The Nature of Turkish Language

Topics: Turkish language, Language, Vowel Pages: 10 (2354 words) Published: May 9, 2013
As a fluent Turkish speaker the language I have chosen to adopt is Turkish. Turkish belongs to the Altay branch of the Ural-Altay linguistic family. The languages of this family are called Altaic because they are believed to have originated in the high lands around the Altay Mountainsof Central Asia. The peoples of this region led a nomadic life. Turks, too, for centuries being nomads, took their language along where ever they moved. The Turkish language now stretches from the Mongolian lands and China to the present day Turkey. Findley, Carter V. (2004).

The far eastern border of the language now is where once the Turkish people have originated from. The Turkish language at present is being heavily spoken in the following countries and regions: Turkey, Northern Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Turkistan, Kazakistan, Kirgizistan, Tajikistan and so on. Linguistically Turkish is very closely related to Turkmen and related languages spoken in Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and etc. Turkish is also closely related to Finnish.

Through out the analysis of this particular language, comparisons will be made to the english language in order to get a feel of the similarities and differences between the two languages. Various subheadings have been prepared by myself, later then going into detail of the selected language. The turkish phonological inventory is a good staring point.


The Turkish vowel inventory is small and very symmetric. Eight phonemic vowels are grouped into four groups with respect to the features of height, backness and rounding. It's worth noting that no diphthongs can be found in the Turkish language. All vowels are shown in table 1, written with symbols according to the IPA conventions. The vowels of the native vocabulary in Turkish language are phonemically short. However, lengthening occurs as a result of borrowed words for example. For further details refer to [2].

The consonant inventory of Turkish shown in table [2] is very compact. The Turkish language does not allow consonant clusters. Native speakers tend to break up those clusters occurring in proper names and borrowed words by inserting vowels like in the Japanese language. The English word club for example is written in Turkish as 'klub' and is pronounced like /k u l y b/. The vowel insertion is applied according to the vowel harmony rules. (Rules whereby most vowel sounds in a word are made either in the front of the mouth or the back, but not both) Lewis, Geoffrey (2001).

Table 1: Turkish Vowel Inventory [IPA]


+ Back | | | | |
| - Back | + Back | - Back | |
+ high | v | u | i | |
- high | | o | e | a |



Table 2: Turkish Consonant Inventory [IPA]



Plosive | P b | | d t | | | k g | Nasal | m | | n | | | |
h Trill | | | r | | | |
Fricitive | | F v | sz | | | | Approximent | | | I | | j | | Affricitive | | | | | | |


Turkish is a language of suffix. There are no prefixes in Turkish however, under the influence of foreign languages some words with "prefix" came into use in Turkish. Those words were adopted into Turkish. Some of them found its equivalent in Turkish.

Such as ;

A [greek prefix]
Anormal ---> Abnormal
Aritmic ---> Arrhythmic

Suffixes are used very widely in the Turkish language and are often added...
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