Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexinNotTurkey

[Grammar] 4-way Vowel Harmony

AlexinNotTurkey
  • 25
  • 23
  • 21
  • 18
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 410

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

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/eagleartillery1

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

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tnel1
tnel1
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9

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
AlexinNotTurkey
Mod
  • 25
  • 23
  • 21
  • 18
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 410

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?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexinNotTurkey
AlexinNotTurkey
Mod
  • 25
  • 23
  • 21
  • 18
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 410

It is talked about in the Tips and Notes under the plural skill :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yelenicious
Yelenicious
  • 22
  • 20
  • 19
  • 39

How do you say 'vowel harmony' in Turkish?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/YakinAlan
YakinAlan
  • 17
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 7
  • 6

Ünlü Uyumu

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jzlcdh
jzlcdh
  • 13
  • 12

The graphic in your post does not appear - presume due to imgur being blocked in Turkey.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexinNotTurkey
AlexinNotTurkey
Mod
  • 25
  • 23
  • 21
  • 18
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 410

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

2 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.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexinNotTurkey
AlexinNotTurkey
Mod
  • 25
  • 23
  • 21
  • 18
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 410

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

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CurtisFowl
CurtisFowl
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4

Thank you this is very helpful.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RicardoGadelha
RicardoGadelha
  • 15
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
  • 188

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
AlexinNotTurkey
Mod
  • 25
  • 23
  • 21
  • 18
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 410

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
RicardoGadelha
  • 15
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
  • 188

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
chimak
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 7
  • 6
  • 2

thank you

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidBock9
DavidBock9
  • 20
  • 19
  • 12
  • 30

Thanks! Would it be possible to suggest a good Turkish-English dictionaryas well as an English-Turkish one?

1 month ago