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Vowel Harmony

In Turkish, words generally obey two main vowel harmony rules. Those are called Büyük Ünlü Uyumu (Major Vowel Harmony) and Küçük Ünlü Uyumu (Minor Vowel Harmony). As it is known, Turkish is an agglutinative language. Thats why, a good understanding of these rules is neccessary to use the suffixes properly. 


 

- Major Vowel Harmony 

 

As it is known, Turkish Alphabet has 8 vowels. Those vowels can be classificated into two types based on the situation of the tongue, called Kal覺n Ünlüler (Back Vowels) and 襤nce Ünlüler (Soft Vowels). There are 4 back vowels and 4 soft vowels.

 

Kal覺n Ünlüler

a, 覺, o, u

襤nce Ünlüler

e, i, ö, ü

 

If the first syllable of the word has a back vowel (a,覺,o,u), other vowels of the word should be back vowels too.

 

aaç, ad覺m, a覺z, boyun, bal覺k, çocuk, dalga ….

 

If the first syllable of the word has a soft vowel (e,i,ö,ü), other vowels of the word should be soft vowels too.

 

eri, eek, öküz, üzüm, gözlük, yüzük, tezek

 

 - Advanced Notes For Major Vowel Harmony

 

1- Most Turkish original words obey this rule. But there are some exceptions.

anne, dahi, elma, hangi, hani, inanmak, karde, iman

2- Generally  foreign words dont obey this rule.

            ahenk, badem, ceylan, çiroz, dükkân, fidan, gazete, hamsi, kestane, limon, model, niasta, pehlivan, selam, tiyatro, viraj, ziyaret

3- Generally united words dont obey this rule.

            aç覺kgöz (aç覺k+göz), bilgisayar(bilgi+sayar), çekyat(çey+yat), han覺meli(han覺m+eli)

4-  Some suffixes (-gil, -ken, -leyin, -mtrak, -yor, -ki) dont obey this rule.

            akam-leyin, bakla-­gil-ler, çal覺覺r-ken, eki-mt覺rak, yürü-yor , akam-ki

 

- Minor Vowel Harmony 

As it is known, Turkish Alphabet has 8 vowels. Those vowels can be classificated into two types based on the situation of the lips, called Düz Ünlüler (Flat Vowels) and Yuvarlak Ünlüler (Round Vowels). There are 4 flat vowels and 4 round vowels.

 

Düz Ünlüler

a, e, 覺, i

Yuvarlak Ünlüler

o, ö, u, ü

 

If the first syllable of the word has a flat vowel (a,e,覺,i), other vowels of the word should be flat vowels too.

 

anlamak, kay覺kç覺, yelek, bilek, deli, sesli …

 

If the first syllable of the word has a round vowel (o,ö,u,ü), the first following vowel of the word should be close round vowels (u,ü) or wide flat vowels (a,e). That means “o” and “ö” can only be at the first syllable of a word. (Sure there are some exceptions as horoz)

dourmak, üzüm, boum, öküz,  yumurta, yoklamak, boazlamak …

 

 

- Advanced Notes For Minor Vowel Harmony

1- Most Turkish original words obey this rule. But there are some exceptions.

            avuç, avurt, çamur, kabuk, kavuk, kavun, kavur-, kavu-, savur-, yamur

2- Generally  foreign words dont obey this rule.

            aktör, alkol, bandrol, daktilo, doktor, horoz, kabul, kitap, konsolos, muz覺r, mühim, mümin, müzik, profesör, radyo, vakur

3- The –ki suffix is obey this rule for just some few words.  (bugün, dün, öbür)

bugünkü, dünkü, öbürkü

4- If you add suffixes to the words which are not obeying the Soft Vowel Harmony,  these suffixes will obey the last vowel of those words.

           kavun-u, konsolos-lu-u, mümin-lik, müzik-çi, yamur-luk

 


Ashendy, Salma G. and alexandrabotez@ liked this lesson


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