Allophones of "e"

Discussion in 'Türkçe (Turkish)' started by Arabus, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. Arabus Senior Member

    United States
    Arabic-Aleppo
    Hello,

    The letter transcribed e seems to have two allophones or sounds, one of them being closer to [æ] than the regular sound of e.

    The open sound [æ] seems to occur in certain words. Sometimes the two sounds seem to alternate in one word (e.g. the word defter pronounced [deftær]).

    I don't know if these two sounds alternate freely or if there is some rule for them. I assume that they are free variants since they are transcribed by the same symbol in the alphabet.
     
  2. maxguncel

    maxguncel Senior Member

    Turkish
    We never sound /e/ like /æ/

    Defter
    - these /e/ sounds both the same /e/
     
  3. Serafim.

    Serafim. New Member

    Istanbul
    Turkish
    Even if there is one letter stands for E in Turkish alphabet , in fact there are two kind of "e" vowel in Turkish language and they are not similiar to Arabic أ sound or english "a" as in "cat" at all. However Azerbaijanis distinguish two type "e" in their alphabet.

    If e exists in a clossed syllable we call it opened e as in Sen (you). If e exists in an opened syllable we call it clossed e as in "sekiz"(se-kiz =eight). They sound like french é and ê.
     
  4. Black4blue

    Black4blue Senior Member

    Türkiye
    Turkish/Türkçe
    Completely wrong.
    Most of the e letters in Turkish are pronounced as /ɛ/.
    And we rarely pronounce it as /e/ like what Serafim said.
    And yeah, it gets like /æ/ sometimes before the letter r.

    Hope it helps.
     
  5. Arabus Senior Member

    United States
    Arabic-Aleppo
    Thank you all.

    I am pretty sure that Truks do prounounce e as [æ]. In Syria people are taught to pronounce Turkish e always as Arabic a (which sounds [æ] by most speakers); but English references say that Turkish e sounds [e]. I think though that Black4blue is right when he says that it is rather pronounced [ɛ].

    I think that Turkish e was originally pronounced [æ] (as it is obvious from the Arabic and Persian loans in Turkish; for example, defter is pronounced [dæftær] in Arabic). This is also the reason why people in Syria are taught to pronounce Turkish e as [æ]. The raising of Turkish [æ] to [ɛ] (and then possibly to [e]) must be recent, since it is still incomplete.

    The rule
    Serafim gave sounds reasonable, although it does not explain [dɛftær]. The rule Black4blue gave sounds better, but it must be expanded to include at least /n/ (I am sure sen is pronounced [sæn]). I have to be careful listening to see if it also includes /l/ and /m/.

    Teşekkür ederim.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  6. Serafim.

    Serafim. New Member

    Istanbul
    Turkish
    Dear all,

    The vowels e in defter are pronounced just like e in "SEN" since the both syllable in def-ter are clossed syllable which fits exactly in the formula I wrote above. There is not æ sound in Turkish. Æ is a very rude to turkish ears as well.
     
  7. Eline0909 Senior Member

    Romanian
    Rallino explained this in march 2009, under the title pronounciation in Turkish.

    My opinion is that, there are two diffreent pronounciations of e but I would say that majority of Turkish people do not really attach importance to this and I am even sure that many of them are not even aware of this subtle difference.
     
  8. maxguncel

    maxguncel Senior Member

    Turkish
    It said to myselft many times defter, sen and the other words with e in Turkish but they all sound the same. I think you're making it difficult.

    /æ/ sound in the word cat has noting to do with the sound in the word defter.
     
  9. Eline0909 Senior Member

    Romanian
    Try with evet!

    Some people use open e in the first syllable, some closed. But most of the Turks use closed e. I do not think you have ever thought of it because the diffrence is subtle and it does not happen every day.
     
  10. Arabus Senior Member

    United States
    Arabic-Aleppo
    I think Black4blue got it right. /e/ sounds [æ] before /r/ and /n/. This is not uncommon in languages.

    It would be written this way in transformational phonology:

    /ɛ/ ----> [æ] / ____ {/r/, /n/}
     
  11. Arabus Senior Member

    United States
    Arabic-Aleppo
    It is natural for Turkish speakers not to realize the difference, because these two sounds are one phoneme (letter). In Arabic, however, /ɛ/ is a different phoneme from /æ/. So the alternation between the two sounds strikes heavily on the ears of an Arabic speaker.

    On the other hand, the sounds of Turkish a and e ([æ] as Arabic speakers are taught) are two variants of one phoneme in Arabic; so confusion between the two is common for an Arabic speaker learning Turkish.
     
  12. maxguncel

    maxguncel Senior Member

    Turkish
    I tried it with evet, but no difference.

    Maybe I'm wrong but I still think, in Turkish we have only one /e/ sound.
     
  13. Arabus Senior Member

    United States
    Arabic-Aleppo
    What about erkekler? These two sound different from telefon, right?

    Perhaps there is regional variation.
     
  14. macrotis Senior Member

    İstanbul
    Turkish
    I agree with maxguncel. There's no æ sound for e in standard Turkish.

    I pronounce all of them with the same e sound.

    That or to a funny effect.
     
  15. Arabus Senior Member

    United States
    Arabic-Aleppo
    Can you or maxguncel upload a sound clip so that I hear how you pronounce them?
     
  16. macrotis Senior Member

    İstanbul
    Turkish
    I think TRT (Turkish Radio Television) news reporters may help more than I can. Here you can choose to watch or listen online TV or radio broadcasts.
     
  17. Arabus Senior Member

    United States
    Arabic-Aleppo
    Well, I have heard a lot of native Turkish speakers. This was how I noticed the allophony.
     
  18. Black4blue

    Black4blue Senior Member

    Türkiye
    Turkish/Türkçe
    Let me tell you how to realize the difference easily.
    Try to say "geliyorum" few times and then while you're saying it, stop at the end of "gel-". You will see how close the e in geliyorum is.
    Then do the opposite one. Try to say gel (normal gel) and then suddenly add "-iyorum" after it. You will again see how open the e in gel is.
     
  19. Black4blue

    Black4blue Senior Member

    Türkiye
    Turkish/Türkçe
    Bunun dışına bir şeyi tekrar söyleyeim. Türkçedeki e harfelerinin çoğu /ɛ/, /e/ değil. (Bu söylediğim æ sesiyle ilgili değil, o konuda daha sonuca varmadık) Bu site de dahil bazı yerlerde yaptığım düzeltmeleri yanlış sanıp tekrar e'ye çeviriyor ponetik alfabeyi bildiğini sanan bazı kişiler. IPA'daki (uluslararası fonetik alfabe) /e/ sesi Türkçedekine göre daha, hatta bayağı bir kapalıdır. Almanya'ya göçmenlerimiz e'leri hep kapalı söylerler ya, işte /e/ sesi odur.
    Aradaki farkı daha iyi anlayabilmeniz için Youtube'da german alphabet yazıp çıkan videoları izlemenizi öneririm. A, be, tse ... derken e'leri (/e/) nasıl kapalı söylediklerini göreceksiniz.


    Æ konusuna gelince; r'den önceki e harflerinin Türkçe'de æ'ye dönüştüğünü düşünüyorum hala. Mesela okulumdaki bir öğretmen r'den önceki e'leri açmıyor, "yeter" dediğinde ilk e'yle ikincisini aynı şekilde söylüyor, gerisi gülme krizi. :D
    Avusturya Almancasında da kelimelere (mesela lernen) bakarsanız onların da kapalı e ile söylediklerini ve Türkçeye ne kadar zıt olduğunu görürsünüz.
     
  20. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    Erzincan
    Turkish
    There is general rule for when and how to pronunce each e.

    Most e's are closed apart from the rule below:

    In the same syllable, if the e is follwed by: r, l, m or n. The "e" is open.

    Ex:

    Sen, the "e" is followed by "n", therefore pronunced: sæn.

    Let's make it accusative:

    Seni, the syllables are: Se-ni, the "e" is not follwed by an "n" in the same syllable. Thus: closed.

    There are a few exceptions of course. For instance the word "renk" is pronunced with a closed n, although it is follwed by an "n". But I'm guessing this rule can still help you out.
     
  21. Arabus Senior Member

    United States
    Arabic-Aleppo
    Thanks. So this is a combination of the rules Serafim and Black4blue mentioned.

    I can't say anything about renk, but one thing that comes to mind is that the n in this case may be velar rather than frontal. Also renk is double-closed. I don't know which is the reason.
     
  22. yavuzotar Member

    Tekirdağ
    Turkish
    There is one closed 'e' and another open 'e' in Turkish.

    The 'e' in 'erik' is a closed one, but the first 'e' in 'ertesi' is an open one.
     

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