https://www.duolingo.com/AlexinNotTurkey

[Grammar] 4-way Vowel Harmony

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In Turkish, vowels within a (native) word and any suffixes that are attached to said word must obey vowel harmony rules. This means that vowels tend to either be the same or similar, making words easier to pronounce than they may look.

There are two types of vowel harmony in Turkish, 4-way and 2-way. Vowel harmony is one of the biggest aspects of Turkish phonology and it is fundamental part of learning the language. With practice, you will start to be able to do much of this work without thinking.

The accusative case is one of many suffixes that uses 4-way vowel harmony. We will use this case as our example, but remember that it pops up in many other places and will be represented with a -I (capital i) in our course.

In order to figure out what may go on the end, you will have to look at the final vowel in the word.

REMEMBER: Turkish is not a perfect language without exceptions. There are many words (all of foreign origin) that do not follow vowel harmony. Some of these words are quite common, and any good dictionary will tell you that they are exceptions (keep in mind, many online dictionaries are not good). Some examples of this are: Saat (hour/clock) - Saati (acc.) // Terminal (station) - Terminali (acc.) // Alkol (alcohol) - Alkolü (acc.)

3 years ago

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/tnel1
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I love the term "vowel harmony". It makes me feel like I am making beautiful linguistic music. ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexinNotTurkey
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Because you are making beautiful linguistic music! This is my favorite thing about Turkish...everything flows so nicely and the sounds work with each other to make things easier to pronounce and more beautiful :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SheriefElg

Excuse me Mr. Alex, would you present the 2-way vowel harmony? It's very essential to begginers like me?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexinNotTurkey
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It is talked about in the Tips and Notes under the plural skill :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eagleartillery1

So informative. Where's my notebook?? :p

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yelenicious

How do you say 'vowel harmony' in Turkish?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/YakinAlan
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Ünlü Uyumu

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jzlcdh
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The graphic in your post does not appear - presume due to imgur being blocked in Turkey.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexinNotTurkey
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That might be it, seeing as we create our images on imgur. There is sadly nothing we can do about this. :/

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TrevelElli

Vowel harmony is simple enough although I don't understand how to know which suffix is 2-way harmony and which is 4-way.

Help would be really appreciated.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexinNotTurkey
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You really just have to memorize it with the suffix. There isn't really any advice I can give here! :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CurtisFowl
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Thank you this is very helpful.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RicardoGadelha
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I was actually feeling annoyed with "guessing" the correct vowel, but after I learned how the pattern functions, I am absolutely loving how vowel harmony works. It's not hard at all :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexinNotTurkey
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Just remember that loanwords sometimes break the rules. Otherwise, it is completely regular for native Turkish words (and most loanwords)!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RicardoGadelha
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Teşekkürler :) Will try my best to memorize the exceptions. I'm having lots of fun with Turkish, and vowel harmony is a huge part of that fun!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chimak
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thank you

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidBock9
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Thanks! Would it be possible to suggest a good Turkish-English dictionaryas well as an English-Turkish one?

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fikret380513

Yep, thanks!

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SMILEforLIFE7

Thanks this really helped me

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tjasonham
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Can someone explain the difference between 4-way and 2-way vowel harmony? or why they're named 2-way and 4-way? I'm sure it's obvious to a serious learner or a Turkish speaker but I can't find it anywhere in the notes so it's making casual learning a bit frustrating, haha.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jzlcdh
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I am sure someone else will give a better explanation than I can but meanwhile if you are thinking of studying to intermediate level you might want to order "The Turkish Language explained for English Speakers" by John Guise (WARNING: THIS BOOK IS NOT SUITABLE FOR BEGINNERS)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ysfky99

I am a Turkish. But I dont know this. Already for Turkishs this informations isnt necessary. So i am speaking Turkish very well. :)) By the way Turkish is too hard language for foreign people. :((

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/icadjokic

Do not discourage us :D everything can be learned if you work hard :)))

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ysfky99

I'm sorry for discourage you :(( But I didn't said "Learning Turkish is impossible!". I just said "Turkish is hard".

3 years ago
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