Turkish Interrogatives

Content questions

Content questions in Turkish include the wh-, how and how many/much interrogatives. Unlike English, auxiliary verbs are not used to form content questions in Turkish. Phrases with interrogatives in absence of subordinate markers understood to be questions.

Turkish content question words are placed in situ. In other words, an interrogative goes into the same position in the sentence as the answer:
(sen) ne pişirdin?
(you) what cook-PT-2S
‘what did you cook?’
(ben) köfte pişirdim
(I) meatballs cook-PT-1S
‘I cooked meatballs’

but subject might be shifted to the end of the sentence for emphasis on the content question:
Q. Ne demiş Ahmet?
  what say-EVI.3S Ahmet
  ‘What DID Ahmet say?’
A. hayır demiş
  no say-EVI.3S
  ‘He has said no (I heard)’

or subject can be dropped altogether if it can be inferred from the context (see, Turkish Pro-Drop):
Ne demiş
what say-EVI.3S
‘What did (Ahmet) say?’

Content questions are subject to suffixation as well:
Hangileri daha iyi?
which-PL-ACC more good
‘which are the better ones?’
kimin o?
who-GEN that
‘whose is that?’

Negative content questions are formed by negating the verb,
kim gelmedi?
who come-NEG-PT.3S
‘Who didn’t come ?’

or using değil not:
hangisi mavi değil?
which-3S.POSS blue not
‘which one (of these) is not blue?’

Below is a list of Turkish content interrogatives:
Ne?what
Nere?where
Ne zaman?when
Hangi?which
Kim?who
Neden? or Niye?why
Nasıl?how
kaç?how many
ne kadar?how much

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