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Lesson 1

The Turkish language is a member of the Turkic Group, which is a branch of the Uygur-Altaic Languages. It is very different from English which is a member of the Indo-European Languages. Being very different does not mean it is difficult. Soon we will see that it has simple and regular rules. We may describe Turkish as a language of suffixes; a word may have several suffixes. In English many ideas are expressed by adding another word to the sentence such as “can, if, not, was, are” etc., while in Turkish they appear as suffixes which are added to the stem word in a certain order. The Turkish alphabet has eight vowels and twenty-one consonants.

a        b        c        ç        d        e        f        g        ()     h        覺         i

j         k        l         m       n        o        ö        p       r        s                t

u        ü        v        y        z

There is no q, x or w in the alphabet.

 

Vowel Harmony

According to the position of the tongue in the mouth the vowels are divided as being high and low (Chart I) or as front and back (Chart II).

 

Chart I: High and Low Vowels



 

a

o

u

u

u

e

i

i

i

ö

ü

ü

ü

 

For some groups of suffixes we will have to use one of these four high vowels. Since there are four of them to  choose from, now on we will refer to them as 4. We may find them represented as "1 in some dictionaries and grammar books. Now we will choose a high vowel for our suffix and it will be one of the 4, (i, ü, 覺, u) but which one will it be? We need to look at the last vowel in the word. If the last vowel was e, as our suffix vowel we will choose the one that is right above it, so we choose "i". If the previous vowel was ö, our high vowel will be "ü". In the same way after “a “ it will be "覺", after o it will be "u". The corresponding suffix vowels are shown with arrows on Chart I. If the previous vowel was already one of the high vowels group, then it will be repeated in the suffix, such as after i, "i" again; after ü, we use ü" again; after 覺, we use "覺" again and after u, we use again we will use "u".

 

Chart II: Front and Back Vowels

The tongue is in the front part of the mouth for the front wovels and it’s in the back part of the mouth for the back wovels.

Chart 2:

 

a

a

a

o

a

u

a

e

e

i

e

ö

e

ü

e

 

 

The letters “i, ü, e, ö”, are in the Front Group of Vowels, which means that the tongue is in the front part of the mouth to make these sounds. The letters “覺, u, a, o”, are the Back Vowels. Now to determine which one to use in the suffix (e or a), we will look at the last vowel in the word. This word may be just a stem word or it may be a word to which one or more suffixes have already been attached. For us the last vowel is important. The last vowel belongs to either the front or back group of vowels and this will determine the suffix vowel. If the previous vowel was one of the Front ones  (e, i, ü, ö) then we will use “e” , if it was one of the Back vowels then we will use “a”. We will refer to the choice of “e” or “a” as 2. 

Some of the consonant letters are paired as being: Unvoiced or hard consonants, the others or Voiced or soft consonants.  The below given unvoiced consonants are paired with voiced (soft) consonants as:

(hard) unvoiced p b
unvoiced t
d
unvoiced k g,
unvoiced ç c
unvoiced f v

 

If a base (stem) word ends in a vowel and has a vowel beginning suffix the letter "y" must be inserted between the two vowels as a buffer letter.

In Turkish two vowels seldom come consecutively. If the word ends in a vowel and a suffix that begins with a vowel, “y” is used as a buffer letter. One important thing we must know is that, if the last letter is a vowel ending suffix, the buffer letter is not (y) but is (n). This occurs when the word ends in 3rd person singular poss. suffix -(s)4, or 3rd person plural poss. suffix -l2r4. Following these suffixes if a vowel beginning suffix has to be used then we know that automatically we have to use (n) as a buffer letter. The stem word ending in a vowel also takes (n) before using a genitive (possessor) Case Ending Suffix: Kapn覺n: of the door. We´ll see these when we learn the plural, possessive and genitive suffixes.

Another general rule is if a word is ending in a hard consonant letter  “p, ç, t, k, s, , f, h” and the suffix which will be used begins with the letter “d”, we use “t” instead of “d”. In the formulas from now on we´ll use capital letter "D", meaning after these hard or unvoiced consonant letters "d" will turn into "t". Again if a word consisting of more than one syllable is followed by a vowel suffix, changes occur. If the final letter is "p" it turns into "b".  In the same way "ç" will change to "c", and usually "t" to "d", and "k" to "". Soft g (yumuak g) is a glide, it is not pronounced, it usually lengthens the previous vowel. These we will see in some examples as we learn the suffixes in a simple way. At the moment we will not go into further detail as the aim of this little grammar reference book is to collect the suffix formulas together with short explanations.

  3:13 pm Edit

Example for Chart 1 : 
L4. means with li,l覺,lu,lü
Tuz +lu with salt 
eker+li with sugar 
ak覺l+l覺   ak覺ll覺: intelligent (ak覺l means mind)

sar覺msak: garlic  sar覺msakl覺: with garlic.

a isthe last vowel  a needs 覺 as suffixe.

su: water sulu with water. 

Accusative form (y)+4 ev+i evi görüyorum: I see the house. 

at: horse at覺 görüyorum: 覺 see the horse.


Example for Chart 2:

Plural tag: L2R  2:e or a .
Ev---evler --Houses 
at---atlar- --Horses 
mum----mumlar -candles 
Çiçek---çiçekler -flowers

inci-----inciler  -pearls

üzüm---üzümler - grapses

Dative form

Ali   Ali´ye

Ali´ye bak覺yorum: I´m looking at Ali

Aye´ye bak覺yorum: I´m looking at Aye.

Look at the case ending chapter for further explanations.


e is the last vowel e needs e as suffixe 


suada002, azrabos, demps, bobbyekm, alexandrabotez@ and 4 others liked this lesson


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