Turkish Interrogatives – Where?


When paired with the no longer productive directional suffix -re, ne forms the basis for nere which means ‘where’ in Turkish,
nere ora?
what-DIR that-DIR
‘where is there?’

-re/-ra are old directional suffixes from Turkic. They are no longer productive in modern Turkish, but they can still be found in fossilized forms in directional nouns such as bura, şura and ora (‘this, that, that (that) location’, respectively).

Nere will most often appear in the suffixed forms (especially locational ones) instead of the the plain one which is seldom used,
okulun nerede?
school-2S.POSS where-LOC
‘where is your school?’
nereden buldu?
where-ABL find-PT.3S
‘where did he/she/it find (it)?’
nereye taşınnız?
where-DAT move-PT-2PL
‘where did you move to?’
nerenin elma bunlar?
where-GEN apple-3S.POSS this-PL
‘where were these apples produced?’
nereleri gezdiniz?
where-PL-ACC visit-PT-2PL
‘what places did you visit?’
‘Where are you from?’

Although rarely used, equivalents of some of these suffixed location interrogatives also exists in English. i.e., nereye DAT ‘whither’, nerede LOC ‘where’ and nereden ABL ‘whence’.

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