Since Turkish is an Altai language, it contains the basic features of the Altai language family. Turkish has a regular grammar on many issues. In addition, Turkish has a Latin-based phonetic alphabet.
Some other characteristic features of Turkish are as follows
- There is no grammatical gender category in Turkish. For example, different words are not preferred for 3rd personal pronoun, as in English. There are 3 different pronouns to 3rd personal pronoun in English: He, she and it. However, there are only z pronoun in Turkish. This is also the case with occupational names. When the “öğretmen” is said, this means both the female and the male teacher.
- Turkish is a language using suffixes. Words do not get prefixes. Prefixes such as anti, na, bi are used in Turkish grammar, but these prefixes have entered to Turkish from foreign languages. (For examples: anti-virüs “antivirus”, bi-haber “uninformed” etc.)
- Since Turkish is a suffix language, several additional can be used in a row. For example, in a contest held in 2017, thanks to dozens of additions brought to the word “muvaffak” in Arabic origin, the Word “muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesinesiniz” was chosen as the longest expression that can be derived in the world languages. This shows the importance of suffixes for Turkish.
- Since Turkish is a suffixed language, suffixes do not change the roots of the words like fusional languages. For example, when “-lük” suffix is added to the word göz, the root of the word does not change: göz “eye”, gözlük “glasses”.
- Uses common syntax of Turkish, Ural and Altaic languages. In other words, the syntax of Turkish is basically “subject-object and / or complement-predicate”.
- When making noun phrase in Turkish, the suffix of interest is used after the first word: kapının kolu “handle of the door” (kapı: door, kol: handle, +nın: the suffix of interest).
- It can be stated who is doing the work in the sentence with personal suffixes in Turkish. So it doesn’t always have to be a visible subject. For example, “Kapıyı açtım. (I opened the door.)” when said, a person pronoun is not required to be used.
- Turkish has palatal (great) vowel and labial vowel harmony. The great vowel harmony exists in other Altai languages other than Turkish. Labial vowel harmony has become evident in Turkish since the 17th century. However, both other Turkish dialects and many other Altaic languages do not have a labial vowel harmony.
- There is consonant harmony in Turkish. In other words, suffixes after p, ç, t, k consonants always begin with voiceless consonants. When p, ç, t, k consonants get a vowel after them, they become voiced consonant, meaning they soften. In this case, these sounds become b, c, d, ğ sounds. However, in order for this change of voice to occur, a vowel must exist before the voiceless consonant at the end of the word and the word must not be a single syllable.
- Turkish can take words from foreign languages. However, it does not accept the rules of foreign language knowledge, it does not receive additional from foreign languages. There are only a few exceptions to this situation. These appear in a limited number of examples, such as the completion structure taken from Persian (such as aşk-ı memnû “forbidden love”), the relative suffix +i taken from Arabic (such as ahlaki “ethical”), and the +ion suffix taken from French (such as atmasyon “bullshit”) etc.
- In Turkish, the question is mostly done with the “mı, mi, mu, mü” prepositions.
- In Turkish, passive, reflexive, reciprocal, transitivised and factitive voices are done with suffix.
Banguoğlu, T. (1974). Türkçenin grameri. Baha Matbaası.
Eker, S. (2010). Ünlülerin temel özellikleri üzerine birkaç not. Abant İzzet Baysal Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi, Semih Tezcan’a Armağan, p. 305-320.
Ergin, M. (1998). Türkçe dil bilgisi. Bayrak Yayınları, İstanbul.
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* Kılıç, Ensar (2020). Characteristic features of Turkish. Simit-Çay Edebiyat Etkinlikleri WEB, p. 1.