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Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:41 am by doktorK
Hi everyone!
My name is Keila. I'm from Brasil.
I would like to learn turkish language....
Can you help me? Very Happy

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Welcome to the Turkish forum!
Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:05 pm by Ghenwa
Hi everyone and welcome to the forum. This forum is dedicated to Turkey fans and admirers, that includes persons like Turks, their culture and history, and for persons that somehow are connected with Turkey or with the Turks.
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 Vowel Harmony

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Ghenwa
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PostSubject: Vowel Harmony   Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:17 pm

Major Vowel Harmony

Vowel harmony is one of the most fundamental and important aspects of Turkish grammar. Turkish words generally obey two vowel harmony rules, called the major vowel harmony and the minor vowel harmony. More important than the words obeying these rules, there are ways these rules change the vowels in the suffixes added to words. A good understanding of these rules is necessary to be able to use suffixes, hence to be able to make correct and meaningful sentences.

1. Major Vowel Harmony
The 8 vowels in the Turkish alphabet are separated into two groups called hard vowels and soft vowels. There are 4 hard vowels and 4 soft vowels.
Hard vowels: a, ı, o, u
Soft vowels: e, i, ö, ü

Words of Turkish origin generally (not always) have all hard or all soft vowels. This is just a generalization that you won't use for constructing Turkish words and sentences. Words that have hard and soft vowels together are said to violate the major vowel harmony. A word that violates the major vowel harmony probably has been adopted from another language or has been changed in the lifetime of the Turkish language.

A Turkish word is either a hard word or a soft word depending on its last vowel.

ev[home] is a soft word since its last and only vowel, e, is a soft vowel.

okul[school] is a hard word since its last vowel, u, is a hard vowel.

kahve[coffee] is a soft word since its last vowel, e, is a soft vowel.

meslek [job] SOFT
araba [car] HARD
güzel [beautiful] SOFT
yemek [food] SOFT
gülümse [smile] SOFT
çabuk [quick] HARD
gül [rose] SOFT
göl [lake] SOFT
telefon[telephone] HARD

Major vowel harmony states that:

* Any suffix appended to a hard word must have hard vowels
* Any suffix appended to a soft word must have soft vowels

As an example to this rule let's consider the suffix -de. When added to a noun, this suffix gives the meaning of "at/in the location expressed by that noun". When added to a soft word like ev[home], this suffix is -de. However, when added to a hard word like okul[school], the soft vowels in this suffix are replaced by their hard counterparts and the suffix becomes -da. Hence:

at home --> evde

at school --> okulda

in the car --> arabada

at the lake --> gölde


Last edited by Ghenwa on Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:10 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Vowel Harmony   Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:29 pm

2. Minor Vowel Harmony

We saw that the 8 vowels in the Turkish alphabet are divided into two groups as hard and soft vowels. Besides this grouping, the 8 vowels are divided into two groups as round vowels and flat vowels. There are 4 flat and 4 round vowels. A vowel's being round or flat is actually determined from the shape of the mouth when pronouncing that vowel, but it can also be seen in the shape of the capital characters.

Flat vowels: A, E, I, İ
Round vowels: O, Ö, U, Ü

A Turkish word is either a round word or a flat word depending on its last vowel.

ev[home] is a flat word since its last and only vowel, e, is a flat vowel.

okul[school] is a round word since its last vowel, u, is a round vowel.

kahve[coffee] is a flat word since its last vowel, e, is a flat vowel.

meslek [job] FLAT
araba [car] FLAT
güzel [beautiful] FLAT
yemek [food] FLAT
gülümse [smile] FLAT
çabuk [quick] ROUND
gül [rose] ROUND
göl [lake] ROUND
telefon [telephone] ROUND

Minor vowel harmony states that:

If a suffix starting with -i is appended to a round word, the -i in the suffix becomes -u or -ü. This depends on whether the word is hard or soft. The major vowel harmony and the minor vowel harmony apply to words simultaneously. This means:

* If a suffix starting with -i is added to a hard and round word, the -i in the suffix becomes -u.
okul --> school [a hard vowel]
suffix we will add is -im (gives the meaning my)
my school --> okulum [the suffix -im changes according to vowel harmonies and becomes -um]
* If a suffix starting with -i is added to a soft and round word, the -i in the suffix becomes -ü.
gül --> rose
suffix we will add is -im (gives the meaning my)
my rose --> gülüm [the suffix -im changes according to vowel harmonies and becomes -üm]

my telephone --> telefonum

my beautiful --> güzelim

my lake --> gölüm
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PostSubject: Re: Vowel Harmony   Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:45 pm

Vowel Rules

Besides the vowel harmony rules, there are other basic rules that affect the way suffixes are used. A vowel following another is never allowed in Turkish, and there are rules to avoid these situations when they occur as a result of other rules. There are also rules about consonant harmony, that make some consonants change in certain cases.

1. When two vowels come together

In Turkish, two vowels can never come together. So, what do we do when we need to add a suffix that starts with a vowel at the end of a word that ends with a vowel? There are two cases here:

1.1. Dropping a vowel

To say my house, you append the suffix meaning my (-im) to the word meaning house (ev). Simple enough, 'my house' --> evim.

You want to say 'my car'.
Car is araba and the suffix that gives the meaning my is -im. Change the suffix according to vowel harmony rules so that is can be appended to araba (a hard and flat word) and -im becomes -ım.

So, to put it together, my car becomes 'araba-ım = arabaım'. However, two vowels can not come together in Turkish. Trouble...

To avoid this, we drop one of the vowels in this case.
If both of the vowels are in the group "-i, -ı, -u, -ü" than these two vowels have to be the same (look at the vowel harmony rules to understand why). Since the two vowels are the same, it does not matter which one we drop in this case.

However, if one of the vowels is in the group "-i, -ı, -u, -ü" but the other is not (meaning that it is one of "a, e, o, ö") then generally the vowel in the group "-i, -ı, -u, -ü" is dropped. There are some exceptions to this, however, and these exceptions will be noted when necessary.
Applying these rules, 'my car' becomes 'arabam'.

1.2. Adding a fusion consonant in between

You are asked where you are going. You want to say "(to) home". Note that for home, the direction proposition is omitted in English but not in Turkish. Hence, you append the suffix giving the direction meaning (-e) to the word meaning home (ev) and your reply becomes "eve".

However, if you are going to the car and you want to tell this to your friend, life is not that simple for you:

* First, change the suffix -e according to vowel harmony rules according to araba and it becomes -a.
* Now, add this suffix -a at the end of our word araba, and get arabaa.

Two vowels together!! Drop one? Unfortunately, not this time.

In this case, we need to add a fusion consonant between the two vowels. There is not a simple rule to tell why. Sometimes one of the two vowels is dropped, sometimes one fusion consonant is added in between.
However, what you do is consistent for a given suffix. If you are adding the suffix -e to a word that ends with a vowel (like araba), you always add the fusion consonant 'y' in between. Saying 'to the car' then becomes arabaya.
Too much effort spent to say a very simple word? More to come. Let's practice on a few other words:

Coast --> Kıyı | To the coast --> Kıyı-e --> Kıyıya

Room --> Oda | To the room --> Oda-e --> Odaya

Ship --> Gemi | To the ship --> Gemi-e --> Gemiye

This may take some time to get used to, but you can sure do that. But unfortunately, that's not everything. The fusion consonant is not 'y' every time. 'y' is the most common one, so you can put 'y' whenever you don't remember which one to put, chances are high you'll be right. The other consonants that are sometimes used as fusion consonants are 's' and 'n'.

Let's see different cases where these fusion consonants are used:

- The suffix -i

If the suffix -i is used as the -i form of a noun, making it a direct object (like the in English), then the fusion consonant y is used.

araba-i sat -> araba-y-ı sat -> arabayı sat (sell the car)
yazı-i oku -> yazı-y-ı oku -> yazıyı oku (read the text)

If the suffix -i is used as the third person posessive (his-her-its), then the fusion consonant s is used.

araba-i -> araba-s-ı -> arabası (his-her-its car)
para-i -> para-s-ı -> parası (his-her-its money)
kedi-i -> kedi-s-i -> kedisi (his-her-its cat)

* Note that the word for water (su) is an exception for this case, the fusion consonant y is used with the word su (water).

su-i -> su-y-u -> suyu (his-her-its water)

- The suffix -e (direction suffix, adds the meaning of preposition to)

When the direction suffix -e is added to a word that ends with a vowel, the fusion consonant y is added in between.

araba-e -> araba-y-a -> arabaya (to the car)
konu-e -> konu-y-a -> konuya (to the topic)
pencere-e -> pencere-y-e -> pencereye (to the window)

- The suffix -in (gives the genitive meaning, like Andy's)

When the suffix -in is added to a word that ends with a vowel, the fusion consonant n is added in between.

araba-in -> araba-n-ın -> arabanın (of the car, the car's)
konu-in -> konu-n-un -> konunun (of the topic)
pencere-in -> pencere-n-in -> pencerenin (of the window)
ÖbrÇ * Note that the suffix -in is also used with the second person posessive meaning.

If the suffix -in used as second person possessive is added to a word that ends with a vowel, than the letter i of the suffix is dropped. The same is true for the first person possessive suffix, -im, first person plural possessive suffix, -imiz and second person plural possessive suffix, -iniz.

araba-im -> araba-m -> arabam (my car)
kedi-in -> kedi-n -> kedin (your cat)
kapı-imiz -> kapı-mız -> kapımız (our door)
para-iniz -> para-nız -> paranız (your (plural) money)
pencere-im -> pencere-m -> pencerem (my window)

There are also other uses of fusion consonants besides separating two vowels.

- The suffix -le (with, by)

When the suffix -le is added to a word that ends with a vowel, the fusion consonant y is added in between.

araba-le git -> araba-y-la git -> arabayla git (go by car)
kedi-le oyna -> kedi-y-le oyna -> kediyle oyna (play with the cat)
gemi-le gel -> gemi-y-le gel -> gemiyle gel (come by ship)

- The suffix -de (location, like propositions at, in, on) and the suffix -den (proposition from)

When the suffix -de or -den is added to a word as the first suffix, no fusion consonant is used. But when one of -de or -den/ is added to a word that already has a suffix or a series of suffixes that end with a vowel, the fusion consonant n is added in between.

araba-de -> araba-da -> arabada (in the car)
kedi-den -> kediden (from the cat)
araba-si-de -> araba-sı-n-da -> arabasında (in his-her-its car)
kedi-in-ki-den -> kedi-n-in-ki-n-den -> kedininkinden (from the cat's)
gemi-leri-den -> gemi-leri-n-den -> gemilerinden (from their ship)
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