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On Pronouns
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1.       Abla
3647 posts
 09 Oct 2011 Sun 02:46 pm

I was going to ask what is the difference between biri and birisi but I found it somewhere else. So I´m not asking.


Edited (10/9/2011) by Abla

2.       si++
3785 posts
 09 Oct 2011 Sun 04:54 pm


Quoting Abla

I was going to ask what is the difference between biri and birisi but I found it somewhere else. So I´m not asking.



Don´t keep it to yourself. Share what you have found with us.

basima liked this message
3.       Abla
3647 posts
 09 Oct 2011 Sun 07:51 pm

Most of the indefinite, deternative and negative pronouns are formed by adding a third person suffix to an adjective. Thus bir ‘a, one’ is an adjective (bir adam gitti) but biri is a pronoun (adamlardan biri gitti, biri kaldı ´one of the men left, one stayed´. In bir-i-si the possessive suffix is doubled. Biri and birisi may also mean ‘someone’.

Where the 3rd person possessive suffix refers is an interesting question and in my opinion a typical feature in Turkish language. When there is no obvious correlate the suffix refers to people at large, a ‘they’ as a vague, the idea of people.

According to the earlier threads on this site natives do not clearly agree if there is a difference in meaning between biri and birisi. Someone says the second suffix makes the pronoun more formal, refers to the speaker’s and the listener’s common knowledge. Both biri and birisi can be used for people but birisi more likely refers to a person. Birisi cannot take the plural suffix –ler.

If I was asked (of course I am not asked) all this fuzziness refers to one thing: birisi has developed accidentally on the basis of analogy. (It is against morphological principles, it has a defective paradigm and it doesn’t answer a certain need in language but rather competes of living space with a pronoun which is almost alike.)

Edited (10/9/2011) by Abla
Edited (10/10/2011) by Abla

Mavili liked this message
4.       Abla
3647 posts
 12 Oct 2011 Wed 03:01 pm

There are excercises on determinative, negative and indefinite pronouns in Beginner 2 Class in this website. Much too early. I remember trying to fill the gaps a year ago, and it was mostly guessing. At that time, I just gave up and left the issue. I thought returning to these questions later would open the lock somehow. It´s not enough to know what a certain pronoun root means, you also have to know something about possessive suffixes, compounds and sentence structure in general, because these pronouns often adapt grammatically to their surroundings.

(I looked at the same test again a couple of days ago and knew what to choose this time. Well, almost...)

One of the mysterious pronouns was hep- and all that goes under it.

Hep as and adverb means ´always, entirely´: Köpeğimiz hep ayak altında ´Our dog is always underfoot´, Reklam panolarında hep kırmızı renk kullanılmış ´In the advertisement panels entirely red colour was used´. Hep becomes a pronoun when personal suffixes are added into it: hepimiz ’all of us’, hepiniz ’all of you’. As a pronoun we can conjugate it as we like: Hepimizin varlık sepebi annelerimiz ‘The reason for all of us to exist is our mothers’, Hepinize çok teşekkür ediyorum ‘Thank you so much to all of you.’

The 3rd person sg is hepsi. To be accurate, the possessive suffix is doubled in hepsi also, but the first -i- has been lost on the road: *hep-i-si. We usually see it as the second half of a compound: Ankara’ya giden otobüslerin hepsi dolu ‘All the buses that were going to Ankara were full’, Bunların hepsi benim ‘All of these are mine’, Bu kazaların hepsi Ankara’da oldu ‘All these accidents happened in Ankara’. It also happens that the other part of the compound is not visible and the possessive suffix refers to something that the listener is supposed to understand Hepsi güzel ‘All (of them) are beautiful’. In an old translation request I found ben sadece eski bir dostu özledim hepsi o ‘I just missed an old friend, that’s all (of it).’  I googled hepsi and got a hundred pages of hits about a famous R&B girl band whose name maybe should be translated ‘all of it/them’.

The reader must wonder by now what this woman is doing. Nothing. I’m just thinking to myself. Maybe writing down what I found out would be beneficial for other learners, too. (I got the idea from si++’s comment.) Of course I hope one of the learned members bothered to correct my mistakes.

Edited (10/12/2011) by Abla

5.       si++
3785 posts
 12 Oct 2011 Wed 03:42 pm

You´re doing good. Kind of your own blogging here.


As for hepsi, it has plural meaning when it refers to countable things:


hepimiz = all of us

hepiniz = al of you

hepsi = all of them


And it means "all of it" when it refers to uncountable things.


So we don´t say something like "hepsileri" that would be 3 possessive suffixes one after another. We would have "hepileri" if it was necessary, which we don´t.


Strangely google returns some results for "hepsileri" but I guess that is related to that music group.

6.       Abla
3647 posts
 20 Oct 2011 Thu 09:13 am

My acquaintance with kendi has been a difficult one. This is probably because its deceptive similarity with the English reflexive myself, yourself, himself… As soon as the learner falls asleep strange uses of kendi pop up from various texts and she realizes there are still a few eureka moments to come before this flexible pronoun is under control.

The first moment is there when you notice that there is an adjective kendi and a pronominal kendi which is the case with so many Turkish pronouns. Aha, that’s why you so often see it unconjugated. The adjective kendi simply means ‘own’. It takes the role of an attribute like any other adjective, but I don’t think you can ever see it as a predicative. That’s because it doesn’t carry an independent meaning. As an adjective it doesn’t show who the owner is, that is done by genitive case + possessive suffixes in the governing noun, kendi just stresses the quality of its main word as being someone’s own.

As soon as a possessive suffix is fixed to kendi we are talking about pronouns. The learner must notice that the form kend|i is already possessed by 3rd person singular and even though you feel like adding another suffix –si to the end it’s not necessary (but not wrong either, I guess). Respectively, as kendi is already seen as a derived form it takes the pronominal –n- between the possessive suffix and the case ending.

But we are not done yet. As a reflexive pronoun, kendi conjugates perfectly in person and case. Bu hata kendimin. ‘This is a mistake that I made myself/my own mistake.’ Neden kendinizi bu kadar üzüyorsunuz? ‘Why do you get so upset yourself?” There is also an adverb derived from the same stem kendimce, kendince… ‘in one’s (own) opinion’.

kendi is often used as an emphatic pronoun. What gives it special strength is reduplication of the stem: Çocuk kendi kendini yıkamadı ‘The child washed himself (with his own hand)’. We must notice that this structure only works when there is a case ending in the second part of it: *kendi kendim is not a valid form for ‘myself’. Sometimes a dative form is used in places where you might expext nominative: Bu aptal kararı kendi kendine verdin ‘You made this stupid decision on your own’, Adaya kendi kendime yüzdüm ‘I in my own person swam to the island’. In these cases the translation might be ‘for one’s own account, personally’. Of course kendi- can be used alone, too, but then you don’t need a dative ending: Adaya kendim yüzdüm.

Sometimes it seems to me that kendi is used as a grammatical hanger, a quiet servant to the sentence structure. If you have extra suffixes in your hands and don’t know where to put them, kendi may come to help. Neden kendisinden korkuyorsun? ‘What are you afraid of?’ sounds odd in the learner’s ear: yes, we got used to seeing ablative ending close to korkmak but normally fixed to the stem which refers to the thing one is afraid of. But it seems that kendi- can make itself small enough to carry the ending without causing trouble in understanding.

Maybe this is the reason why the whole meaning of kendi- is difficult to catch. In some cases it can strongly emphasize a sentence constituent and in other cases it can hardly be seen.

basima and lana- liked this message
7.       Abla
3647 posts
 21 Oct 2011 Fri 04:56 pm

A small question:

İki/çok kız okula gitti

isn’t it?


(Kızların) ikisi/çoğu okula gitti OR gittiler?

8.       si++
3785 posts
 21 Oct 2011 Fri 05:10 pm


Quoting Abla

A small question:

İki/çok kız okula gitti

isn’t it? Yes it is.


(Kızların) ikisi/çoğu okula gitti OR gittiler? Both are OK 



9.       Mavili
236 posts
 21 Oct 2011 Fri 09:44 pm

hi Abla!Smile I have missed reading your topics lately for trying to focus on my pre Algebra class work, as this is the 2nd time taking that and I don´t want to have to do it again{#emotions_dlg.eeek} {#emotions_dlg.pray} Ive only been able to work a little bit of Turkish during lunches to keep from forgetting.


I am not yet knowledged in the ways that  -kendi is used and I have been wanting to learn that too. Thank you for the good information you posted! I hear it all the time when I listen to spoken Turkish and I know it has to do with the the "self" like how its used in the phrase "kendine iyi bak" though I know what that means. I have also heard what sounds like "kendi kendine" ?  But I can´t figure out what it is repeated like that.


edit; btw, Abla I often get good notes from your topics actually. I think its because you ask very good questions. I sort of combine what you write and what the native Turkish speakers do to to correct, or add any information. And I actually write down notes because I don´t have any true Text books. So I am glad you started this and other topics Smile

Edited (10/21/2011) by Mavili

10.       Abla
3647 posts
 21 Oct 2011 Fri 10:16 pm

Hello, sweet Mavili. I noticed you have been absent. I hope you succeed in your studies.

Don´t take this thread as a lesson. It´s mostly a description of my own working on a certain subject. For sure you can find many better lessons on kendi and other pronouns. But to be honest, I myself never found the perfect description, and that´s why I am trying to collect my information from many sources. I have asked TC teachers to look through my text to avoid the worst handicaps but it´s still a learner´s text and should be taken as one.

In addition to its normal reflexive function like myself, yourself etc. in English it is also used for emphasis and this is one thing that confuses the learner sometimes. You see, it´s like the English reflexive and still there is something more to it.


Edited (10/21/2011) by Abla [Added something important]

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