Stress Patterns in Turkish

Discussion in 'Türkçe (Turkish)' started by donkeyglot, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. donkeyglot

    donkeyglot New Member

    Hello everyone,
    I'm teaching myself some Turkish and I'm having some troubles trying to understand where should I stress words.
    I've already looked through this forum and I understood that stress is generally on the last vowel except for some patterns.
    But what I really wonder is where should I put the stress in inflected words.
    In words stressed on the last syllable, does the stress stay on the last syllable (which is now the declension suffix itself)?
    E.G.: elMA > elmaYA, I presume?
    But what about other words?
    LoKANta > loKANtaya or lokantaYA?
    And what about the possessive suffix -si in compounds? This one is my biggest dilemma!
    E.G.: where is the stress in "Galata KULESİ" or "Babamın ARABASI"?
    I know stress is not important in Turkish phonology, but I'd like to have a clue where to emphasize words, in order to be understood at least! Plus my book is not helpful at all, it even says that I should pronounce "konuŞUyor" instead of "konuşuYOR".
    Size çok teşekkürler, hope my questions are not too silly!
  2. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    Hello, welcome to the forums :)

    For the words that have their stress on their final syllable in the nominative form, each time you add a new suffix, that new suffix will carry the stress.
    Ex: araba → arabanın → arabanınki
    If the word doesn't have a stress on the final syllable, then it's a stable stress: lokanta → lokantanın → lokantanınki ; Ankara → Ankara'nın etc.

    Verb to be in its suffix form never carries the stress
    Ex: öğretmen → öğretmenim (I am a teacher)
    Compare this with: öğretmenim (My teacher)

    3. Negation suffix -me- never carries the stress; instead, it shifts the stress to the syllable before itself:
    Ex: yaptım (I did) → yapmadım (I didn't do)

    4. Present continuous suffix -iyor has the stress on the -i part. So your book is correct:
    Ex: konuşuyorum.
    Of course if you have it in negative, then rule #3 is applied: yapmıyorum.

    Galata Kulesi
    Babamın araba

    See if these will help.
  3. donkeyglot

    donkeyglot New Member

    Thank you really much, this was all very helpful :)
    Although I'm still quite doubtful about -iyor-: I've carefully listened to some audio supports (e.g. dialogues) and they said okuYOR and konuşuYOR.

    Only one more question: Is it really yapTIM? My handbook says YAPtım, as far as I've understood. It says suffix -di- shifts the stress before itself.
  4. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    It may be a regional thing, but as far as I know in standard speech, it is really okúyor; konuşúyor and yaptím.
    That's how I say these, at least, but perhaps other native speakers can butt in if they're pronuncing them differently.

    In the end, though, the stress in Turkish is nowhere as "apparent" as it is in Italian or Greek. It is very subtle, and in most cases it's a tough cookie to find it in a word. So don't sweat about it too much.
  5. sophistes New Member

    The case suffixes, as well as the possessive pronoun suffixes alter the word stress on the suffixes themselves (last syllable). In some proper names (towns, people etc.) and some non Turkic words it doesn't. So it's actually kitab-ı, lokanta-nın,ev-imiz, İzmır'in hava-, baba-mın araba-etc. Sometimes, though, one is given the impression that there are two stressed syllables particularly in longer word compositions. The -yor morpheme isn't stressed, for example (as far as I hear it at least - been teaching it like that).
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2013
  6. donkeyglot

    donkeyglot New Member

    Thank you sophistes. Yes, I also had the impression of two stressed syllables. Or maybe of no stress at all, as Turkish stress is so weirdly light :p

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