentence_46

Turkish language_table_general_1

Ottoman TurkishTurkish language_header_cell_1_0_0 Modern TurkishTurkish language_header_cell_1_0_1 English translationTurkish language_header_cell_1_0_2 CommentsTurkish language_header_cell_1_0_3
müsellesTurkish language_cell_1_1_0 üçgenTurkish language_cell_1_1_1 triangleTurkish language_cell_1_1_2 Compound of the noun üç the suffix -genTurkish language_cell_1_1_3
tayyareTurkish language_cell_1_2_0 uçakTurkish language_cell_1_2_1 aeroplaneTurkish language_cell_1_2_2 Derived from the verb uçmak ("to fly"). The word was first proposed to mean "airport".Turkish language_cell_1_2_3
nispetTurkish language_cell_1_3_0 oranTurkish language_cell_1_3_1 ratioTurkish language_cell_1_3_2 The old word is still used in the language today together with the new one. The modern word is from the Old Turkic verb or- (to cut).Turkish language_cell_1_3_3
şimalTurkish language_cell_1_4_0 kuzeyTurkish language_cell_1_4_1 northTurkish language_cell_1_4_2 Derived from the Old Turkic noun kuz ("cold and dark place", "shadow"). The word is restored from Middle Turkic usage.Turkish language_cell_1_4_3
teşrinievvelTurkish language_cell_1_5_0 ekimTurkish language_cell_1_5_1 OctoberTurkish language_cell_1_5_2 The noun ekim means "the action of planting", referring to the planting of cereal seeds in autumn, which is widespread in TurkeyTurkish language_cell_1_5_3

For a more comprehensive list, see List of replaced loanwords in Turkish. Turkish language_sentence_47

Geographic distribution Turkish language_section_4

See also: Turkish diaspora Turkish language_sentence_48

Turkish is natively spoken by the Turkish people in Turkey and by the Turkish diaspora in some 30 other countries. Turkish language_sentence_49

Turkish language is mutually intelligible with Azerbaijani and other Turkic languages. Turkish language_sentence_50

In particular, Turkish-speaking minorities exist in countries that formerly (in whole or part) belonged to the Ottoman Empire, such as Iraq, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece (primarily in Western Thrace), the Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia. Turkish language_sentence_51

More than two million Turkish speakers live in Germany; and there are significant Turkish-speaking communities in the United States, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Turkish language_sentence_52

Due to the cultural assimilation of Turkish immigrants in host countries, not all ethnic members of the diaspora speak the language with native fluency. Turkish language_sentence_53

In 2005 93% of the population of Turkey were native speakers of Turkish, about 67 million at the time, with Kurdish languages making up most of the remainder. Turkish language_sentence_54

Official status Turkish language_section_5

Turkish is the official language of Turkey and is one of the official languages of Cyprus. Turkish language_sentence_55

Turkish has official status in 38 municipalities in Kosovo, including Mamusha,, two in the Republic of North Macedonia and in Kirkuk Governorate in Iraq. Turkish language_sentence_56

In Turkey, the regulatory body for Turkish is the Turkish Language Association (Türk Dil Kurumu or TDK), which was founded in 1932 under the name Türk Dili Tetkik Cemiyeti ("Society for Research on the Turkish Language"). Turkish language_sentence_57

The Turkish Language Association was influenced by the ideology of linguistic purism: indeed one of its primary tasks was the replacement of loanwords and of foreign grammatical constructions with equivalents of Turkish origin. Turkish language_sentence_58

These changes, together with the adoption of the new Turkish alphabet in 1928, shaped the modern Turkish language spoken today. Turkish language_sentence_59

The TDK became an independent body in 1951, with the lifting of the requirement that it should be presided over by the Minister of Education. Turkish language_sentence_60

This status continued until August 1983, when it was again made into a governmental body in the constitution of 1982, following the military coup d'état of 1980. Turkish language_sentence_61

Dialects Turkish language_section_6

Main article: Turkish dialects Turkish language_sentence_62

Modern standard Turkish is based on the dialect of Istanbul. Turkish language_sentence_63

This "Istanbul Turkish" (İstanbul Türkçesi) constitutes the model of written and spoken Turkish, as recommended by Ziya Gökalp, Ömer Seyfettin and others. Turkish language_sentence_64

Dialectal variation persists, in spite of the levelling influence of the standard used in mass media and in the Turkish education system since the 1930s. Turkish language_sentence_65

Academic researchers from Turkey often refer to Turkish dialects as ağız or şive, leading to an ambiguity with the linguistic concept of accent, which is also covered with these words. Turkish language_sentence_66

Several universities, as well as a dedicated work-group of the Turkish Language Association, carry out projects investigating Turkish dialects. Turkish language_sentence_67

As of 2002 work continued on the compilation and publication of their research as a comprehensive dialect-atlas of the Turkish language. Turkish language_sentence_68

Some immigrants to Turkey from Rumelia speak Rumelian Turkish, which includes the distinct dialects of Ludogorie, Dinler, and Adakale, which show the influence of the theoretized Balkan sprachbund. Turkish language_sentence_69

Kıbrıs Türkçesi is the name for Cypriot Turkish and is spoken by the Turkish Cypriots. Turkish language_sentence_70

Edirne is the dialect of Edirne. Turkish language_sentence_71

Ege is spoken in the Aegean region, with its usage extending to Antalya. Turkish language_sentence_72

The nomadic Yörüks of the Mediterranean Region of Turkey also have their own dialect of Turkish. Turkish language_sentence_73

This group is not to be confused with the Yuruk nomads of Macedonia, Greece, and European Turkey, who speak Balkan Gagauz Turkish. Turkish language_sentence_74

Güneydoğu is spoken in the southeast, to the east of Mersin. Turkish language_sentence_75

Doğu, a dialect in the Eastern Anatolia Region, has a dialect continuum. Turkish language_sentence_76

The Meskhetian Turks who live in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia as well as in several Central Asian countries, also speak an Eastern Anatolian dialect of Turkish, originating in the areas of Kars, Ardahan, and Artvin and sharing similarities with Azerbaijani, the language of Azerbaijan. Turkish language_sentence_77

The Central Anatolia Region speaks Orta Anadolu. Turkish language_sentence_78

Karadeniz, spoken in the Eastern Black Sea Region and represented primarily by the Trabzon dialect, exhibits substratum influence from Greek in phonology and syntax; it is also known as Laz dialect (not to be confused with the Laz language). Turkish language_sentence_79

Kastamonu is spoken in Kastamonu and its surrounding areas. Turkish language_sentence_80

Karamanli Turkish is spoken in Greece, where it is called Kαραμανλήδικα. Turkish language_sentence_81

It is the literary standard for the Karamanlides. Turkish language_sentence_82

Phonology Turkish language_section_7

Main article: Turkish phonology Turkish language_sentence_83

See Turkish alphabet for a pronunciation guide Turkish language_sentence_84

Consonants Turkish language_section_8

Turkish language_table_general_2

Consonant phonemes of Standard TurkishTurkish language_table_caption_2
Turkish language_header_cell_2_0_0 LabialTurkish language_header_cell_2_0_2 Dental/

AlveolarTurkish language_header_cell_2_0_3

PostalveolarTurkish language_header_cell_2_0_4 PalatalTurkish language_header_cell_2_0_5 VelarTurkish language_header_cell_2_0_6 GlottalTurkish language_header_cell_2_0_7
NasalTurkish language_header_cell_2_1_0 mTurkish language_cell_2_1_2 nTurkish language_cell_2_1_3 Turkish language_cell_2_1_4 Turkish language_cell_2_1_5 Turkish language_cell_2_1_6 Turkish language_cell_2_1_7
PlosiveTurkish language_header_cell_2_2_0 voicelessTurkish language_header_cell_2_2_1 pTurkish language_cell_2_2_2 tTurkish language_cell_2_2_3 t͡ʃTurkish language_cell_2_2_4 (c)Turkish language_cell_2_2_5 kTurkish language_cell_2_2_6 Turkish language_cell_2_2_7
voicedTurkish language_header_cell_2_3_0 bTurkish language_cell_2_3_1 dTurkish language_cell_2_3_2 d͡ʒTurkish language_cell_2_3_3 (ɟ)Turkish language_cell_2_3_4 ɡTurkish language_cell_2_3_5 Turkish language_cell_2_3_6
FricativeTurkish language_header_cell_2_4_0 voicelessTurkish language_header_cell_2_4_1 fTurkish language_cell_2_4_2 sTurkish language_cell_2_4_3 ʃTurkish language_cell_2_4_4 Turkish language_cell_2_4_5 Turkish language_cell_2_4_6 hTurkish language_cell_2_4_7
voicedTurkish language_header_cell_2_5_0 vTurkish language_cell_2_5_1 zTurkish language_cell_2_5_2 ʒTurkish language_cell_2_5_3 Turkish language_cell_2_5_4 Turkish language_cell_2_5_5 Turkish language_cell_2_5_6
ApproximantTurkish language_header_cell_2_6_0 (ɫ)Turkish language_cell_2_6_2 lTurkish language_cell_2_6_3 jTurkish language_cell_2_6_4 (ɰ)Turkish language_cell_2_6_5 Turkish language_cell_2_6_6
FlapTurkish language_header_cell_2_7_0 Turkish language_cell_2_7_2 ɾTurkish language_cell_2_7_3 Turkish language_cell_2_7_4 Turkish language_cell_2_7_5 Turkish language_cell_2_7_6 Turkish language_cell_2_7_7

At least one source claims Turkish consonants are larengially specified three-way fortis-lenis (aspirated/neutral/voiced) like Armenian. Turkish language_sentence_85

The phoneme that is usually referred to as yumuşak g ("soft g"), written ⟨ğ⟩ in Turkish orthography, represents a vowel sequence or a rather weak bilabial approximant between rounded vowels, a weak palatal approximant between unrounded front vowels, and a vowel sequence elsewhere. Turkish language_sentence_86

It never occurs at the beginning of a word or a syllable, but always follows a vowel. Turkish language_sentence_87

When word-final or preceding another consonant, it lengthens the preceding vowel. Turkish language_sentence_88

In native Turkic words, the sounds [c], [ɟ], and [l] are in complementary distribution with [k], [ɡ], and [ɫ]; the former set occurs adjacent to front vowels and the latter adjacent to back vowels. Turkish language_sentence_89

The distribution of these phonemes is often unpredictable, however, in foreign borrowings and proper nouns. Turkish language_sentence_90

In such words, [c], [ɟ], and [l] often occur with back vowels: some examples are given below. Turkish language_sentence_91

Consonant devoicing Turkish language_section_9

Main article: Final-obstruent devoicing Turkish language_sentence_92

Turkish orthography reflects final-obstruent devoicing, a form of consonant mutation whereby a voiced obstruent, such as /b d dʒ ɡ/, is devoiced to [p t tʃ k] at the end of a word or before a consonant, but retains its voicing before a vowel. Turkish language_sentence_93

In loan words, the voiced equivalent of /k/ is /g/; in native words, it is /ğ/. Turkish language_sentence_94

Turkish language_table_general_3

Obstruent devoicing in nounsTurkish language_table_caption_3

consonantTurkish language_header_cell_3_0_0


formTurkish language_header_cell_3_0_1


morphemeTurkish language_header_cell_3_0_2

Dictionary formTurkish language_header_cell_3_0_3 Dative case /

1sg presentTurkish language_header_cell_3_0_4

MeaningTurkish language_header_cell_3_0_5
bTurkish language_cell_3_1_0 pTurkish language_cell_3_1_1 *kitabTurkish language_cell_3_1_2 kitapTurkish language_cell_3_1_3 kitabaTurkish language_cell_3_1_4 book (loan)Turkish language_cell_3_1_5
cTurkish language_cell_3_2_0 çTurkish language_cell_3_2_1 *ucTurkish language_cell_3_2_2 Turkish language_cell_3_2_3 ucaTurkish language_cell_3_2_4 tipTurkish language_cell_3_2_5
dTurkish language_cell_3_3_0 tTurkish language_cell_3_3_1 *budTurkish language_cell_3_3_2 butTurkish language_cell_3_3_3 budaTurkish language_cell_3_3_4 thighTurkish language_cell_3_3_5
gTurkish language_cell_3_4_0 kTurkish language_cell_3_4_1 *rengTurkish language_cell_3_4_2 renkTurkish language_cell_3_4_3 rengeTurkish language_cell_3_4_4 color (loan)Turkish language_cell_3_4_5
ğTurkish language_cell_3_5_0 kTurkish language_cell_3_5_1 *ekmeğTurkish language_cell_3_5_2 ekmekTurkish language_cell_3_5_3 ekmeğeTurkish language_cell_3_5_4 breadTurkish language_cell_3_5_5

This is analogous to languages such as German and Russian, but in the case of Turkish, the spelling is usually made to match the sound. Turkish language_sentence_95

However, in a few cases, such as ad /at/ 'name' (dative ada), the underlying form is retained in the spelling (cf. Turkish language_sentence_96

at /at/ 'horse', dative ata). Turkish language_sentence_97

Other exceptions are od 'fire' vs. ot 'herb', sac 'sheet metal', saç 'hair'. Turkish language_sentence_98

Most loanwords, such as kitap above, are spelled as pronounced, but a few such as hac 'hajj', şad 'happy', and yad 'strange(r)' also show their underlying forms. Turkish language_sentence_99

Native nouns of two or more syllables that end in /k/ in dictionary form are nearly all //ğ// in underlying form. Turkish language_sentence_100

However, most verbs and monosyllabic nouns are underlyingly //k//. Turkish language_sentence_101

Vowels Turkish language_section_10

The vowels of the Turkish language are, in their alphabetical order, ⟨a⟩, ⟨e⟩, ⟨ı⟩, ⟨i⟩, ⟨o⟩, ⟨ö⟩, ⟨u⟩, ⟨ü⟩. Turkish language_sentence_102

The Turkish vowel system can be considered as being three-dimensional, where vowels are characterised by how and where they are articulated focusing on three key features: front and back, rounded and unrounded and vowel height. Turkish language_sentence_103

Vowels are classified [±back], [±round] and [±high]. Turkish language_sentence_104

The only diphthongs in the language are found in loanwords and may be categorised as falling diphthongs usually analyzed as a sequence of /j/ and a vowel. Turkish language_sentence_105

Vowel harmony Turkish language_section_11

Further information: Vowel harmony Turkish language_sentence_106

Turkish language_table_general_4

Turkish Vowel HarmonyTurkish language_header_cell_4_0_0 Front VowelsTurkish language_header_cell_4_0_1 Back VowelsTurkish language_header_cell_4_0_5
UnroundedTurkish language_header_cell_4_1_0 RoundedTurkish language_header_cell_4_1_2 UnroundedTurkish language_header_cell_4_1_4 RoundedTurkish language_header_cell_4_1_6
VowelTurkish language_header_cell_4_2_0 e /e/Turkish language_cell_4_2_1 i /i/Turkish language_cell_4_2_2 ü /y/Turkish language_cell_4_2_3 ö /œ/Turkish language_cell_4_2_4 a /a/Turkish language_cell_4_2_5 ı /ɯ/Turkish language_cell_4_2_6 u /u/Turkish language_cell_4_2_7 o /o/Turkish language_cell_4_2_8
Twofold (Backness)Turkish language_header_cell_4_3_0 eTurkish language_cell_4_3_1 aTurkish language_cell_4_3_5
Fourfold (Backness + Rounding)Turkish language_header_cell_4_4_0 iTurkish language_cell_4_4_1 üTurkish language_cell_4_4_3 ıTurkish language_cell_4_4_5 uTurkish language_cell_4_4_7

The principle of vowel harmony, which permeates Turkish word-formation and suffixation, is due to the natural human tendency towards economy of muscular effort. Turkish language_sentence_107

This principle is expressed in Turkish through three rules: Turkish language_sentence_108

Turkish language_ordered_list_0

  1. If the first vowel of a word is a back vowel, any subsequent vowel is also a back vowel; if the first is a front vowel, any subsequent vowel is also a front vowel.Turkish language_item_0_0
  2. If the first vowel is unrounded, so too are subsequent vowels.Turkish language_item_0_1
  3. If the first vowel is rounded, subsequent vowels are either rounded and close or unrounded and open.Turkish language_item_0_2

The second and third rules minimize muscular effort during speech. Turkish language_sentence_109

More specifically, they are related to the phenomenon of labial assimilation: if the lips are rounded (a process that requires muscular effort) for the first vowel they may stay rounded for subsequent vowels. Turkish language_sentence_110

If they are unrounded for the first vowel, the speaker does not make the additional muscular effort to round them subsequently. Turkish language_sentence_111

Grammatical affixes have "a chameleon-like quality", and obey one of the following patterns of vowel harmony: Turkish language_sentence_112

Turkish language_unordered_list_1

  • twofold (-e/-a): the locative case suffix, for example, is -de after front vowels and -da after back vowels. The notation -de² is a convenient shorthand for this pattern.Turkish language_item_1_3
  • fourfold (-i/-ı/-ü/-u): the genitive case suffix, for example, is -in or -ın after unrounded vowels (front or back respectively); and -ün or -un after the corresponding rounded vowels. In this case, the shorthand notation -in is used.Turkish language_item_1_4

Practically, the twofold pattern (also referred to as the e-type vowel harmony) means that in the environment where the vowel in the word stem is formed in the front of the mouth, the suffix will take the e-form, while if it is formed in the back it will take the a-form. Turkish language_sentence_113

The fourfold pattern (also called the i-type) accounts for rounding as well as for front/back. Turkish language_sentence_114

The following examples, based on the copula -dir ("[it] is"), illustrate the principles of i-type vowel harmony in practice: Türkiye'dir ("it is Turkey"), kapıdır ("it is the door"), but gündür ("it is the day"), paltodur ("it is the coat"). Turkish language_sentence_115

Exceptions to vowel harmony Turkish language_section_12

These are of four classes of words that are exceptions to the rules of vowel harmony: Turkish language_sentence_116

Turkish language_ordered_list_2

  1. Native, non-compound words, e.g. dahi "also," ela "light brown," elma "apple," hangi "which," hani "where," haydi "come on," inanmak "to believe," kardeş "brother," şişman "fat," anne "mother"Turkish language_item_2_5
  2. Native compound words, e.g. bugün "today," dedikodu "gossip"Turkish language_item_2_6
  3. Foreign words, e.g. ferman (< Farsi فرماندهی "command"), mikrop (< French microbe "microbe"), piskopos (< Greek επίσκοπος "bishop")Turkish language_item_2_7
  4. Invariable suffixes: –daş (denoting common attachment to the concept expressed by the noun), –yor (denoting the present tense in the third person), –ane (turning adjectives or nouns into adverbs), –ken (meaning "while being"), –leyin (meaning "in/at/during"), –imtrak (weakening an adjective of color or taste in a way similar to the English suffix –ish as in blueish), –ki (making a pronoun or adjective out an adverb or a noun in the locative case), –gil (meaning "the house or family of"), –gen (referring to the name of plane figures)Turkish language_item_2_8

Turkish language_table_general_5

Invariable suffixTurkish language_header_cell_5_0_0 Turkish exampleTurkish language_header_cell_5_0_1 Meaning in EnglishTurkish language_header_cell_5_0_2 RemarksTurkish language_header_cell_5_0_3
–daşTurkish language_cell_5_1_0 meslektaşTurkish language_cell_5_1_1 "colleague"Turkish language_cell_5_1_2 From meslek "profession."Turkish language_cell_5_1_3
–yorTurkish language_cell_5_2_0 geliyorTurkish language_cell_5_2_1 "he/she/it is coming"Turkish language_cell_5_2_2 From gel– "to come."Turkish language_cell_5_2_3
–aneTurkish language_cell_5_3_0 şahaneTurkish language_cell_5_3_1 "regal"Turkish language_cell_5_3_2 From şah, "king."Turkish language_cell_5_3_3
–kenTurkish language_cell_5_4_0 uyurkenTurkish language_cell_5_4_1 "while sleeping"Turkish language_cell_5_4_2 From uyu–, "to sleep."Turkish language_cell_5_4_3
–leyinTurkish language_cell_5_5_0 sabahleyinTurkish language_cell_5_5_1 "in the morning"Turkish language_cell_5_5_2 From sabah, "morning."Turkish language_cell_5_5_3
–imtrakTurkish language_cell_5_6_0 ekşimtrakTurkish language_cell_5_6_1 "sourish"Turkish language_cell_5_6_2 From ekşi, "sour."Turkish language_cell_5_6_3
–kiTurkish language_cell_5_7_0 ormandakiTurkish language_cell_5_7_1 "(that) in the forest"Turkish language_cell_5_7_2 From orman, "forest."Turkish language_cell_5_7_3
–gilTurkish language_cell_5_8_0 annemgillerTurkish language_cell_5_8_1 "my mother’s family"Turkish language_cell_5_8_2 From annem, "my mother."Turkish language_cell_5_8_3
–genTurkish language_cell_5_9_0 altıgenTurkish language_cell_5_9_1 "hexagon"Turkish language_cell_5_9_2 From altı, "six."Turkish language_cell_5_9_3

The road sign in the photograph above illustrates several of these features: Turkish language_sentence_117

Turkish language_unordered_list_3

  • a native compound which does not obey vowel harmony: Orta+köy ("middle village"—a place name)Turkish language_item_3_9
  • a loanword also violating vowel harmony: viyadük (< French viaduc "viaduct")Turkish language_item_3_10
  • the possessive suffix -i harmonizing with the final vowel (and softening the k by consonant alternation): viyadüğüTurkish language_item_3_11

The rules of vowel harmony may vary by regional dialect. Turkish language_sentence_118

The dialect of Turkish spoken in the Trabzon region of northeastern Turkey follows the reduced vowel harmony of Old Anatolian Turkish, with the additional complication of two missing vowels (ü and ı), thus there is no palatal harmony. Turkish language_sentence_119

It's likely that elün meant "your hand" in Old Anatolian. Turkish language_sentence_120

While the 2nd person singular possessive would vary between back and front vowel, -ün or -un, as in elün for "your hand" and kitabun for "your book", the lack of ü vowel in the Trabzon dialect means -un would be used in both of these cases — elun and kitabun. Turkish language_sentence_121

Word-accent Turkish language_section_13

Further information: Turkish phonology § Word-accent Turkish language_sentence_122

With the exceptions stated below, Turkish words are oxytone (accented on the last syllable). Turkish language_sentence_123

Exceptions to word-accent rules Turkish language_section_14

Turkish language_ordered_list_4

  1. Place-names are not oxytone: Anádolu (Anatolia), İstánbul. Most place names are accented on their first syllable as in Páris and Zónguldak. This holds true when place names are spelled the same way as common nouns, which are oxytone: mısír (maize), Mísır (Egypt), sirkecí (vinegar-seller), Sírkeci (district in Istanbul), bebék (doll, baby), Bébek (district in Istanbul), ordú (army), Órdu (a Turkish city on the Black Sea).Turkish language_item_4_12
  2. Foreign nouns usually retain their original accentuation, e.g., lokánta (< Italian locanda "restaurant"), ólta (< Greek βόλτα "fishing line"), gazéte (< Italian gazzetta "newspaper")Turkish language_item_4_13
  3. Some words about family members and living creatures have irregular accentuation: ánne (mother), ábla (older sister), görúmce (husband’s sister), yénge (brother’s wife), hála (paternal aunt), téyze (maternal aunt), ámca (paternal uncle), çekírge (grasshopper), karínca (ant), kokárca (skunk)Turkish language_item_4_14
  4. Adverbs are usually accented on the first syllable, e.g., şímdi (now), sónra (after), ánsızın (suddenly), gérçekten (really), (but gerçektén (from reality)), kíşın (during winter)Turkish language_item_4_15
  5. Compound words are accented on the end of the first element, e.g., çíplak (naked), çırílçıplak (stark naked), bakán (minister), báşbakan (prime minister)Turkish language_item_4_16
  6. Diminutives constructed by suffix –cik are accented on the first syllable, e.g., úfacık (very tiny), évcik (small house)Turkish language_item_4_17
  7. Words with enclitic suffixes, –Ie (meaning "with,") –ken (meaning "while,") –ce (creating an adverb,) –leyin (meaning "in" or "during,") –me (negating the verbal stem,) –yor (denoting the present tense)Turkish language_item_4_18
  8. Enclitic words, which shift the accentuation to the previous syllable, e.g., –ol (meaning to be,) mi, (denoting a question,) gibi (meaning similar to,) için (for,) ki (that,) de (too)Turkish language_item_4_19

Turkish language_unordered_list_5

  • definite (possessive) compound (belirtili tamlama). E.g. Türkiye'nin sesi "the voice of Turkey (radio station)": the voice belonging to Turkey. Here the relationship is shown by the genitive ending -in added to the first noun; the second noun has the third-person suffix of possession -(s)i.Turkish language_item_5_20
  • indefinite (qualifying) compound (belirtisiz tamlama). E.g. Türkiye Cumhuriyeti "Turkey-Republic = the Republic of Turkey": not the republic belonging to Turkey, but the Republic that is Turkey. Here the first noun has no ending; but the second noun has the ending -(s)i—the same as in definite compounds.Turkish language_item_5_21

The following table illustrates these principles. Turkish language_sentence_124

In some cases the constituents of the compounds are themselves compounds; for clarity these subsidiary compounds are marked with [square brackets]. Turkish language_sentence_125

The suffixes involved in the linking are underlined. Turkish language_sentence_126

Note that if the second noun group already had a possessive suffix (because it is a compound by itself), no further suffix is added. Turkish language_sentence_127

Turkish language_table_general_6

Linked nouns and noun groupsTurkish language_table_caption_6
Definite (possessive)Turkish language_header_cell_6_0_0 Indefinite (qualifier)Turkish language_header_cell_6_0_1 ComplementTurkish language_header_cell_6_0_2 MeaningTurkish language_header_cell_6_0_3
kimseninTurkish language_cell_6_1_0 Turkish language_cell_6_1_1 yanıtıTurkish language_cell_6_1_2 nobody's answerTurkish language_cell_6_1_3
Turkish language_cell_6_2_0 "kimse"Turkish language_cell_6_2_1 yanıtıTurkish language_cell_6_2_2 the answer "nobody"Turkish language_cell_6_2_3
Atatürk'ünTurkish language_cell_6_3_0 Turkish language_cell_6_3_1 eviTurkish language_cell_6_3_2 Atatürk's houseTurkish language_cell_6_3_3
Turkish language_cell_6_4_0 AtatürkTurkish language_cell_6_4_1 BulvarıTurkish language_cell_6_4_2 Atatürk Boulevard (named after, not belonging to Atatürk)Turkish language_cell_6_4_3
Orhan'ınTurkish language_cell_6_5_0 Turkish language_cell_6_5_1 adıTurkish language_cell_6_5_2 Orhan's nameTurkish language_cell_6_5_3
Turkish language_cell_6_6_0 "Orhan"Turkish language_cell_6_6_1 adıTurkish language_cell_6_6_2 the name "Orhan"Turkish language_cell_6_6_3
Turkish language_cell_6_7_0 rTurkish language_cell_6_7_1 sessiziTurkish language_cell_6_7_2 the consonant rTurkish language_cell_6_7_3
[r sessizi]ninTurkish language_cell_6_8_0 Turkish language_cell_6_8_1 söylenişiTurkish language_cell_6_8_2 pronunciation of the consonant rTurkish language_cell_6_8_3
Turkish language_cell_6_9_0 TürkTurkish language_cell_6_9_1 [Dil Kurumu]Turkish language_cell_6_9_2 Turkish language-associationTurkish language_cell_6_9_3
Turkish language_cell_6_10_0 [Türk Dili]Turkish language_cell_6_10_1 DergisiTurkish language_cell_6_10_2 Turkish-language magazineTurkish language_cell_6_10_3
Turkish language_cell_6_11_0 FordTurkish language_cell_6_11_1 [aile arabası]Turkish language_cell_6_11_2 Ford family carTurkish language_cell_6_11_3
Ford'unTurkish language_cell_6_12_0 Turkish language_cell_6_12_1 [aile arabası]Turkish language_cell_6_12_2 (Mr) Ford's family carTurkish language_cell_6_12_3
[Ford ailesi]ninTurkish language_cell_6_13_0 Turkish language_cell_6_13_1 arabasıTurkish language_cell_6_13_2 the Ford family's carTurkish language_cell_6_13_3
Turkish language_cell_6_14_0 AnkaraTurkish language_cell_6_14_1 [Kız Lisesi]Turkish language_cell_6_14_2 Ankara Girls' SchoolTurkish language_cell_6_14_3
Turkish language_cell_6_15_0 [yıl sonu]Turkish language_cell_6_15_1 sınavlarıTurkish language_cell_6_15_2 year-end examinationsTurkish language_cell_6_15_3
Bulgaristan'ınTurkish language_cell_6_16_0 Turkish language_cell_6_16_1 [İstanbul Başkonsolosluğu]Turkish language_cell_6_16_2 the Istanbul Consulate-General of Bulgaria (located in Istanbul, but belonging to Bulgaria)Turkish language_cell_6_16_3
Turkish language_cell_6_17_0 [ [İstanbul Üniversitesi] [Edebiyat Fakültesi] ]Turkish language_cell_6_17_1 [ [Türk Edebiyatı] Profesörü]Turkish language_cell_6_17_2 Professor of Turkish Literature in the Faculty of Literature of the University of IstanbulTurkish language_cell_6_17_3
Turkish language_cell_6_18_0 ne oldumTurkish language_cell_6_18_1 delisiTurkish language_cell_6_18_2 "what-have-I-become!" madman = parvenu who gives himself airsTurkish language_cell_6_18_3

As the last example shows, the qualifying expression may be a substantival sentence rather than a noun or noun group. Turkish language_sentence_128

There is a third way of linking the nouns where both nouns take no suffixes (takısız tamlama). Turkish language_sentence_129

However, in this case the first noun acts as an adjective, e.g. Demir kapı (iron gate), elma yanak ("apple cheek", i.e. red cheek), kömür göz ("coal eye", i.e. black eye) : Turkish language_sentence_130

Adjectives Turkish language_section_15

Turkish adjectives are not declined. Turkish language_sentence_131

However most adjectives can also be used as nouns, in which case they are declined: e.g. güzel ("beautiful") → güzeller ("(the) beautiful ones / people"). Turkish language_sentence_132

Used attributively, adjectives precede the nouns they modify. Turkish language_sentence_133

The adjectives var ("existent") and yok ("non-existent") are used in many cases where English would use "there is" or "have", e.g. süt yok ("there is no milk", lit. Turkish language_sentence_134

"(the) milk (is) non-existent"); the construction "noun 1-GEN noun 2-POSS var/yok" can be translated "noun 1 has/doesn't have noun 2"; imparatorun elbisesi yok "the emperor has no clothes" ("(the) emperor-of clothes-his non-existent"); kedimin ayakkabıları yoktu ("my cat had no shoes", lit. Turkish language_sentence_135

"cat-my-of shoe-plur.-its non-existent-past tense"). Turkish language_sentence_136

Verbs Turkish language_section_16

See also: Turkish copula Turkish language_sentence_137

Turkish verbs indicate person. Turkish language_sentence_138

They can be made negative, potential ("can"), or impotential ("cannot"). Turkish language_sentence_139

Furthermore, Turkish verbs show tense (present, past, future, and aorist), mood (conditional, imperative, inferential, necessitative, and optative), and aspect. Turkish language_sentence_140

Negation is expressed by the infix -me²- immediately following the stem. Turkish language_sentence_141

Turkish language_table_general_7

TurkishTurkish language_header_cell_7_0_0 EnglishTurkish language_header_cell_7_0_1
gel-Turkish language_cell_7_1_0 (to) comeTurkish language_cell_7_1_1
gelebil-Turkish language_cell_7_2_0 (to) be able to comeTurkish language_cell_7_2_1
gelme-Turkish language_cell_7_3_0 not (to) comeTurkish language_cell_7_3_1
geleme-Turkish language_cell_7_4_0 (to) be unable to comeTurkish language_cell_7_4_1
gelememişTurkish language_cell_7_5_0 Apparently (s)he couldn't comeTurkish language_cell_7_5_1
gelebilecekTurkish language_cell_7_6_0 (s)he'll be able to comeTurkish language_cell_7_6_1
gelmeyebilirTurkish language_cell_7_7_0 (s)he may (possibly) not comeTurkish language_cell_7_7_1
gelebilirsenTurkish language_cell_7_8_0 if thou can comeTurkish language_cell_7_8_1
gelinirTurkish language_cell_7_9_0 (passive) one comes, people comeTurkish language_cell_7_9_1
gelebilmeliydinTurkish language_cell_7_10_0 thou shouldst have been able to comeTurkish language_cell_7_10_1
gelebilseydinTurkish language_cell_7_11_0 if thou could have comeTurkish language_cell_7_11_1
gelmeliydinTurkish language_cell_7_12_0 thou shouldst have comeTurkish language_cell_7_12_1

Verb tenses Turkish language_section_17

(Note. Turkish language_sentence_142

For the sake of simplicity the term "tense" is used here throughout, although for some forms "aspect" or "mood" might be more appropriate.) Turkish language_sentence_143

There are 9 simple and 20 compound tenses in Turkish. Turkish language_sentence_144

9 simple tenses are simple past (di'li geçmiş), inferential past (miş'li geçmiş), present continuous, simple present (aorist), future, optative, subjunctive, necessitative ("must") and imperative. Turkish language_sentence_145

There are three groups of compound forms. Turkish language_sentence_146

Story (hikaye) is the witnessed past of the above forms (except command), rumor (rivayet) is the unwitnessed past of the above forms (except simple past and command), conditional (koşul) is the conditional form of the first five basic tenses. Turkish language_sentence_147

In the example below the second person singular of the verb gitmek ("go"), stem gid-/git-, is shown. Turkish language_sentence_148

Turkish language_table_general_8

English of the basic formTurkish language_header_cell_8_0_0 Basic tenseTurkish language_header_cell_8_0_1 Story (hikaye)Turkish language_header_cell_8_0_2 Rumor (rivayet)Turkish language_header_cell_8_0_3 Condition (koşul)Turkish language_header_cell_8_0_4
you wentTurkish language_cell_8_1_0 gittinTurkish language_cell_8_1_1 gittiydinTurkish language_cell_8_1_2 Turkish language_cell_8_1_3 gittiysenTurkish language_cell_8_1_4
you have goneTurkish language_cell_8_2_0 gitmişsinTurkish language_cell_8_2_1 gitmiştinTurkish language_cell_8_2_2 gitmişmişsinTurkish language_cell_8_2_3 gitmişsenTurkish language_cell_8_2_4
you are goingTurkish language_cell_8_3_0 gidiyorsunTurkish language_cell_8_3_1 gidiyordunTurkish language_cell_8_3_2 gidiyormuşsunTurkish language_cell_8_3_3 gidiyorsanTurkish language_cell_8_3_4
you (are wont to) goTurkish language_cell_8_4_0 gidersinTurkish language_cell_8_4_1 giderdinTurkish language_cell_8_4_2 gidermişsinTurkish language_cell_8_4_3 gidersenTurkish language_cell_8_4_4
you will goTurkish language_cell_8_5_0 gideceksinTurkish language_cell_8_5_1 gidecektinTurkish language_cell_8_5_2 gidecekmişsinTurkish language_cell_8_5_3 gideceksenTurkish language_cell_8_5_4
if only you goTurkish language_cell_8_6_0 gitsenTurkish language_cell_8_6_1 gitseydinTurkish language_cell_8_6_2 gitseymişsinTurkish language_cell_8_6_3 Turkish language_cell_8_6_4
may you goTurkish language_cell_8_7_0 gidesinTurkish language_cell_8_7_1 gideydinTurkish language_cell_8_7_2 gideymişsinTurkish language_cell_8_7_3 Turkish language_cell_8_7_4
you must goTurkish language_cell_8_8_0 gitmelisinTurkish language_cell_8_8_1 gitmeliydinTurkish language_cell_8_8_2 gitmeliymişsinTurkish language_cell_8_8_3 Turkish language_cell_8_8_4
go! (imperative)Turkish language_cell_8_9_0 gitTurkish language_cell_8_9_1 Turkish language_cell_8_9_2 Turkish language_cell_8_9_3 Turkish language_cell_8_9_4

There are also so-called combined verbs, which are created by suffixing certain verb stems (like bil or ver) to the original stem of a verb. Turkish language_sentence_149

Bil is the suffix for the sufficiency mood. Turkish language_sentence_150

It is the equivalent of the English auxiliary verbs "able to", "can" or "may". Turkish language_sentence_151

Ver is the suffix for the swiftness mood, kal for the perpetuity mood and yaz for the approach ("almost") mood. Turkish language_sentence_152

Thus, while gittin means "you went", gidebildin means "you could go" and gidiverdin means "you went swiftly". Turkish language_sentence_153

The tenses of the combined verbs are formed the same way as for simple verbs. Turkish language_sentence_154

Attributive verbs (participles) Turkish language_section_18

Turkish verbs have attributive forms, including present, similar to the English present participle (with the ending -en); future (-ecek); indirect/inferential past (-miş); and aorist (-er or -ir). Turkish language_sentence_155

The most important function of some of these attributive verbs is to form modifying phrases equivalent to the relative clauses found in most European languages. Turkish language_sentence_156

The subject of the verb in an -en form is (possibly implicitly) in the third person (he/she/it/they); this form, when used in a modifying phrase, does not change according to number. Turkish language_sentence_157

The other attributive forms used in these constructions are the future (-ecek) and an older form (-dik), which covers both present and past meanings. Turkish language_sentence_158

These two forms take "personal endings", which have the same form as the possessive suffixes but indicate the person and possibly number of the subject of the attributive verb; for example, yediğim means "what I eat", yediğin means "what you eat", and so on. Turkish language_sentence_159

The use of these "personal or relative participles" is illustrated in the following table, in which the examples are presented according to the grammatical case which would be seen in the equivalent English relative clause. Turkish language_sentence_160

Turkish language_table_general_9

English equivalentTurkish language_header_cell_9_0_0 ExampleTurkish language_header_cell_9_0_2 TranslationTurkish language_header_cell_9_0_3
Case of relative pronounTurkish language_header_cell_9_1_0 PronounTurkish language_header_cell_9_1_1 LiteralTurkish language_header_cell_9_1_2 IdiomaticTurkish language_header_cell_9_1_3
NominativeTurkish language_cell_9_2_0 who, which/thatTurkish language_cell_9_2_1 şimdi konuşan adamTurkish language_cell_9_2_2 "now speaking man"Turkish language_cell_9_2_3 the man (who is) now speakingTurkish language_cell_9_2_4
GenitiveTurkish language_cell_9_3_0 whose (nom.)Turkish language_cell_9_3_1 babası şimdi konuşan adamTurkish language_cell_9_3_2 "father-is now speaking man"Turkish language_cell_9_3_3 the man whose father is now speakingTurkish language_cell_9_3_4
Turkish language_cell_9_4_0 whose (acc.)Turkish language_cell_9_4_1 babasını dün gördüğüm adamTurkish language_cell_9_4_2 "father-is-ACC yesterday seen-my man"Turkish language_cell_9_4_3 the man whose father I saw yesterdayTurkish language_cell_9_4_4
Turkish language_cell_9_5_0 at whoseTurkish language_cell_9_5_1 resimlerine baktığımız ressamTurkish language_cell_9_5_2 "pictures-is-to looked-our artist"Turkish language_cell_9_5_3 the artist whose pictures we looked atTurkish language_cell_9_5_4
Turkish language_cell_9_6_0 of whichTurkish language_cell_9_6_1 muhtarı seçildiği köyTurkish language_cell_9_6_2 "mayor-its been-chosen-his village"Turkish language_cell_9_6_3 the village of which he was elected mayorTurkish language_cell_9_6_4
Turkish language_cell_9_7_0 of whichTurkish language_cell_9_7_1 muhtarı seçilmek istediği köyTurkish language_cell_9_7_2 Turkish language_cell_9_7_3 the village of which he wishes to be elected mayorTurkish language_cell_9_7_4
Remaining cases (incl. prepositions)Turkish language_cell_9_8_0 whom, whichTurkish language_cell_9_8_1 yazdığım mektupTurkish language_cell_9_8_2 "written-my letter"Turkish language_cell_9_8_3 the letter (which) I wroteTurkish language_cell_9_8_4
Turkish language_cell_9_9_0 from whichTurkish language_cell_9_9_1 çıktığımız kapıTurkish language_cell_9_9_2 "emerged-our door"Turkish language_cell_9_9_3 the door from which we emergedTurkish language_cell_9_9_4
Turkish language_cell_9_10_0 on whichTurkish language_cell_9_10_1 geldikleri vapurTurkish language_cell_9_10_2 "come-their ship"Turkish language_cell_9_10_3 the ship they came onTurkish language_cell_9_10_4
Turkish language_cell_9_11_0 which + subordinate clauseTurkish language_cell_9_11_1 yaklaştığını anladığı hapishane günleriTurkish language_cell_9_11_2 "approach-their-ACC understood-his prison days-its"Turkish language_cell_9_11_3 the prison days (which) he knew were approachingTurkish language_cell_9_11_4

Vocabulary Turkish language_section_19

Main article: Turkish vocabulary Turkish language_sentence_161

Latest 2010 edition of Büyük Türkçe Sözlük (Great Turkish Dictionary), the official dictionary of the Turkish language published by Turkish Language Association, contains 616,767 words, expressions, terms and nouns, including place names and person names, both from the standard language and from dialects. Turkish language_sentence_162

The 2005 edition of Güncel Türkçe Sözlük, the official dictionary of the Turkish language published by Turkish Language Association, contains 104,481 words, of which about 86% are Turkish and 14% are of foreign origin. Turkish language_sentence_163

Among the most significant foreign contributors to Turkish vocabulary are Arabic, French, Persian, Italian, English, and Greek. Turkish language_sentence_164

Word formation Turkish language_section_20

Turkish extensively uses agglutination to form new words from nouns and verbal stems. Turkish language_sentence_165

The majority of Turkish words originate from the application of derivative suffixes to a relatively small set of core vocabulary. Turkish language_sentence_166

Turkish obeys certain principles when it comes to suffixation. Turkish language_sentence_167

Most suffixes in Turkish will have more than one form, depending on the vowels and consonants in the root- vowel harmony rules will apply; consonant-initial suffixes will follow the voiced/ voiceless character of the consonant in the final unit of the root; and in the case of vowel-initial suffixes an additional consonant may be inserted if the root ends in a vowel, or the suffix may lose its initial vowel. Turkish language_sentence_168

There is also a prescribed order of affixation of suffixes- as a rule of thumb, derivative suffixes precede inflectional suffixes which are followed by clitics, as can be seen in the example set of words derived from a substantive root below: Turkish language_sentence_169

Turkish language_table_general_10

TurkishTurkish language_header_cell_10_0_0 ComponentsTurkish language_header_cell_10_0_1 EnglishTurkish language_header_cell_10_0_2 Word classTurkish language_header_cell_10_0_3
gözTurkish language_cell_10_1_0 gözTurkish language_cell_10_1_1 eyeTurkish language_cell_10_1_2 NounTurkish language_cell_10_1_3
gözlükTurkish language_cell_10_2_0 göz + -lükTurkish language_cell_10_2_1 eyeglassesTurkish language_cell_10_2_2 NounTurkish language_cell_10_2_3
gözlükçüTurkish language_cell_10_3_0 göz + -lük + -çüTurkish language_cell_10_3_1 opticianTurkish language_cell_10_3_2 NounTurkish language_cell_10_3_3
gözlükçülükTurkish language_cell_10_4_0 göz + -lük + -çü + -lükTurkish language_cell_10_4_1 optician's tradeTurkish language_cell_10_4_2 NounTurkish language_cell_10_4_3
gözlemTurkish language_cell_10_5_0 göz + -lemTurkish language_cell_10_5_1 observationTurkish language_cell_10_5_2 NounTurkish language_cell_10_5_3
gözlemciTurkish language_cell_10_6_0 göz + -lem + -ciTurkish language_cell_10_6_1 observerTurkish language_cell_10_6_2 NounTurkish language_cell_10_6_3
gözle-Turkish language_cell_10_7_0 göz + -leTurkish language_cell_10_7_1 observeTurkish language_cell_10_7_2 Verb (order)Turkish language_cell_10_7_3
gözlemekTurkish language_cell_10_8_0 göz + -le + -mekTurkish language_cell_10_8_1 to observeTurkish language_cell_10_8_2 Verb (infinitive)Turkish language_cell_10_8_3
gözetlemekTurkish language_cell_10_9_0 göz + -et + -le + -mekTurkish language_cell_10_9_1 to peepTurkish language_cell_10_9_2 Verb (infinitive)Turkish language_cell_10_9_3

Another example, starting from a verbal root: Turkish language_sentence_170

Turkish language_table_general_11

TurkishTurkish language_header_cell_11_0_0 ComponentsTurkish language_header_cell_11_0_1 EnglishTurkish language_header_cell_11_0_2 Word classTurkish language_header_cell_11_0_3
yat-Turkish language_cell_11_1_0 yat-Turkish language_cell_11_1_1 lie downTurkish language_cell_11_1_2 Verb (order)Turkish language_cell_11_1_3
yatmakTurkish language_cell_11_2_0 yat-makTurkish language_cell_11_2_1 to lie downTurkish language_cell_11_2_2 Verb (infinitive)Turkish language_cell_11_2_3
yatıkTurkish language_cell_11_3_0 yat- + -(ı)kTurkish language_cell_11_3_1 leaningTurkish language_cell_11_3_2 AdjectiveTurkish language_cell_11_3_3
yatakTurkish language_cell_11_4_0 yat- + -akTurkish language_cell_11_4_1 bed, place to sleepTurkish language_cell_11_4_2 NounTurkish language_cell_11_4_3
yatayTurkish language_cell_11_5_0 yat- + -ayTurkish language_cell_11_5_1 horizontalTurkish language_cell_11_5_2 AdjectiveTurkish language_cell_11_5_3
yatkınTurkish language_cell_11_6_0 yat- + -gınTurkish language_cell_11_6_1 inclined to; stale (from lying too long)Turkish language_cell_11_6_2 AdjectiveTurkish language_cell_11_6_3
yatır-Turkish language_cell_11_7_0 yat- + -(ı)r-Turkish language_cell_11_7_1 lay downTurkish language_cell_11_7_2 Verb (order)Turkish language_cell_11_7_3
yatırmakTurkish language_cell_11_8_0 yat- + -(ı)r-makTurkish language_cell_11_8_1 to lay down something/someoneTurkish language_cell_11_8_2 Verb (infinitive)Turkish language_cell_11_8_3
yatırımTurkish language_cell_11_9_0 yat- + -(ı)r- + -(ı)mTurkish language_cell_11_9_1 laying down; deposit, investmentTurkish language_cell_11_9_2 NounTurkish language_cell_11_9_3
yatırımcıTurkish language_cell_11_10_0 yat- + -(ı)r- + -(ı)m + -cıTurkish language_cell_11_10_1 depositor, investorTurkish language_cell_11_10_2 NounTurkish language_cell_11_10_3

New words are also frequently formed by compounding two existing words into a new one, as in German. Turkish language_sentence_171

Compounds can be of two types- bare and (s)I. Turkish language_sentence_172

The bare compounds, both nouns and adjectives are effectively two words juxtaposed without the addition of suffixes for example the word for girlfriend kızarkadaş (kız+arkadaş) or black pepper karabiber (kara+biber). Turkish language_sentence_173

A few examples of compound words are given below: Turkish language_sentence_174

Turkish language_table_general_12

TurkishTurkish language_header_cell_12_0_0 EnglishTurkish language_header_cell_12_0_1 Constituent wordsTurkish language_header_cell_12_0_2 Literal meaningTurkish language_header_cell_12_0_3
pazartesiTurkish language_cell_12_1_0 MondayTurkish language_cell_12_1_1 pazar ("Sunday") and ertesi ("after")Turkish language_cell_12_1_2 after SundayTurkish language_cell_12_1_3
bilgisayarTurkish language_cell_12_2_0 computerTurkish language_cell_12_2_1 bilgi ("information") and say- ("to count")Turkish language_cell_12_2_2 information counterTurkish language_cell_12_2_3
gökdelenTurkish language_cell_12_3_0 skyscraperTurkish language_cell_12_3_1 gök ("sky") and del- ("to pierce")Turkish language_cell_12_3_2 sky piercerTurkish language_cell_12_3_3
başparmakTurkish language_cell_12_4_0 thumbTurkish language_cell_12_4_1 baş ("prime") and parmak ("finger")Turkish language_cell_12_4_2 primary fingerTurkish language_cell_12_4_3
önyargıTurkish language_cell_12_5_0 prejudiceTurkish language_cell_12_5_1 ön ("before") and yargı ("splitting; judgement")Turkish language_cell_12_5_2 fore-judgingTurkish language_cell_12_5_3

However, the majority of compound words in Turkish are (s)I compounds, which means that the second word will be marked by the 3rd person possessive suffix. Turkish language_sentence_175

A few such examples are given in the table below (note vowel harmony): Turkish language_sentence_176

Turkish language_table_general_13

TurkishTurkish language_header_cell_13_0_0 EnglishTurkish language_header_cell_13_0_1 Constituent wordsTurkish language_header_cell_13_0_2 Possessive SuffixTurkish language_header_cell_13_0_3
el çantasıTurkish language_cell_13_1_0 handbagTurkish language_cell_13_1_1 el (hand) and çanta (bag)Turkish language_cell_13_1_2 +sıTurkish language_cell_13_1_3
masa örtüsüTurkish language_cell_13_2_0 tableclothTurkish language_cell_13_2_1 masa (table) and örtü (cover)Turkish language_cell_13_2_2 +süTurkish language_cell_13_2_3
çay bardağıTurkish language_cell_13_3_0 tea glassTurkish language_cell_13_3_1 çay (tea) and bardak (glass)Turkish language_cell_13_3_2 +ı (the k changes to ğ)Turkish language_cell_13_3_3

Writing system Turkish language_section_21

Main articles: Turkish alphabet and Turkish Braille Turkish language_sentence_177

Turkish is written using a Latin alphabet introduced in 1928 by Atatürk to replace the Ottoman Turkish alphabet, a version of Perso-Arabic alphabet. Turkish language_sentence_178

The Ottoman alphabet marked only three different vowels—long ā, ū and ī—and included several redundant consonants, such as variants of z (which were distinguished in Arabic but not in Turkish). Turkish language_sentence_179

The omission of short vowels in the Arabic script was claimed to make it particularly unsuitable for Turkish, which has eight vowels. Turkish language_sentence_180

The reform of the script was an important step in the cultural reforms of the period. Turkish language_sentence_181

The task of preparing the new alphabet and selecting the necessary modifications for sounds specific to Turkish was entrusted to a Language Commission composed of prominent linguists, academics, and writers. Turkish language_sentence_182

The introduction of the new Turkish alphabet was supported by public education centers opened throughout the country, cooperation with publishing companies, and encouragement by Atatürk himself, who toured the country teaching the new letters to the public. Turkish language_sentence_183

As a result, there was a dramatic increase in literacy from its original Third World levels. Turkish language_sentence_184

The Latin alphabet was applied to the Turkish language for educational purposes even before the 20th-century reform. Turkish language_sentence_185

Instances include a 1635 Latin-Albanian dictionary by Frang Bardhi, who also incorporated several sayings in the Turkish language, as an appendix to his work (e.g. alma agatsdan irak duschamas—"An apple does not fall far from its tree"). Turkish language_sentence_186

Turkish now has an alphabet suited to the sounds of the language: the spelling is largely phonemic, with one letter corresponding to each phoneme. Turkish language_sentence_187

Most of the letters are used approximately as in English, the main exceptions being ⟨c⟩, which denotes [dʒ] (⟨j⟩ being used for the [ʒ] found in Persian and European loans); and the undotted ⟨ı⟩, representing [ɯ]. Turkish language_sentence_188

As in German, ⟨ö⟩ and ⟨ü⟩ represent [ø] and [y]. Turkish language_sentence_189

The letter ⟨ğ⟩, in principle, denotes [ɣ] but has the property of lengthening the preceding vowel and assimilating any subsequent vowel. Turkish language_sentence_190

The letters ⟨ş⟩ and ⟨ç⟩ represent [ʃ] and [tʃ], respectively. Turkish language_sentence_191

A circumflex is written over back vowels following ⟨k⟩, ⟨g⟩, or ⟨l⟩ when these consonants represent [c], [ɟ], and [l]—almost exclusively in Arabic and Persian loans. Turkish language_sentence_192

The Turkish alphabet consists of 29 letters (q, x, w omitted and ç, ş, ğ, ı, ö, ü added); the complete list is: Turkish language_sentence_193

Turkish language_description_list_6

  • a, b, c, ç, d, e, f, g, ğ, h, ı, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, ö, p, r, s, ş, t, u, ü, v, y, and z (Note that capital of i is İ and lowercase I is ı.)Turkish language_item_6_22

The specifically Turkish letters and spellings described above are illustrated in this table: Turkish language_sentence_194

Turkish language_table_general_14

Turkish spellingTurkish language_header_cell_14_0_0 PronunciationTurkish language_header_cell_14_0_1 MeaningTurkish language_header_cell_14_0_2
CağaloğluTurkish language_cell_14_1_0 ˈdʒaːɫoːɫuTurkish language_cell_14_1_1 [İstanbul district]Turkish language_cell_14_1_2
çalıştığıTurkish language_cell_14_2_0 tʃaɫɯʃtɯˈɣɯTurkish language_cell_14_2_1 where/that (s)he works/workedTurkish language_cell_14_2_2
müjdeTurkish language_cell_14_3_0 myʒˈdeTurkish language_cell_14_3_1 good newsTurkish language_cell_14_3_2
lazımTurkish language_cell_14_4_0 laˈzɯmTurkish language_cell_14_4_1 necessaryTurkish language_cell_14_4_2
mahkûmTurkish language_cell_14_5_0 mahˈcumTurkish language_cell_14_5_1 condemnedTurkish language_cell_14_5_2

Sample Turkish language_section_22

Dostlar Beni Hatırlasın by Aşık Veysel Şatıroğlu (1894–1973), a minstrel and highly regarded poet in the Turkish folk literature tradition. Turkish language_sentence_195

Whistled language Turkish language_section_23

Main article: Turkish bird language Turkish language_sentence_196

In the Turkish province of Giresun, the locals in the village of Kuşköy have communicated using a whistled version of Turkish for over 400 years. Turkish language_sentence_197

The region consists of a series of deep valleys and the unusual mode of communication allows for conversation over distances of up to 5 kilometres. Turkish language_sentence_198

Turkish authorities estimate that there are still around 10,000 people using the whistled language. Turkish language_sentence_199

However, in 2011 UNESCO found whistling Turkish to be a dying language and included it in its intangible cultural heritage list. Turkish language_sentence_200

Since then the local education directorate has introduced it as a course in schools in the region, hoping to revive its use. Turkish language_sentence_201

A study was conducted by a German scientist of Turkish origin Onur Güntürkün at Ruhr University, observing 31 "speakers" of kuş dili ("bird's tongue") from Kuşköy, and he found that the whistled language mirrored the lexical and syntactical structure of Turkish language. Turkish language_sentence_202

Turkish computer keyboard Turkish language_section_24

Turkish language uses two standardised keyboard layouts, known as Turkish Q (QWERTY) and Turkish F, with Turkish Q being the most common. Turkish language_sentence_203

See also Turkish language_section_25

Turkish language_unordered_list_7

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish language.