Grammatical Number

Variants: -ler, -lar In Turkish, plurals are formed by suffixing nouns with -ler/-lar. As indicated previously appropriate variant is determined by the nature of the last vowel in the stem (see Vowel Harmony in Suffixes). That is, if the last vowel in the stem is a back vowel then the back vowel variant, -lar is …

Turkish Pronouns

There are six basic pronouns in Turkish. Singular ben ‘I’ sen ‘you’ o ‘he/she/it’ Plural biz ‘we’ siz ‘you’ onlar ‘they’ As you can deduce from the table above, Turkish lacks gender pronouns (he/she), instead o is used to refer to all third person singular subject and objects. Pronoun dropping (Pro-drop) Pronouns are almost always …

Vowel Harmony in Suffixes

In simple terms, suffixation refers to the process of attaching morphemes to stems. Most English speakers are familiar with this concept (or at least with the process). Some examples of suffixation in English include attaching -ing or -ed to verbs to express tense (e.g. baking and baked) and attaching -s/-es to nouns to form plurals …

Exceptions to Vowel Harmony Rules

Although most aspects of Turkish grammar are quite formulaic and fairly regular, as is the case with most languages, you will find exceptions to many of its rules. Just as with English irregular past tense or irregular plurals, motivations for the “irregular” forms are only available in historical context and no discernible rules or patterns …

Turkish Vowel Harmony

Vowel harmony refers to a special type of relationship between the vowels in a word. In this type of relationship, all the vowels in a word are alike each other (in harmony) based on some or all of their features. The rules that describe these relationships are called vowel harmony rules. These rules dictate how …

Turkish Consonants

Names of the consonants in Turkish are formed by suffixing an e /e/ sound at the end (e.g. be, ce, ke,…etc.). The consonants are usually described using three criteria: voiced or voiceless: describes weather the vocal cord is vibrated during articulation place of articulation: the part of the vocal tract where the air flow restriction …

Turkish Vowels

Turkish vowels are said to be of pure quality because there are no diphthongs in Turkish (some even call it boring). That is, the position of the tongue during the articulation of the vowel is fixed from the beginning to the end (no glide motion). This sometimes becomes an issue for English speakers (especially American …

The sounds and alphabet of Turkish

Turkish uses a Latin based script that was implemented in 1928. Because of its relatively recent adaptation, the alphabet, hence written Turkish is highly phonemic. That is, the pronunciation of letters (their corresponding phonemes, sounds) are mostly consistent across different contexts. In other words, there is a one to one relationship between a letter and …