Turkish

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The Turkish language in IB

Turkish in IB has gone through both a script reform and a language reform, but since Turkey unlike *here* did not go through a westernizing revolution neither reform was so dramatic or thoroughgoing as *here*. Both the Arabic script and Arabic loanwords remained in place, though letters were added to the script (by placing new diacritic signs on existing letters) to give a better fit with Turkish phonology at least in Turkish words and morphemes and by abolishing Arabic inflections and grammatical constructions, like feminine agreement in adjectives and Arabic plurals (except where these had developed a separate lexical meaning).

The scientific transliteration is based strictly on Croatian letter-values, since it was created by a Croato-Dalmatian scholar with a taste for one-to-one transliterations. The English system is predictable, except for the German-influenced use of ä for /æ/ and the use of e for /ɨ/. The German system is used also in the SR, with some modifications: ä, ö, ü are replaced by the corresponding Riksmål letters æ, ø, y and the German y for /ɨ/ is replaced by ÿ. There are also Francien and Wenedyk transcriptions that differ from the English in predictable ways.


Scientific English Francien Wenedyk German
’, a a a a a ا
â â â á á آ
b b b b b ب
p p p p p پ
t t t t t ت
s s s s ث
ǧ j dj dsch ج
č ch tch cz tsch چ
h h h h ح
ħ h h h, ch h, ch خ
d d d d d د
z z z ذ
r r r r r ر
z z z z s ز
ž zh j ż ṡch ژ
s s s s s س
š sh ch sz sch ش
s s s s ص
ż z z z s ض
t t t t ط
z z z ظ
        ع
gh gh g̶, gh g̶, gh غ
f f f f f ف
k, q k, q k, q k ق
k k k k k ك
ñ n n n n ڭ
g g g g g گ
l l l l l ل
m m m m m م
n n n n n ن
h h h h h ھ
e ä è e ä, æ ہ
o o o o o و
u u ou u u ۇ
ö ö eu ö ö, ø ۏ
ü ü u ü ü, y ۊ
v v v w w ۋ
j y y j j ي
i i i i i ې,ﭔ,ﭕ
y e e y y, ÿ ی*

*Only written at the end of words.

In the Turko-Arabic orthography all Turkish vowels have their separate letters, but the vowel e /ɨ/ is normally only written out at the end of words, and in many suffixes such as the plural suffix -lar/-lär even other vowels are normally left unwritten, so that not even the orthography of native words is totally unambiguous. Actually there is a tradeoff between unambiguity and having a single orthography for allomorphs of the same suffix. Turks in general seem happy with the "morphemic" writing of suffixes as they have it. In fact the full writing of suffixes is allowed, though seldom found outside beginners books. There is also one other orthographic device which is non-standard, but used by some writers is two dots below kâf, gâf and lâm to indicate a palatalized pronunciation, which is sometimes rendered in English transcription by ky, gy, ly. The scientific transliteration uses a superscript acute accent and the Wenedyk and Fraktur transcription a following j resp. a following i for the same purpose.

BPJ 11-28 July 2004, updated 28 April 2005

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